Current Affairs
Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 20th March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World’s Largest Floating Solar Farms being built in Singapore

•The largest floating solar farm in the world is being built in Singapore. The country has resorted to set up energy plants off the coasts and reservoirs across it. This floating solar farm is being set up in the light that despite being one of the smallest countries across the world, it is one of the biggest per capita carbon dioxide emitters in India. Thus, to cater to the issue of climate change and to cut the greenhouse gas emission it is building the floating solar farm. This project is being built by Sembcorp Industries.

•Renewable energy is a challenge for Singapore because the country has no rivers for hydro-electricity. The wind is also not that strong to power the turbines. Thus, with the setting up of the floating solar farms, the authorities seek to change that notion. So, this tropical country has turned to solar power. Since, it has little land space, equal to half the size of Los Angeles, the country has decided to set up energy plants off its coasts and on reservoirs.

NATIONAL

J&K LG Manoj Sinha inaugurates project “Awaam Ki Baat”

•Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, initiated the project “Awaam Ki Baat” – a Radio program by launching its website at Raj Bhavan, Jammu. The half-an-hour long Radio program to be aired every third Sunday of the month (to start from April), is one of the many sequential steps of a broader program aimed at disseminating the progressive steps taken by the government and providing the public with a platform to speak, write and interact with the administration, thereby voicing their suggestions, ideas and creative proposals.

KRAS releases First batch of MRSAM Missiles

•The Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), which is a joint venture between the Kalyani Group of India and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel, have released the first batch of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) kits. The missile was released for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.

•The release of the MRSAM Missile also marked the KRAS’ commitment to delivering more than 1000 MRSAM missile kits to India in near future. These missile sections will then be sent for further and future integration to Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). The Kalyani Group has infused the “State-of-the-art technology with engineering excellence in the company.

•It is the private sector MSME of India comprising of advanced manufacturing capabilities and facilities which is specially dedicated to addressing the assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of the state-of-the-art weapon systems which are being inducted in India’s defence forces. KRAS also address the Maintenance and Repair Operations (MRO) of the major in-service Air Defence Missile System in the Indian Air Force.

SPORTS

Hashmatullah Shahidi becomes 1st afghan player to score Test double century

•Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi became the first batsman from the country to register a double hundred in Test cricket. He got his first double century on Day Two of the second Test against Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi. He made 200 not out off 443 balls with 21 fours and one six as Afghanistan put up a mammoth 545 for 4 in their first innings.

•Shahidi has played five Tests and 42 ODIs for Afghanistan since making his international debut in an ODI against Kenya. He made his Test debut in Afghanistan’s first-ever Test, against India in Bengaluru in 2018. The 26-year-old left-handed batsman has 347 runs from five Tests and 1155 runs from 42 ODIs to his name thus far.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

INS Jalashwa Arrives at Port Anjouan as part of Mission Sagar-IV

•As part of Mission Sagar-IV, Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa arrived at Port Anjouan, Comoros to deliver 1,000 Metric Tonnes of rice. An official ceremony for handing over the food aid from the Government of India to the Government of Comoros. INS Jalashwa, the largest amphibious ship of the Indian Navy, has been specially sent to Comoros due to its large carrying capacity.

•This consignment of 1000 metric tonnes of rice as food assistance was flagged off to Comoros in the light of a promise made by the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu during his brief visit to Comoros in the month of October 2019. This is the second visit of an Indian Navy ship to the island country within a span of one year. Earlier, as part of Mission Sagar-I, in May-June 2020, the Indian Navy had delivered essential medicines to the nation and had also deployed a specialist medical team to work alongside their counterparts and to render assistance for dengue fever-related emergencies.

•‘Mission Sagar’, builds on the excellent relations existing between the two countries and deployment also resonates with the vision of our Prime Minister of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with the countries of the IOR. The operation is being progressed in close coordination with the Ministries of External Affairs, and other agencies of the Government of India.

OBITUARY

Tanzanian President John Magufuli passes away

•The President of Tanzania, John Magufuli has passed away following a heart ailment. Popularly nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, Magufuli served as the fifth President of Tanzania from 2015 until his death in 2021.

•He first won the presidential election in October 2015 and was sworn in on 5 November 2015. He was re-elected in 2020.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Dr Harsh Vardhan appointed as chairman of ‘Stop TB Partnership Board’

•Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan has been appointed as the Chairman of the international body Stop TB Partnership Board. He was appointed in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis from India by 2025. He will serve a three-year term, commencing from July this year.

•The Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB.

•The participation of a wide range of constituencies gives this global body the credibility and the broad range of medical, social and financial expertise needed to defeat TB.

•The Partnership’s vision is a TB-free world.

•The appointment of Dr Harsh Vardhan as the Chair of this prestigious global body is a proud recognition of India’s political commitment to the eradication of TB.

•Established in the year 2000, the ‘Stop TB Partnership’ is mandated to eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Ordnance Factories’ Day in India: 18 March

•The Ordnance Factories’ Day is observed on the 18th of March every year. The production of India’s oldest Ordnance Factory, which is at Cossipore of Kolkata, was started on the 18th of March, 1802. OFB is the 37th largest defence equipment manufacturer in the world, 2nd largest in Asia, and the largest in India.

•The day is celebrated by displaying the rifles, guns, artillery, ammunition etc in exhibitions all over India. The celebrations start with a parade and the exhibition will also display the photographs of various mountaineering expeditions.

•OFB is referred to as the “Fourth Arm of Defence” and the “Force Behind the Armed Forces” of India.

•OFB is functioning under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.

•The Indian Ordnance Factories supplies products to all three Indian Armed Forces. ie the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air force.

•The Arms and Ammunition, Weapon Spares, Chemicals & Explosives, Parachutes, Leather and Clothing items are being exported to more than 30 countries worldwide.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

6th India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum held Virtually

•The Sixth India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum meeting was held virtually. The Forum discussed key issues that contribute towards the transformation of women’s lives. At the end of the conference, a joint declaration was also issued highlighting the shared IBSA goals and commitments for achieving gender equality in all spheres of life.

•The India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperation Forum is a unique platform that brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents.

•The meeting was led by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.

•IBSA is committed to inclusive sustainable development, in pursuit of the well-being of its citizens and those from other developing nations.

•The principles, norms and values underpinning the IBSA Dialogue Forum are participatory democracy, respect for human rights, the Rule of Law and the strengthening of multilateralism. IBSA lays efforts in South-South cooperation beyond the conventional areas of exchange of experts and training.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SBI and IOCL to ink India’s First Libor Alternative Rate Deal

•The State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) will sign the first Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) linked external commercial borrowing (ECB) deal. The deal will be signed because the de facto international benchmark reference rate called the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) will no longer work as the benchmark after December 2021.

•The state bank of India highlighted that it will be arranging $100 million linked to SOFR for 5 years.

•The LIBOR will no longer work as the benchmark after December 2021. Thus, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate (SONIA) are the most potential alternatives.

•But only a few swap deals are linked to these alternatives at the international level. Libor is still used extensively especially for loans that are getting matured within the year.

Read More
Read Less
View All Comments

Important Current Affairs 15th March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India, Pakistan Indus Commissioners set to meet on March 23-24

•Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan are set to meet on March 23-24 in New Delhi.

•Pradeep Kumar Saxena, Commissioner (Indus), who will lead the Indian delegation in the meeting, “The annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) will be held on March 23-24 in New Delhi.”

•“We are committed towards full utilisation of India’s rights under the treaty and believe in amicable solution of issues through discussion.

•This will be the first meeting of Indus Commissioners after a gap of two and a half years. The last meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was held in Lahore, Pakistan from August 29-30, 2018.

NATIONAL

JK Govt. Approves Rs. 2 Lakh Interest-free Loan For Urban Housing ( PMAY-U) Beneficiaries

•Manoj Sinha, approved the proposal of the Housing & Urban Development Department to provide interest-free loan up to Rs. 2 lakhs to the urban houseless economically weaker section beneficiaries under Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) component of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Urban (PMAY-U).

•The beneficiaries under Beneficiary Led Construction omponent of PMAY (U) have experienced the difficulty in mobilizing their contribution as they come from economic weaker sections and have to contribute higher share as compared to other States/UT, as a result of which the construction of dwelling units under this component of PMAY(U) could not achieve the desired targets.

•The beneficiaries of this component have demanded enhancement of assistance in their favour so that they can complete their houses within the targeted date of the Mission. In view of practical difficulties faced by the beneficiaries in arranging financial resources, the Govt. agreed to provide interest subsidy to all the eligible beneficiary. The interest-free loan will be an additional benefit, over and above the financial assistance of Rs. 1.66 lakhs which is already being provided to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Urban , with this the beneficiaries can now avail Rs.3.66 lakh for construction of their dwelling units under this component of PMAY(U).

INS Jalashwa arrives in Comoros with 1,000 metric tonne rice

•Indian naval ship Jalashwa arrived at the port of Anjouan, Comoros on Sunday to deliver 1,000 metric tonne of rice.

•The consignment has come as a fulfilment of the grant announcement made during the visit of Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu to Comoros in October 2019, according to a statement by the Indian Embassy in Madagascar and Comoros.

•The 1000 metric tonnes of rice will be received by Foreign Minister of Comoros, Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, in a ceremony today which will be attended by Ambassador Abhay Kumar through a video conference.

Railways' parcel management system to be extended to 523 locations

•The Indian Railways (IR) new parcel management system (PMS) is adding a total of 523 locations in phases, from the present 84, to provide a “vast network of stations” for transportation of small consignments.

•In a statement, the transportation services are being used by small businesses and traders to move merchandise from production centres and bigger cities to place of business in a “fast, reliable and cheap manner.

•As per the statement, Phase II will take total locations to 143 and by Phase III, the computerised PMS will have 523 locations.

Centre announces new scheme for tourist vehicle operators

•The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced a new scheme, under which any tourist vehicle operator may apply for an "All India Tourist Authorisation/Permit" via online mode. It will be issued, after relevant documents are submitted and fees deposited, in 30 days of submission of such applications.

•The new set of rules, to be known as, "All India Tourist Vehicles Authorisation and Permit Rules, 2021",  will be applicable from April 1, 2021. All existing permits will continue to be in force during their validity.

Supreme Court seeks govt.’s response on plea against Places of Worship Act

•The Supreme Court has asked the government to respond to a plea challenging the Places of Worship Act enacted in 1991.

•A notice is issued by a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde to the Union Ministries of Home, Law and Culture on a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay against various provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991.

•The petition said Sections of the Act that dealt with the bar on legal claims were against the principles of secularism.

About the law

•It was passed in 1991 by the P V Narasimha Rao-led Congress government. The law seeks to maintain the “religious character” of places of worship as it was in 1947 except law Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case that was already in court. The law was brought in at the peak of the Ram Mandir movement after one year before the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

•Home Minister S B Chavan in introducing the law said in the Parliament thet it was adopted to curb the communal tension.

SPORTS

Rashid Khan creates record for bowling most overs in a Test

•Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan on Sunday created the record for bowling the most number of overs in a single Test in the 21st century.

•The spinner bowled a total of 99.2 overs in the second Test between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rashid Khan bowled 596 balls in the match.

•This is the most number of overs bowled by a bowler in a Test since 1998. In 1998, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan had bowled 113.5 overs (683 balls) against England at The Oval.

•In the first innings against Zimbabwe, Rashid returned with the figures of 4-138 from 36.3 overs while in the second innings, the spinners bowled 62.5 overs. The second innings saw Rashid Khan at his best as he returned with seven wickets and conceded 137 runs.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Consumer Rights Day 2021

•It is celebrated on 15 March across the world annually to spread awareness about the rights of consumers and their needs.

•A special message was sent by President John F Kennedy to the US Congress on 15 March, 1962 and so the day was inspired by him. In the message he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights.  To do so, he was the first leader.

•The history behind the World Consumer Rights Day is that the first consumer movement was observed in 1983 and since then every year it is observed to mobilize an action on important issues and campaigns.

•The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2021 is 'Tackling Plastic Pollution’. It will raise awareness and engage consumers globally to adopt and promote more sustainable practices. The last year theme was ‘The Sustainable Consumer’. This year the campaign will also focus on the central role that consumer advocates governments and businesses can play in tackling the global plastic pollution crisis.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

India holds world's 4th largest forex reserve

•India’s foreign-exchange reserves surpassed Russia’s to become the world’s fourth largest, as the South Asian nation’s central bank continues to hoard dollars to cushion the economy against any sudden outflows.

•Reserves for both countries have mostly flattened out this year after months of rapid increase. India pulled ahead as Russian holdings declined at a faster rate in recent weeks.

•India’s foreign currency holdings fell by $4.3 billion to $580.3 billion as of March 5, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday, edging out Russia’s $580.1 billion pile. China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan and Switzerland on the International Monetary Fund table.

•India’s reserves, enough to cover roughly 18 months of imports, have been bolstered by a rare current-account surplus, rising inflows into the local stock market and foreign direct investment.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 12th March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Deepika Padukone joins WEF list of Young Global Leader

•Actor Deepika Padukone has joined the list of the Young Global Leaders (YGLs) compiled by the World Economic Forum. The list also includes several Indian citizens and India-origin persons. They join a group of Nobel Prize recipients, Pulitzer winners, heads of state and chief executive officers committed to improving the state of the world.

•Announcing its 2021 class of YGLs, the WEF said these are the world’s most promising 112 tomorrow’s leaders under the age of 40 and are involved in activities ranging from advocating public healthcare to campaigning for inclusivity in medical research. The Forum of Young Global Leaders was founded in 2005 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, to create a world where leaders take responsibility for a sustainable future while meeting increasingly complex and interrelated challenges.

NATIONAL

India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise DUSTLIK II commences in Ranikhet

•The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise DUSTLIK II has commenced in Foreign Training Node Chaubatia, Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. This is the Second Edition of the annual bilateral joint exercise of both armies. It will continue till the 19th of this month. The first edition of the exercise was held in Uzbekistan in November 2019. 45 Soldiers each from Uzbekistan and the Indian Army are participating in the exercise.

•Both contingents will be sharing their expertise and skills in the field of counter-terrorist operations in mountainous or rural or urban scenarios under UN mandate. The validation exercise will be a testbed for the soldiers of both armies as they would be undergoing the challenges of actual operations in such scenarios. The joint exercise will definitely provide impetus to the ever-growing military and diplomatic ties between the two nations and also reflects the strong resolve of both nations to counter-terrorism.

ISRO Develops Joint Earth Observation Satellite Mission Radar With NASA

•ISRO has completed the development of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capable of producing extremely high-resolution images for a joint earth observation satellite mission with the US space agency NASA. NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) is a joint collaboration for a dual-frequency L and S-band SAR for earth observation.

•NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface less than a centimetre across.

•The mission is targeted to launch in early 2022 from ISRO’s Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 km north of Chennai.

•NASA is providing the mission’s L-band SAR, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder and payload data subsystem.

•ISRO is providing the spacecraft bus, the S-band radar, the launch vehicle and associated launch services for the mission, whose goal is to make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging.

OBITUARY

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko passes away

•The incumbent Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Hamed Bakayoko, has passed away due to cancer. He was named prime minister in July 2020 following the sudden death of his predecessor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly. President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, has named Patrick Achi as interim prime minister in place of Bakayoko.

•Patrick Achi was serving as the chief of defence staff of the country.

Veteran Marathi Actor Shrikant Moghe Passes Away

•The Marathi stage and film actor, Shrikant Moghe has passed away. He was popular for his work in both Marathi and Hindi languages. He was born at Kirloskarwadi in the Sangli district of Maharashtra.

•He is known for his performances in Marathi films like Madhuchandra, Sinhaasan, Gammat Jammat and Umbaratha, and plays such as Varyavarchu Varaat and Tuze Aahe Tujapashi.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Union Minister Anurag Thakur promoted as Captain in Territorial Army

•Union Minister Anurag Thakur has become the first serving MP to be appointed as Captain in the Territorial Army. Thakur has been promoted to the rank of Captain at 124 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Sikh).

•The four-time BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur was commissioned into the Territorial Army as a Lieutenant by then Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Dalbir S Suhag TA in July 2016.

GoI appoints Dr. GP Samanta as new Chief Statistician of India

•The Central Government has appointed Dr G P Samanta as the new Chief Statistician of India (CSI) for a period of two years. He is India’s fourth CSI. He will replace Kshatrapati Shivaji who was holding an additional charge of the post since September 2020.

•Currently, Dr Samanta was serving as an adviser in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Department Of Statistics and Information Management. Dr Samanta will also serve as the Secretary of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

IMPORTANT DAYS

Central Industrial Security Forces Celebrates its 52nd Raising Day

•The Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) – Raising Day (CRD) is observed on March 10 in India every year. In 2021, the nation is celebrating the 52nd Raising Day of CISF. The basic objective of the CISF is Better “protection and security” of industrial undertakings in both government and private sectors in the country.

•CISF was set up under an Act of the Parliament of India on 10 March 1969, for the better protection and security of industrial undertakings in the country.

•Eventually, it was made an armed force of the Republic of India by another Act of Parliament passed on 15 June 1983.

•CISF is one of six paramilitary forces in India and functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs with its headquarters in New Delhi.

•The CISF has 12 reserve battalions and 8 training institutes.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Baton of Honor to Kiran Bedi

•President Ram Nath Kovind has presented a baton of honour and a letter of appreciation to former Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The former Puducherry lieutenant governor received a Baton of Honor decorated with the emblem of the Indian Republic and the appreciation letter recognizing her service in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

•Kiran Bedi was removed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on February 16 by the President of India and Tamilisai Soundararajan took additional charge as the Lieutenant Governor on February 18.

Amitabh Bachchan to be honoured with 2021 FIAF Award

•Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with an award by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). The veteran actor will be the first Indian cinema personality to be bestowed with the FIAF Award for his dedication and contribution to the preservation of the world’s film heritage.

•Amitabh Bachchan was nominated for the award by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation which is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur a filmmaker & archivist. This foundation is dedicated to preserve, restore, document, exhibit and study the film heritage of India.

•The FIAF is a worldwide organisation, comprising film archives and museums from across the world. Hollywood filmmakers and previous recipients of the FIAF Award — Martin Scorcese and Christopher Nolan — will present the award to Bachchan during a virtual showcase scheduled to take place on March 19.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou wins Africa’s top prize

•Mahamadou Issoufou, the incumbent President of Niger has won the “2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership”, the world’s largest leadership prize, worth $5 million. He is the sixth winner of the Ibrahim Prize since it was introduced in 2006, by Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim’s foundation to promote good governance in the world’s poorest continent.

•The 69-year-old Issoufou is stepping down as president of Niger in April 2021, after serving two terms in office. He first took office in 2011 and was then re-elected in 2016.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI removes PCA restrictions on IDBI Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India has removed IDBI Bank from its enhanced regulatory supervision or Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework. It was noted that as per published results for the quarter ending December 31, 2020, the bank is not in breach of the PCA parameters on regulatory capital, net NPA and leverage ratio.

•The bank has also provided a written commitment that it would comply with the norms of minimum regulatory capital, net NPA and leverage ratio on an ongoing basis and has apprised the RBI of the structural and systemic improvements that it has put in place which would help the bank in continuing to meet these commitments.

•The central bank had placed IDBI Bank under the PCA framework in May 2017 after it had breached the thresholds for capital adequacy, asset quality, return on assets and the leverage ratio

•The bank had reported a standalone net profit of Rs 378 crore for the December quarter of 2020-21 compared to a standalone net loss of Rs 5,763 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Axis Bank launches “Wear N Pay” contactless payment wearable devices

•Axis Bank has launched a range of wearable contactless payment devices under the brand Wear ‘N’ Pay. These devices come in different forms of wearables like a band, key chain and watch loop and are available starting at Rs 750.

•The wearables are directly linked to the bank account of an Axis Bank customer and function like a regular debit card. It allows purchases at any merchant store which accepts contactless transactions.

MeitY released the list of “Digital Payment Scorecard”

•The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has released the list of “Digital Payment Scorecard”. In the list, the State Bank of India (SBI) has topped for the third consecutive months. The digital payment scorecard tracks the performance of the Commercial Banks on several digital parameters. SBI maintained the top remitter bank by recording the highest UPI transaction volume which accounted for nearly Rupees 640 million.

•SBI has also emerged as the largest issuer of debit cards. It issued over 290 million debit cards with a 30% market share with respect to card spends and 29% share with respect to transaction volume. Bank has also made steady progress with respect to increasing payment acceptance infrastructure.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 11th March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Switzerland votes to ban full face coverings in public places

•Switzerland has voted in favour of a proposal banning full facial coverings including the burqa and niqab in almost all public places. In the public referendum, around 51.21 per cent of voters voted in support of the controversial proposal. The vote means that full facial covering will be banned in all publicly accessible places in Switzerland including on the streets, public transport, in public offices such as restaurants, shops and in the countryside.

•The full-face covering will be allowed in places of worship and other sacred sites. It will also be allowed for health and safety reasons and in situations where it is a local custom such as carnivals.

•According to the proposal by the Swiss Federal Government, there will be no additional exceptions such as for tourists.

•France was the first European nation to ban burqas and niqabs in public places in 2011. The European Court of Human Rights had upheld the ban in 2014.

Economic Freedom Index 2021 announced

•The Heritage Foundation, a US Conservative think-tank, recently launched the “Economic Freedom Index”. The index was prepared by covering 184 countries this time for the period of July 2019 to June 2020. This is the first time the index has been published since the COVID-19 pandemic overturned lives as well as global economies and the scoring reflects a small extent how governments have responded to the health crisis.

•In the index, Singapore has topped the global ranking for the second consecutive year. In the 2021 Index, India came in around the middle of the pack among Asia-Pacific countries ranking 26th out of 40 countries, scoring 56.5 points. Globally, the Foundation rates India’s economy as the 121st freest. Although its overall score is unchanged, improvements were made in business freedom. This was offset by declines in judicial effectiveness and other scores.

Index

• Rank 1: Singapore

• Rank 2: New Zealand

• Rank 3: Australia

• Rank 4: Switzerland

• Rank 5: Ireland

•The biggest news generated from the “2021 Index of Economic Freedom” was however not the rankings or how COVID-19 impacted the scores but that The Heritage Foundation decided to exclude Hong Kong from its rankings for the first time ever.

•The Heritage Foundation said that the reason for leaving Hong Kong out is that the Special Administrative Region and its economic policies have now come under the direct control of Beijing.

NATIONAL

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh

•Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has inaugurated the ‘Maitri Setu’ bridge between India and Bangladesh through a video conference, to strengthen the connectivity between both countries and especially with the north-eastern region of India. Maitri bridge will also make Tripura the ‘Gateway of North East’ with access to Chittagong Port of Bangladesh, which is just 80 km from the Sabroom.

•The Maitri Setu bridge has been built on the Feni river, which lies between the Indian boundary in Tripura and Bangladesh.

•The 1.9 Kilometres long bridge will connect Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.

•The bridge has been constructed by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited at a project cost of around Rs. 133 Crore.

Jammu and Kashmir launches Super-75 Scholarship Scheme

•The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has launched “Super-75” scholarship schemes for meritorious girls, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021. The basic aim of this scholarship scheme is to facilitate the education and entrepreneurship of women.

•The super-75 scholarship scheme will support the education of meritorious girls from poor families, so that they can excel in streams like medicine, engineering, ITI (Industrial training institutes) and humanity and contribute to nation-building.

•Apart from this, Lt Governor Sinha also announced a new scheme named ‘Tejaswini’. This scheme has been launched under ‘Mission Youth-J&K’.

•Under Tejaswini, financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs will be provided to the girls between the age group of 18 to 35 years to start their business.

SPORTS

Koneru Humpy is BBC’s Indian sportswoman of the year

•World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy has won the BBC Indian Sportswoman-of-the-Year award. BBC director-general Tim Davie, hosting the virtual awards ceremony. The Lifetime Achievement award went to veteran athlete Anju Bobby George.

•English cricket star Ben Stokes announced the 19-year-old Indian Shooter, Manu Bhaker as the winner of the Emerging Player-of-the-Year award category. Bhaker, won two golds at the ISSF World Cup in 2018, followed by gold at the Youth Olympics and a Commonwealth Games gold with a record to boot.

Ashwin, Beaumont Win ICC Player of Month Awards for February

•India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was awarded the ICC Player of the Month award for February, the International Cricket Council (ICC). Ashwin beat England captain Joe Root and West Indies’ Kyle Mayers to the award. Ashwin played a crucial role with bat and ball as India raced to a 2-1 lead over England in their four-match Test series in February before eventually winning the series 3-1 in March. He was the highest wicket-taker in the series with 32 scalps and scored a century in the second Test in Chennai.

•Meanwhile, England opener Tammy Beaumont won the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for February. Beaumont was the overwhelming winner after she played three ODIs in February against New Zealand where she passed fifty in each of these, totalling 231 runs. She beat her teammate Natalie Sciver and New Zealand’s Brooke Halliday to the award.

India-New Zealand World Test Championship final in Southampton

•India will play their inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand at Southampton's Ageas Bowl Stadium, England from June 18-22.

•Initially, the final was supposed to be held at the Lord's but Southampton, with a five-star facility inside the stadium, will make it easier for both the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board to create a bio-bubble for the two teams.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Indian Navy’s ‘silent killer’ INS Karanj commissioned

•The Indian Navy got its third Scorpene submarine, commissioned as INS Karanj, of Project P-75 in Mumbai. With the delivery of Karanj, India further cemented its position as a submarine-building nation. Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), one of India’s leading shipyards with the capacity and the capability to meet the requirements and aspirations of the Indian Navy.  Before Karanj, INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi have been commissioned in the Indian Navy in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

•Karanj is seen as a small submarine having a length of 60 metres.

•It’s equipped with the best sensors in the world.

•Weapon package includes sufficient wire-guided torpedoes and sub-surface to surface missiles to neutralise a large enemy fleet. For self-defence, it has a state-of-the-art torpedo-decoy system.

•It is fitted with an integrated platform management system to provide centralised propulsion and machinery control. The powerful diesel engines can quickly charge batteries for a stealthy mission profile.

•It is fitted with a permanent magnet synchronous motor, making it one of the quietest submarines in the world.

•Its modular construction enables up-gradation to air-independent propulsion in future.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Tirath Singh Rawat becomes new Chief Minister of U’khand

•The Bharatiya Janata Party’s member of Parliament from Pauri Garhwal, Tirath Singh Rawat, will be the next chief minister of Uttarakhand. This was announced by outgoing chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, who resigned. Tirath Singh Rawat will be sworn in as the new chief minister of Uttrakhand.

•Tirath Singh Rawat was the chief of the party in Uttarakhand in 2013-15 and also an MLA from the state in the past. His name was picked over prominent candidates including Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Uttarakhand Minister Dhan Singh Rawat.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Delhi govt presents Rs 69000 Cr ‘Deshbhakti’ Budget

•The Delhi government presented a Rs 69,000-crore budget themed on ‘patriotism’ or ‘Deshbhakti’ for the financial year 2021-22. The budget was presented by the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia. While presenting the budget, he announced that the government has decided to celebrate the 75th Independence Day of India. The Delhi government will hold programmes from March 12, 2021, which will last for 75 weeks.

•The government has proposed to allocate Rupees 45 crores in order to install high masts so as to hoist the national flag at 500 places in Delhi.

•An outlay of Rs 50 crores made under ‘Aam Aadmi Nishulk COVID Vaccine Yojana. It announced free Covid-19 vaccination to all in its hospitals in the coming phases of the ongoing inoculation drive.

•The budget highlights that the government seeks to increase the per capita income of Delhi in order to reach the level of Singapore by the year 2047.

•The government will also allocate rupees 10 crores for the programmes on Bhagat Singh’s life during the Deshbhakti celebrations.

•This year’s budget accounts for the budget outlay of more than 6.1 per cent than the budget presented for financial 2020-21.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 5th March 2021

NATIONAL

UNGA adopts India-led resolution declaring 2023 as Int’l Year of Millets

•The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The International Year of Millets is aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and its suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions. India’s Permanent Mission to the UN also distributed savoury millet snack murukku to all UN Member States.

•The 193-member General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution, declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

• The resolution titled International Year of Millets 2023′ was initiated by India with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal and was co-sponsored by over 70 nations.

•The resolution considers the urgent need to raise awareness of the climate-resilient and nutritional benefits of millets and to advocate for diversified, balanced and healthy diets through the increased sustainable production and consumption of millets.

SpaceX successfully tests Starship SN10 prototype rocket

•Elon Musk owned private rocket company, SpaceX successfully tested its Starship prototype rocket “SN10 “ after two recent failed attempts. SpaceX launched the rocket prototype, to an altitude of 10,000 kilometres and then landed back on the ground. However, the rocket exploded about six minutes after landing. But this test launch is deemed successful because the goal of this launch was to gather information on how the flaps work to control the rocket when it is horizontal as it is falling back to earth.

•The SN10 is an early prototype of the Starship Mars rocket of SpaceX which aims to get people and payloads to the moon, Mars and other distant destinations.

•This rocket is also a part of the company’s strategy to phase out its other flight hardware including, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets and Dragon cargo and crew capsules, and let Starship shoulder the entire load.

Ease of Living Index 2020 released

•Bengaluru emerged as the top city on the government’s Ease of Living Index 2020 that was released by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Pune was second and Ahmedabad was ranked third among 111 cities. A total of 111 cities under the Smart Cities Program, participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.

The Ease of Living Index 2020 ranked cities in the following two categories:

•Million+ populated cities – those with a population of more than a million.

•Less than Million populated cites – those with a population of less than a million.

•No city has been included from West Bengal because of the “data challenge”.

Million+ category

•Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in this category.

•This was followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai respectively.

Less than Million category

•In this group, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living.

•This was followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

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.

•The role of NCSM and the Ministry of Culture for the spread of scientific awareness. Udaipur Science Centre is the 22nd Science Centre which has been developed by NCSM and handed over to the State Governments under the Ministry of Culture’s Scheme for Promotion of Culture of Science.

•NCSM will open 4 more new science centres in different parts of India during 2021.

SPORTS

Kieron Pollard becomes 3rd Man to Hit 6 Sixes in an over

•Kieron Pollard hit six sixes in an over to guide West Indies to a comprehensive four-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the first game of their three-match T20 series. Pollard joins former India batsman Yuvraj Singh as the only other player to hit six sixes in an over in T20 cricket, and just the third man to hit six sixes in an international match, emulating Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) and Yuvraj Singh (India).

•Pollard achieved the feat when he hit Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya out of the park 6 times in the 6th over of West Indies’ successful chase in the first T20I at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. Sri Lanka leg-spinner Akila Dananjaya (3-62) was the unfortunate bowler, pummelled in all directions by Pollard, and this coming after he had taken a hat-trick in his previous over.

Virat Kohli becomes 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.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

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.

IMPORTANT DAYS

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.

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.

RANKING

11th QS World University Rankings 2021 released

•The 11th edition of the QS World University Rankings was released on March 04, 2021. The QS World University Rankings 2021 ranks the top 1,000 universities from around the world, covering 80 different locations. There are 47 new entrants on the list. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States has retained its top position as the best university for the ninth year in a row. Stanford University, the United States and the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom are the second and third best University globally in QS World University Rankings 2021.

From India:

•The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay has emerged as the best institution. It is placed at 172 positions. No institute in India is in the top 100.

•Indian Institute of Science (185), Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (193) are the only other universities from India to feature in the top 200.

•In terms of subject, twelve Indian universities and higher education institutions have made it to the top 100, with three Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) making it to the top 50 for their respective subject.

•The 12 universities are IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IISC Bangalore, IIT Guwahati, IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, JNU, Anna University, University of Delhi, and O.P Jindal University

•IIT Madras ranks 30th for Petroleum Engineering, IIT Bombay ranks 41st and IIT Kharagpur ranks 44th for Minerals and Mining Engineering, and the University of Delhi ranks 50th for Development Studies.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

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.

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 main features of the scheme include:

•International diversification: Provides international diversification to the portfolio and provides investors with the opportunity to invest in themes not available in the Indian market.

•Lower correlation: Aids in mitigating overall risk by investing in a market that has a lower correlation to Indian markets.

•Currency depreciation: Provide investors with the opportunity to benefit from any depreciation in the Indian currency against the currency of the underlying fund.

Minimum Investment Amount

•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.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 4th March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Israel officially receives first ever UAE ambassador

•Israel’s president has formally received the first-ever ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, following last year’s historic agreement between the countries to normalise ties. UAE envoy Mohamed Al Khaja, who arrived in Israel, delivered his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony in Jerusalem. The UAE was the first country to agree to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state under the Abraham Accords, a pact brokered by former US President Donald Trump.

•The agreement made the UAE only the third majority Arab country to form official ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have subsequently joined the Abraham Accords. The agreements broke with the longstanding Arab consensus that there should be no normalisation with Israel until it reaches a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians.

NATIONAL

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.

•The ADFOSC spectrograph can locate sources of faint light from distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe, regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies, and cosmic explosions.

•So far, spectroscopes were imported from abroad at high costs. The ‘Made in India’ optical spectrograph is about 2.5 times less costly compared to the imported ones and can locate sources of light with a photon-rate as low as about 1 photon per second.

•The ARIES is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. It is the largest reflecting telescope in India, as well as in Asia.

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.

Uttarakhand CM launches ”Gharoki Pechan, Chelik Naam” scheme

•Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched “Gharoki Paachan, Chelik Naam” (daughter”s name is a home”s identity) programme and development schemes worth Rs 42 crore in Nainital. Initially, the scheme has been launched in Nainital and later is set to be extended to the entire Uttarakhand.

•The government is working towards women empowerment and 32,000 women groups of the state are being linked with self-employment to make them self-reliant. The state government is also set to implement many public welfare schemes for the benefit of the youth.

•As part of the development works, the catchment area of Sukha tal Lake will be revitalized & will undergo a beautification process. The works on the Sukha tal lake will serve as a recharge to Nainital Lake & also add towards tourist attraction at Nainital

Thaawarchand Gehlot launches “Sugamya Bharat App”

•Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot has launched the “Sugamya Bharat App”, through a video conference in New Delhi. The minister also launched a handbook entitled “Access – The Photo Digest”. The App and the handbook have been developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

•It is a Crowdsourcing Mobile Application to enable people with disabilities and even the elderly to register accessibility-related problems

•The aim of the app is to sensitising and enhancing accessibility in the 3 pillars of the Accessible India Campaign which includes the built environment, transportation sector and ICT ecosystem in India.

•This handbook is a collection of photographs from across different States and UTs, to act as a tool and guide for stakeholders, to sensitise them about 10 basic features of accessibility and related good-bad practices in easy to understand pictorial form.

Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV merged into Sansad TV

•The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Television channels that broadcast the proceedings of the upper and lower Houses of Parliament, respectively, have been merged into a single entity. The new channel has been named the ‘Sansad Television’. This change is effective from March 01, 2021.

•Ravi Capoor, a retired IAS officer of the 1986 batch, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sansad TV for one year. The decision to change the name was jointly taken by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

SPORTS

Mumbai City FC win ISL League Football Winners Shield

•Mumbai City FC has scripted a 2-0 triumph over ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) at the GMC Stadium in Goa to bag the ISL League Winners Shield and the coveted AFC Champions League spot that comes with it.

•Mumbai and ATKMB finished level on 40 points, but the former claimed first place with a better head-to-head record. Mumbai City FC became the second-ever Indian club to qualify to the group stages of the AFC Champions League.

Indian shuttlers Varun, Malvika win Uganda International titles

•India’s Varun Kapur and Malvika Bansod clinched the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the 2021 Uganda International Badminton tournament in Kampala.

•Varun beat compatriot Sankar Muthusamy 21-18, 16-21, 21-17 in the men’s singles final. Malvika beat compatriot Anupama Upadhyaya in the women singles summit clash 17-21, 25-23, 21-10.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Kuldiep Singh takes additional charge as CRPF DG

•IPS officer Kuldiep Singh has given an additional charge of CRPF director general (DG) after incumbent chief A P Maheshwari retires. Kuldiep Singh is working as the special DG of its central zone, will hold the additional charge of the CRPF head till “the appointment and joining of the successor or until further orders.

•The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the country’s largest paramilitary with an estimated strength of about 3.25 lakh personnel. It is designated as the lead internal security force with its main operational theatres being Left Wing Extremism affected states, counter-terrorist combat in the Kashmir valley and counter-insurgency operations in the northeast.

RANKING

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 C-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.

•The total wealth of all billionaires across the globe surged 32 per cent, an addition of $3.5 trillion, to take their total wealth to $14.7 trillion, during the period under review. The wealth calculations taken into account is as of January 15, 2021.

•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.

•Amazon.com Inc CEO Jeff Bezos ranked second with $189 billion in net worth.

•Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury-goods company ranked third with a net worth of $114 billion.

India in the list

•With 60 Billionaires from the Hurun India Global List 2021, Mumbai became the capital for India’s rich followed by New Delhi (40) & Bengaluru (22).

•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).

•Apoorva Mehta of Instacard & Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha (both 34 years) became the youngest Indian Billionaires with a net worth of USD 1.7 Billion.

•Gautam Adani of Adani Group (Global Rank – 48)

•Shiv Nadar of HCL (Global Rank – 58)

•Lakshmi N Mittal of ArcelorMittal (Global Rank – 104)

•Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum (Global Rank – 113)

ASIA:

•Zhong Shanshan (Founder of Chinese Bottle Water Maker – Nongfu Spring) with USD 85 Billion became Asia’s Richest person, followed by Mukesh Ambani.

•He also broke into the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 for the 1st time with a rank of 7.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

GST collections up by 7 % to Rs 1.13 lakh cr in February

•The gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in the month of February 2021 is Rs. 1,13,143 crore of which CGST is  Rs.21,092 crore, SGST is Rs.27,273 crore, IGST is Rs.55,253 crore (including Rs.24,382 crores collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs. 9,525 crore (including Rs.660 crores collected on import of goods).

•Revenues for February are 7% higher than the GST revenues of February 2019. Revenues from the import of goods were 15% higher than Feb ’19.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 3rd March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Ghana becomes the world’s first nation to receive COVAX vaccines

•Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. Ghana is among 92 low-and middle-income countries that are receiving vaccines for free through COVAX. Another 90 countries and eight territories have agreed to pay if they choose to receive vaccines through COVAX.

•The vaccines, delivered by UNICEF, arrived at Accra’s international airport and are part of the first wave of C-19 vaccines being sent by COVAX, an international cooperative program formed to make sure low- and middle-income countries have fair access to C-19 vaccines. COVAX is led by the United Nation’s World Health Organization; Gavi, a vaccine group; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI.

UN body recommends Bangladesh graduation from LDC

•The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has recommended the graduation of Bangladesh from the category of Least Developed Country (LDC). Bangladesh has fulfilled the eligibility criteria in terms of per capita income, human assets and economic and environmental vulnerability. This is the second consecutive time since 2018 that the CDP has made the recommendation for Bangladesh for graduation from the LDC category. Myanmar and Lao PDR also met the criteria for the 2nd time.

•Bangladesh will get time up to 2026 to prepare for the transition to the status of a developing country. Usually, countries are given three years for transition but this year due to the Corona pandemic, Bangladesh has been given five years for the process. On the other hand, enhanced confidence of international financial bodies, improved credit rating and higher FDI is expected to benefit Bangladesh after the transition period is completed.

NATIONAL

International Yoga festival begins in Rishikesh

•The International Yoga Festival was inaugurated by the Agriculture Minister of Uttarakhand Subodh Uniyal, head of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) Narendra Giri and Patanjali Yogpeeth chairman Acharya Balakrishna in Rishikesh. The festival is being jointly organised by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN).

•Yoga has played a very vital role in boosting immunity especially during the time of Covid. The regular practice of Yoga has helped in keeping the diseases away from the body. Yoga is also a cure for many diseases that are hard to treat using medical science.” The aim of Yoga is not only to keep us fit but also to end the negativity within human beings.

India describes Sri Lanka ‘Priority One’ partner in defence

•Indian High Commission in Colombo has described the island nation of Sri Lanka as its “Priority One” partner in the defence sphere and reiterated the assurance of fullest cooperation in the field of defence and security. The assertion comes at a time when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is gearing up for the celebration of its 70th anniversary on 2 March.

•The SLAF is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on March 2 and to commemorate the historical event, a Fly Past and an Aerobatic Display are being organised for the first time in the country at a grand scale. A total of 23 Indian Air force (IAF) and Indian Navy aircraft will also partake in the event. Indian High Commission has called the participation indicative of the growing cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the armed forces of the two nations.

OBITUARY

Lok Sabha MP Nandkumar Singh Chauhan passes away

•Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, has passed away.

•He was a six-term MP, who was elected as the Lok Sabha MP for the first time in 1996 and got re-elected in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2014 and 2019.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Matam Venkata Rao assumes Charge as MD & CEO of Central Bank Of India

•Matam Venkata Rao has taken charge as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Central Bank Of India. Rao till now held the position of Executive Director at Canara Bank. His appointment is for a period of 3 years with effect from the date of assumption of office on or after March 1, 2021, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

•Rao is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. He is a post-graduate in agriculture from Sri Venkateshwara Agriculture College, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh takes over as ENC chief

•Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Eastern Naval Command (ENC).  He replaces Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain. Atul Kumar Jain has been transferred to New Delhi to assume charge as the Vice Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC).

•Vice Admiral A.B. Singh inspected the ceremonial guard and reviewed platoons of naval personnel drawn from various ships and establishments of the ENC. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2011 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2016.

Tenure of PC Mody as CBDT Chairman extended for 3 months

•The re-appointment of Pramod Chandra Mody as Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has been extended for a further period of three months. He is a 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, was appointed as the CBDT chief in February 2019.

•The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved an extension for a period of three months with effect from March 1, 2021, to May 31, 2021. Earlier, Mr Mody’s tenure was last extended in August last year for six months.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Hearing Day: 3 March

•World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

•The theme of World Hearing Day 2021 is Hearing care for ALL!: Screen, Rehabilitate, Communicate. World Hearing Day 2021 will mark the launch of the first-ever World Report on Hearing.

World Wildlife Day observed globally on 3rd March

•World Wildlife Day is observed globally on the 3rd of March every year to celebrate the beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora present on earth. World Wildlife Day also raise awareness about the benefits that the conservation of wild fauna and flora provides to people living on earth. The day also reminds us of the need to fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species causing various wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.

•World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2021 under the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”, as a way to highlight the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.

45th Civil Accounts Day celebrated on 01 March 2021

•The Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) observes the “Civil Accounts Day” every year on March 01, 2021, since its inception in 1976. The year 2021 marks the 45th Civil Accounts Day celebrations. ICAS is one of the Civil Services of India, under the Department of Expenditure, Union Ministry of Finance.

•Initially, the ICAS was carved out from the Indian Audit & Accounts Service (IA & AS), through the promulgation of an Ordinance amending the C & AG’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Amendment Act, 1976.

•Later, the Departmentalisation of Union Accounts (Transfer of Personnel) Act, 1976 was enacted and came into force on 01 March 1976, following which the ICAS celebrates March 1 every year as the “Civil Accounts Day”.

•ICAS helps in the delivery of financial management services for the Government of India, such as payment services, supports the tax collection system, performs government-wide accounting, financial reporting functions, preparation of budget estimates and carries out Internal Audit in civil ministries of the Union Government.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 2nd March 2021

NATIONAL

Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Global Bio India 2021

•The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the second edition of Global Bio-India-2021 in New Delhi through virtual mode. The three-day event will be held from March 01 to 03, 2021, on a digital platform. The purpose of the event is to showcase the strength and opportunities of the biotechnology sector of India at the national as well as international level. The Government of India has a target of building a USD 150 billion bio-economy by 2025.

•The theme of Global Bio-India-2021: “Transforming lives” with the tag line “Biosciences to Bio-economy”.

•The event is co-organised by the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science & Technology along with its Public Sector Undertaking, and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with industry association Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Invest India.

39th Agartala International Book Fair begins at Tripura

•In Tripura, the 39th Agartala International Book Fair with the theme “Ek Tripura, Shrestha Tripura” has begun at Agartala. State Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has inaugurated the fair in presence of Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner Md. Jobayed Hossain and other state cabinet ministers and MLAs.

•This book fair helps in building a positive mindset among people and that ensures a positive approach for overall progress in society. Cultural troops coming from Bangladesh, Northeastern States including Sikkim will be performing various cultural events on each day as part of the fair.

Saras Aajeevika Mela opens at Noida Haat

•The Saras Aajeevika Mela 2021 is underway at Noida Haat. The fair was inaugurated by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Narendra Singh Tomar while inaugurating the event highlighted that the Ministry of Rural Development is working to include more women under the Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

•SHGs played a vital role in increasing family income and improving quality of life. More than 300 rural self-help groups and craftsman from 27 states are participating in the Mela which is being run by the Ministry of Rural Development.

ISRO’s PSLV-C51 launches Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite

•India’s Polar rocket has successfully launched Amazonia-1 of Brazil and 18 other satellites from the spaceport here, in the first mission of the year for space agency ISRO. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 lifted from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) and first injected into orbit primary payload Amazonia-1. The 637-kg Amazonia-1 which became the first Brazilian satellite to be launched from India is an optical earth observation satellite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

•After a gap of over one-and-half hours, the co-passenger satellites, including one from Chennai- based Space Kidz India (SKI), which is engraved with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were launched subsequently one after another in the space of ten minutes in a textbook launch. SKI’s Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD-SAT) also carried Bhagavad Gita in a Secured Digital card format.

Nirmala Sitharaman attended G20 Central Bank Governors’ meeting

•The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman has attended the G20 Central Bank Governors’ meeting. This was the first-ever G20 Central Bank Governors’ meeting that was held under the Italian Presidency. The main aim of the meeting was to discuss policy actions for transformative and equitable recovery along with other issues on the agenda including the global economic outlook, financial sector issues, financial inclusion and sustainable finance. This meeting is a follow-up for the upcoming 2021 G20 Summit, the sixteenth meeting of Group of Twenty, scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy, on 30–31 October 2021.

•During the meeting, the finance minister highlighted India’s policy response with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s largest inoculation drive with their G-20 counterparts. The G20 Finance Ministers and the Central Bank Governors also held a discussion regarding the implications of climate change on global growth and financial stability.

SPORTS

Indian Women’s League 2020-21 to be hosted in Odisha

•All India Football Federation confirms Odisha as the venue for the forthcoming Hero Indian Women’s League 2020-21 edition. This is the fifth edition of IWL, the top division women’s league in India. The Odisha government is a strategic partner of the AIFF (All India Football Federation) as it provides the necessary infrastructure to various men and women age-group teams.

•AIFF appreciates Odisha Government’s longstanding partnership with Indian Football wherein the latter have been providing its stadia and State of the Art training facilities to National Teams across various age groups and genders – all in an effort to take Indian Football forward together.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Zero Discrimination Day: 01 March

•Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated on 1 March each year by the United Nations and other international organisations. Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated to promote and celebrate everyone’s right, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, etc. Zero Discrimination Day aims to raise the voice for the right to live life with dignity, despite one’s choices, beliefs, profession, education, disability or even illness.

•Theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2021: “End Inequalities”.

•A butterfly is the symbol of Zero Discrimination Day and it is widely used by people to share their stories and photos as a way to end discrimination and work towards positive transformation. Zero Discrimination Day was first celebrated on March 1, 2014, and was launched by UNAIDS Executive Director at Beijing after UNAIDS launched its Zero Discrimination Campaign on World AIDS Day in December 2013.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Golden Globe Awards 2021 announced

•The Golden Globe Awards 2021 was held to recognise excellence in film, both American and international, and American television. This was the 78th edition of the annual event, which honoured the best in American television, as well as film in 2020 and early 2021, as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

•American TV series “The Crown” won the most awards for the ceremony with four awards. Late American actor Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in Drama category, posthumously, for his portrayal of Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Winners in the Film category:

• Best Film – Drama: Nomadland

• Best Film – Musical/Comedy: Borat Subsequent Movie film

• Best Director: Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

• Best Actress – Drama: Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday

• Best Actor – Drama: Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

• Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Rosamund Pike for I Care A Lot

• Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat Subsequent Movie film

• Best Supporting Actress: Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian

• Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya for Judas And The Black Messiah

• Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7

• Best Foreign Language Film: Minari

• Best Animated Feature: Soul

• Best Original Score: Soul

• Best Original Song: ‘Io Si (Seen)’ from The Life Ahead

PM Modi to receive global energy and environment leadership award

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive the CERAWeek global energy and environment leadership award during an annual CERAWeek Conference-2021. The award is given to him for his commitment to sustainability in energy and the environment.

•The CERAWeek Conference-2021 will be held virtually from March 1 to 5, 2021. It is an annual international conference that brings together the energy industry leaders, experts. Policymakers Government officials, leaders from the technology, energy technology innovators and financial & industrial communities.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled “Advantage India: The Story of Indian Tennis” by Anindya Dutta

•Anindya Dutta, a banker turned author, penned a new book titled “Advantage India: The Story of Indian Tennis”, a chronicle of Indian Tennis. Advantage India is a well-researched account of the journey of Indian tennis, with a special section on the Doubles game and on women’s tennis in India. The book is published by Westland publications.

•The book provides an extensive history of Indian tennis on both men’s and women’s side.

•The book is the result of the detailed research of Anindya Dutta on the data from the archives of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and British newspapers from the past 200 years.

•The book features pre-independence players like Mohammed Sleem, the Fyzee brothers, S.M. Jacob and Ghaus Mohammed and tennis icons like Dilip Bose, Sumant Misra, Naresh Kumar and Ramanathan Krishnan.

•This also features Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza who transformed Women’s Tennis in India.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Fino Payments Bank upgraded to scheduled commercial bank status

•Reserve Bank of India has notified that it has included Fino Payments Bank in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. All banks which are included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 are Scheduled Banks. These banks comprise Scheduled Commercial Banks and Scheduled Co-operative Banks.

•Benefits of being a scheduled bank under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934:

•Becomes eligible for debts/loans at the bank rate from the RBI

•Automatically acquires the membership of clearinghouse

•Rediscount of first-class exchange bills from the RBI

Scheduled Commercial Banks in India are categorised into five different groups according to their ownership and/or nature of the operation. These bank groups are:

• State Bank of India and its Associates

• Nationalised Banks

• Regional Rural Banks

• Foreign Banks

• Other Indian Scheduled Commercial Banks (in the private sector)

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 1st March 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Russia launches space satellite Arktika-M on first mission to the Arctic

•The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average over the past three decades and Moscow is seeking to develop the energy-rich region, investing in the Northern Sea Route for shipping across its long northern flank as ice melts.

•The satellite - Arktika-M - successfully reached its intended orbit after being launched from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome by a Soyuz rocket, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency, said in a post on Twitter.

•The Arktika-M will have a highly elliptical orbit that passes high over northern latitudes allowing it to monitor northern regions for lengthy periods.

IAF gifts 1971 war helicopter to Bangladesh, gets F-86 fighter

•Commemorating 50 years of defeating Pakistan in the 1971 war, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief RKS Bhadauria gifted a legacy Alouette III helicopter to Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) and got a legacy F-86 Sabre aircraft as a return gift from Dhaka.

•"To mark the Golden Jubilee of 1971 War of Liberation, IAF chief RKS Bhadauria gifted a legacy Alouette III helicopter to the Bangladesh Air Force. Bangladesh Air Force chief too gifted an F-86 Sabre aircraft that had been restored by BAF after the 1971 war. Both legacy aircraft will find a place of pride in museums on both sides," IAF stated in a tweet.

•The exchange of aircraft took place in Dhaka during the four day trip of Bhadauria to Bangladesh where he visited different airbases and interacted with the top military leadership of that country.

NATIONAL

India deploys Sindhu Netra satellite for keeping eye over Indian Ocean

•In a major boost for the country's surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region, India on Sunday successfully deployed the Sindhu Netra satellite in space which will help the Navy and security agencies to monitor suspicious ships operating there.

•“The Sindhu Netra has been developed by the DRDO and has been deployed in space successfully by the ISRO rocket launched on Sunday. The capability will allow us to keep an eye on the areas of our interest from the African region to South China Sea,” top government sources told India Today.

•Sindhu Netra is one of the first in the series of satellites that would help the nation in enhancing its surveillance capabilities on land in areas such as the Ladakh region with China and the border areas with Pakistan.

•Seeking to keep a closer eye on the activities of the Chinese military both near the Indian territory as well as in its depth areas all along the 4,000 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian security agencies feel there is a requirement of four to six dedicated satellites which can help them keep a check on the adversary's moves.

PM Modi inaugurates first-ever India Toy Fair 2021

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first-ever Indian Toy Fair 2021 via video conference during which he urged the country to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ in the toy manufacturing sector. The Ministry of Textiles, in collaboration with other ministries, including the Ministry of Education, has organised the virtual event with an aim to provide joyful learning to children by including them in teaching and learning as well as promoting the indigenous toy industry. The toy fair is divided into five stages — pre-school to Class II, primary, upper primary, secondary and senior secondary.

•The idea of a toy fair emerged from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address on August 30, 2020, where he highlighted the huge potential of the toys market and the opportunities that can be tapped to promote indigenous toys.

•Aimed at providing a platform to states to develop toys reflecting the history, culture and social milieu specific to the states and also to revive traditional and indigenous toys in the lives of children, the national toy fair claims to also boost the economy by supporting local toy industry under ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat’.

SPORTS

Vinesh Phogat beats Vanesa Kaladzinskaya to win gold in Ukraine wrestling event

•India's star wrestler Vinesh Phogat defeated 2017 world champion V Kaladzinskay to win the gold medal at the Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial tournament.

•Up against the world number seven Belarusian, it was not an easy bout for the world number three Indian as the two grapplers kept testing each other with consistent attacks in the sea-saw battle in which Vinesh prevailed.

•Vinesh opened up a 4-0 lead in the 53kg final with a throw which she initiated with a left-leg attack but Kaladzinskay made it 4-4 with her brilliant move.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Arun Kumar Singh takes charge as Bihar chief secretary

•Kumar, a 1984-batch officer, was due to retire on February 29, 2020 but, the central government had granted him extension twice for two terms of six months each on the state government’s recommendation.

•Kumar had assumed charge as chief secretary of Bihar from May 31, 2018 following the retirement of Anjani Kumar Singh, who is currently the advisor to the chief minister(CM) Nitish Kumar.

•The state government had to appoint Arun Kumar Singh after the Centre, which beached the convention by granting six month extension for successive terms, declined giving fresh extension to Deepak Kumar.

•Kumar will join as principal secretary to the CM on contract, the post of which was created under the cabinet secretary department (CSD) in 2002, from March 1. As per the notification issued by the CSD, terms and condition of his appointment would be notified later.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Science Day: 28 February

•National Science Day is celebrated all over India on 28th February. On this day, Sir CV Raman had announced the discovery of the Raman Effect for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930. The government of India designated 28 February as National Science Day (NSD) in 1986.

•The theme for this year’s National Science Day is ‘Future of STI: Impact on Education Skills and Work’. The National Science Day 2021 aims to motivate the students to gain hands-on experience in the field of science.

•Dr CV Raman was a renowned scientist who had a bachelors’ and masters’ in Physics from the Presidency College in Madras. He took part in numerous science competitions along with the government job. Afterwards, he received a scholarship from the Indian government.

Rare Disease Day: February 28, 2021

•Rare Disease Day is observed every year on the last day of February. This year in 2021 it falls on February 28, 2021. The day is observed to raise awareness for rare diseases and improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families.

•Rare Disease Day was first launched by  European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS) and its Council of National Alliances in 2008.

India observes Second Protein Day on 27 February

•In India, February 27th is celebrated as the National Protein Day, to create awareness about protein deficiency and encourage people to include this macronutrient in their diet. The day was launched by the ‘Right to Protein’, a national-level public health initiative on February 27, 2020. This year theme of National Protein Day is “Powering with Plant Protein”.

•2021 marks the second year for this nutritional awareness milestone in India by ‘Right to Protein’.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

DU, Singapore Fine Arts Society sign MoU on collaboration in Indian music

•The Delhi University's Faculty of Music and Fine Arts and the Singapore Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for "cultural, academic and research collaboration agreement in Indian music".

•The MoU was signed at a two-day international webinar, "Traditional Music in Different Cultures: Opportunities and Challenges in the Changing Global Scenario", hosted by the Delhi University's Department of Music on February 25 and 26.

•"The MoU will expand the cultural and institutional footprint of both the prestigious musical institutions with a rich historical background – SIFAS commencing its glorious music journey in 1949, and the Department of Music taking its first step towards musical excellence in 1960," an official statement.

•"The teachers and students of SIFAS will get an opportunity to perform at the University of Delhi, and vice versa,".

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 22nd February 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Youngest solo female to row Atlantic Ocean : Jasmine Harrison

•Jasmine Harrison on being youngest solo female to row Atlantic Ocean. Jasmine Harrison has described the moment she became the youngest woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

•The 21-year-old swimming teacher, from Thirsk in North Yorkshire, arrived in Antigua on Saturday after a 70-day journey.

President Biden, Canada's Trudeau to meet virtually next week

•President Biden is set to have his first bilateral meeting since taking the White House, via a virtual get together with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

•The session will take place Tuesday, with the two leaders expected to tackle climate change and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

•“I look forward to renewing the strong friendship between the United States and Canada and working to tackle the shared challenges we face,” Biden said in a tweet.

NATIONAL

UP government to present first paperless budget today

•The fifth budget of the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, which is scheduled to be presented in the Assembly session at 11 am today, is going to prove special in many ways.

•The government is likely to present the biggest budget of the state's history so far.

•With CM Yogi increasing the size of the budget in every financial year, the fifth budget is also expected to be huge. Also, he has become the first such Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state, under whose supervision the budget is being presented for the fifth consecutive time.

•The government presented its first budget of 3.84 lakh crore in the financial year 2017-18, 4.28 lakh crore in 2018-19, 4.79 lakh crore in 2019-20.

PM Modi to inaugurate Kolkata Metro extension to Dakshineswar on 22nd February

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the extension of Kolkata Metro's North-South Line from Noapara to Dakshineswar on Monday.

•The prime minister will flag off a train from Noapara to Dakshineswar from a programme in the Hooghly district, Kolkata Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said.

•The inauguration, scheduled on Monday afternoon, will help connect thousands of people in the 4.1 km stretch between Noapara and Dakshineswar.

•Apart from regular passengers, devotees intending to visit Dakshineswar Kali temple will also be facilitated with a fast and pollution-free travel mode following the extension of the Metro Railway in its north-south axis.

SPORTS

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka wins Australian Open 2021

•In tennis, Japan’s Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam title on February 20, 2021, after she beat American Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles game of the Australian Open final 2021. The four Grand Slam title for Osaka comes two Australian Open titles (2021 and 2019) and two US Open title (2018 and 2020). In Men’s singles final, Novak Djokovic claimed his ninth Australian Open crown and the 18th Major Grand Slam overall, as he defeated Daniil Medvedev.

•Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (Serbia) defeated Daniil Medvedev (Russia)

•Women’s Singles: Naomi Osaka (Japan) defeated Jennifer Brady (US)

•Men’s Doubles: Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Filip Polášek (Slovakia )defeated Rajeev Ram (US) and Joe Salisbury (UK)

•Women’s Doubles: Elise Mertens (Belgium) and Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) defeated Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) and Kateřina Siniaková(Czech Republic)

•Mixed Doubles: Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) and Rajeev Ram of the US defeated the Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Air Vice-Marshal Rajesh Vaidya assumes role of Dean, Dy Commandant of AFMC

•Air Vice-Marshal Rajesh Vaidya, VSM, assumed the appointment of Dean and Deputy Commandant of the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.

•He is an alumnus of Armed Forces Medical College from the 1981 batch and was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1985. Having initially served as Squadron Medical Officer in both fighter and transport squadrons, he specialized in Community Medicine from AFMC and qualified his DNB from the National Board of examinations.

•He has been on the faculty at the Armed Forces Medical College earlier and has held pivotal public health appointments including Director (Health) and Director (Medical Research) of the Armed Forces Medical Services.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Thinking Day: 22 February

•World Thinking Day, originally known as Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and other girl groups worldwide. The day is observed to think about fellow brothers and sisters around the world, address their concerns and understand the true meaning of guiding.

•The theme for World Thinking Day 2021 is peacebuilding. Peacebuilding is at the heart of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and is as vital and relevant today as for the last 100 years. By completing the steps in the Stand Together For Peace activity pack, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will; Stand Strong, Stand up and Stand Together for peacebuilding.

International Mother Language Day: 21 February

•The International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed annually on 21 February to raise awareness regarding linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. The theme of the Day this year, “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society”.

•International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Indian Oil signs pact with Greenstat Norway for hydrogen fuel

•Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has signed a Statement of Intent with Greenstat Hydrogen India Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of Greenstat Norway, to set up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen. Under this association, a Center of Excellence on Hydrogen (CoE-H) including CCUS and Fuel Cells, would be developed for clean energy by IndianOil and M/s Greenstat in cooperation with Indo-Norwegian Hydrogen Cluster companies/organizations.

•Facilitate transfer and sharing of technology, know-how and experience through the green Hydrogen value chain and other relevant technologies including hydrogen storage and fuel cells.

•CoE-H will be a vehicle for promoting R&D projects in Green and Blue Hydrogen between Norwegian and Indian R&D institutions/universities.

India Signs Deal To Develop, Maintain Coast Guard Harbour In Maldives

•India on Sunday reiterated its commitment to the Maldives' security and signed a USD 50 million defence Line of Credit agreement with it to boost the maritime capabilities of the strategic island nation, as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with the country's top leaders to further strengthen bilateral ties and explore new areas of cooperation.

•The USD 50 million credit line agreement for defence projects was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives and the Export Import Bank of India.

•The signing of the agreement took place after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Didi, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail and Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam.

Read More
Read Less