Current Affairs
Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

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

Important Current Affairs 21st February 2021

NATIONAL

Hyderabad Recognised as ‘2020 Tree City of the World’

•Telangana’s capital, Hyderabad has been recognized as a 2020 Tree City of World, by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Arbor Day Foundation, for its commitment to growing and maintaining urban forests. Hyderabad is the only city from India to have been recognized as a Tree City, to date. With this recognition, it has joined a network of like-minded global cities that recognise the importance of trees in building healthy, resilient and happy cities.

•2020 Tree Cities of the world recognition is the second year of the programme, which features 120 cities from 63 countries. Most of the cities were from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

India successfully test fires Helina, Dhruvastra anti-tank guided missiles

•Defence Research and Development Organisation has successfully carried out joint user trials of indigenously developed Helina and Dhruvastra Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from the Advanced Light Helicopter at the Pokhran deserts in Rajasthan. Helena is the Army version and Dhruvastra is the Air Force version of the ALH. The missile systems have been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

•The Helina and Dhruvastra are the third generation, “Lock-on-Before-Launch (LOBL)” fire and forget ATGMs that can engage targets both indirect hit mode as well as top attack mode.

•The missile systems have all-weather day-and-night capability.

•They can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour.

•It is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.

SPORTS

Sri Lanka pacer Dhammika Prasad quits international cricket

•Sri Lanka fast bowler Dhammika Prasad has announced his retirement from international cricket. He represented Sri Lanka in 25 Tests and 24 ODIs, bagging 75 and 32 wickets respectively.

•He also played alone T20 International against Australia in 2011. Prasad last played a Test match in October 2015 against the West Indies.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Perseverance rover has successfully landed on Mars

•The NASA Perseverance rover safely landed on Mars after its 292.5 million-mile journey from Earth. The rover has been on a nearly 300 million-mile journey since it left Earth more than 6 months ago. Perseverance and her teams lived up to the namesake, overcoming the challenges of preparing for the journey’s final stages during a pandemic. The attitude control system is responsible for pointing the rover in the direction it needs to be and also helps figure out where the spacecraft is oriented in space.

•Indian-American named Dr Swati Mohan, who first confirmed that the rover had survived a particularly tricky plunge into the Martian atmosphere. Mohan, who successfully spearheaded the development of attitude control and the landing system for the rover, was among the team of scientists behind the historic mission.

Indian Navy Ship Pralaya Participates in NAVDEX 21 and IDEX 21

•Indian Naval Ship Pralaya reached Abu Dhabi in UAE to participate in the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 21) and International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 21) from February 20 to 25, 2021. NAVDEX 21 and IDEX 21 is one of the leading international naval and defence exhibitions of the region. Participation of INS Pralaya will showcase the strengths of India’s indigenous shipbuilding, in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’.

•It is the second ship of the indigenously built Prabal Class Missile Vessels, built indigenously at Goa Shipyard Limited.

•The ship was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 18 December 2002 to perform a wide variety of surface warfare missions.

•The 56 m longship, displacing about 560 T is capable of speeds in excess of 35 knots.

•It is fitted with an impressive array of weapons and sensors, like 76.2 mm medium range gun, 30 mm close-range guns, chaff launchers and long-range surface to surface missiles.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India-Australia circular Economy Hackathon (I-ACE)

•The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the valedictory function of the India Australia Circular Economy Hackathon (I-ACE) via videoconferencing. A circular economy implies reusing waste back into the production cycle to make new products instead of wasting such materials with embedded resources.

•The I-ACE was jointly organized by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Government of India and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia. More than 200 participants in 39 teams from India and 33 teams from Australia took part.

•Innovation in packaging reducing packaging waste

•Innovation in food supply chains avoiding waste

•Creating opportunities for plastic waste reduction

•Recycling critical energy metals and e-waste

CSIR inks MoU with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote health research

•The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development, conduct and promotion of health research in India. Gates Foundation and CSIR will work together to identify opportunities to initiate scientific and technological collaborations. These will focus on developing and testing new preventions, therapies and interventions that can help to solve major health concerns that affect India and other developing countries.

•Genetic diseases that impact infant and neonatal mortality;

•New diagnostics and devices for infectious disease and environmental surveillance;

•Development of cost-effective processes for drug, vaccines, biologics, and diagnostics manufacturing;

•Novel microbiome-directed foods;

•Socio-economic impact of science and technological tools;

•Other areas of health and development.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Bhim Army’s Chandra Shekhar Azad named in TIME’s list

•Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and five Indian-origin personalities have been featured in the 2021 TIME100 Next. TIME100 Next 2021 is the second edition of the annual list of Time magazine’s 100 ‘emerging leaders who are shaping the future.’

•Bhim Army is a Dalit rights organisation based in Uttar Pradesh to help Dalits escape poverty through education. It was founded by Satish Kumar, Vijay Ratan Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad in 2015.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 25th November 2020

                                                                                                         National

43 mobile apps banned by Indian Government for users

• The Union Electronics and Information Technology Ministry has banned 43 more mobile apps for the users. The Ministry issued an order on November 24, 2020, blocking access to 43 apps under section 69A of Information Technology Act.

• Earlier in September 2020, the Government had banned 118 mobile apps and banned 59 apps in June 2020.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launches International version of UMANG to mark 3 years of App

• On November 23, 2020, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Communications and Law & Justice launched the international version of the UMANG app, to mark the occasion of 3 years of UMANG and also celebrate over 2000 services milestone.

• The international app has been launched for select countries that include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

• The UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) was launched on 23 November 2017 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyberspace in New Delhi.

First cow hospital of Northeast inaugurated in Assam’s Dibrugarh

• A cow shelter in Assam’s Dibrugarh inaugurated Northeast’s first-ever cow hospital, on the occasion of Gopashtami.

• The hospital, Surbhi Aarogyashala, is set up by Shree Gopal Gaushala at a cost of Rs 17 lakh.

• There are 368 cows in the shelter.The hospital will provide services in 30 km radius.

                                                                                         Banking and Economy

RBI imposes six-month ban on Manta Urban Cooperative Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has banned the Manta Urban Cooperative Bank in Jalna district of Maharashtra for six months for payment of money and loan transactions.

• The central bank has given some instructions to this bank, which will be effective for six months since the bank closed on 17 November 2020.

                                                                                          Summits and Mou’s

SBI Signs Pact With Luxembourg Stock Exchange

• State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSe).

• The MoU will help SBI and LuxSE set up a long-term cooperation mechanism, and promote ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) and green finance.

• Through this MoU, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange would work towards creating a sustainable environment for issuers, asset managers, and investors in terms of ESG focused funds and bonds.

                                                                                                          Awards

Delhi Crime bags Best Drama Series at the International Emmy Awards

• The Netflix show, Delhi Crime has won the Best Drama Series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards 2020. Delhi Crime is the first web-series from India to win an International Emmy Award.

• The show is written and directed by Richie Mehta and features actress Shefali Shah as the main character.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve gets global award ‘TX2’ for doubling tiger population

• The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR), situated in the Pilibhit district and Shahjahanpur District of Uttar Pradesh has won the first-ever international award, TX2, along with the state Forest department, for doubling the number of tigers.

• *TX2 stands for ‘Tigers times two’, signalling the goal to double wild tigers.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan Conferred with Doctor of Science honorary doctorate by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

• The Visvesvaraya Technological University, of the Government of Karnataka, has conferred the Doctor of Science honorary doctorate upon ISRO Chairman K Sivan.

• The doctorate was presented to the ISRO Chief by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on 21 November 2020.

                                                                                 Science and Technology

India test-fires land-attack version of BrahMos missile

• India successfully test-fired a land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory at 10 am on November 24, 2020.

• The supersonic cruise missile successfully hit its target, which was on another island. The test-firing was conducted by the Indian Army.

• The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the world's fastest operational system in its class and recently DRDO has extended the range of the missile system from the existing 298 km to around 450 km.

                                                                                                    Obituary

Congress veteran Ahmed Patel passes away

• Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Ahmed Patel passed away. He was Lok Sabha MP for three terms from 1977 to 1989 and Rajya Sabha MP since 1993 representing Gujarat.

•  He also served as the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was one of the party’s top negotiators during the UPA regime.

Veteran TV actor Ashiesh Roy passes away

• Television actor Ashiesh Roy has passed away, suffering from kidney ailment during the C-19. He was 55.

• Some of his famous television shows includes Movers & Shakers, Yes Boss, Remix, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Chaldi Da Naam Gaddi, Burey Bhi Hum Bhale Bhi Hum, Sasural Simar Ka, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, Mere Angne Mein, Aarambh.

                                                                                                         Sports

Virat Kohli, R Ashwin nominated for ICC Player of the Decade Award

• India skipper Virat Kohli and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have been nominated for the ICC Player of the Decade Award.

• Other cricketers nominated for the award include England’s Joe Root, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Australia’s Steve Smith, South Africa’s AB de Villiers and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

• For the ODI Player of the Decade award, India’s MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga & Kumar Sangakkara, Australia’s Mitchell Starc and South Africa’s AB de Villiers have been nominated.

                                                                                                           Days

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

• The United Nations designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is celebrated worldwide on November 25.

• Purpose: to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to various forms of violence and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

• 2020 Theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 24th November 2020

                                                                                                         National

India to host G-20 Summit in 2023

• India will host the Summit of the G20 Group in 2023. India was earlier slated to host the summit in 2022.

• However, now the G20 Summit be be hosted by Italy in 2021, Indonesia in 2022, India in 2023 and Brazil in 2024.

• India and Indonesia have swapped their respective hosting year of G20 as Indonesia would also chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2023.

5th India International Cherry Blossom Festival cancelled

• The 5th India International Cherry Blossom Festival has been cancelled due to C-19 pandemic. The festival is held every year in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, to celebrate the unique autumn flowering of the Himalayan cherry blossoms and mark the beginning of India’s version of autumn.

• Every year, Shillong hosts a plethora of events like fitness art, fashion show, rock concerts and much more to mark the festival.

                                                                                                      International

Malaysia hosted 2020 APEC Summit

• The 2020 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

• This was the first time that all 21 APEC Economic Leaders met virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The APEC 2020 ended with the adoption of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration. The APEC Summit 2021 will be hosted by New Zealand. This is the second time Malaysia hosted an APEC meeting, having hosted one in 1998.

• The theme of the APEC Malaysia 2020 was “Optimising Human Potential Towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot. Prioritise. Progress”.

                                                                                                Banking and Economy

LIC launches 1st digital app ‘ANANDA’

• Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched a digital application for agents for onboarding to get a life insurance policy. The Digital Application is called “ANANDA”, which is an acronym for Atma Nirbhar Agents NewBusiness Digital Application.

• The Digital application is a tool for the onboarding process to get the life insurance policy through a paperless module with the help of the agent or intermediary.

                                                                                      Acquisitions and Mergers

IBM to Acquire SAP Consulting Partner TruQua

• IBM said that it has acquired TruQua, an IT services and consulting company focused on SAP’s finance and analytics technologies.

• Big Blue said the deal will support its hybrid growth strategy and expand its breadth of consulting services.

• IBM said the deal is expected to close in Q4 2020. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

                                                                                         Science and Technology

Indian Navy gets 9th P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft

• Indian Navy has got its ninth Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, part of the nearly $1 billion deal with the US for four additional planes signed in 2016.

• India, which had first signed a contract for eight such aircraft in 2009, is also negotiating a deal for six more P-8Is with the US under the government-to-government route. While the ninth aircraft was scheduled to be handed over to the Indian Navy in July this year, the C-19 pandemic delayed plans.

• The remaining three are scheduled to be handed over to India in 2021. Incidentally, the aircraft, the latest of which landed at INS Hansa in Goa.

                                                                                                            Obituary

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi passes away

• Three-time Assam Chief Minister from Congress party Tarun Gogoi, has passed away after been undergoing treatment for post-Covid complications. He was 84.

• Tarun Gogoi had served as the Chief Minister of Assam between 2001 and 2015.He was the longest serving chief minister of Assam.

• Apart from this, Gogoai had also served as the food and food processing industry minister in the Union Cabinet of India under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao between 1991 and 1996.

Sahitya Academy award winner Shaik Khaja Hussain passes away

• Noted Telugu poet, journalist, scriptwriter Shaik Khaja Hussain, has passed away after brief illness. He was 70.

• Popularly known as Devi Priya, the renowned poet bagged the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 2017, for his book Gaali Rangu.

                                                                                                             Sports

Daniil Medvedev beat Dominic Thiem to win ATP Tour Finals 2020

• In Tennis, Daniil Medvedev (Russia) beat Dominic Thiem (Austria) to win the 2020 ATP Tour Finals, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, held in London on 22 November 2020.

• This is the biggest title of his career. The 24-year-old will finish the year at fourth position in the world rankings.

• In the doubles final, Dutch-Croatian duo Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic claimed their first title together after surpassing Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 23rd November 2020

                                                                                                                     National

India becomes 4th nation to have navigation satellite system as IRNSS Gets IMO Recognition

• The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has been recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region.

• With this, India has become the only fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognised by IMO.

• The other three countries that have its navigation systems recognised by the IMO are the US [Global Position System (GPS)], Russia and China.

• The IRNSS will  now be officially used to provide accurate position information services to assist in the navigation of ships in Indian ocean waters within the area of approximately 1,500 km from the Indian boundary

PM Modi called for Spirit of trusteeship towards planet Earth at 15th G20 Summit

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the 15th G20 Leaders Summit on November 21, 2020. The two-day summit was convened by Saudi Arabia, chair of G20 for this year.

• The summit saw the participation of the heads of governments of 19 member countries, the European Union and other invited countries and international organizations. It was conducted virtually due to the C -19 pandemic.

• While speaking at the summit, PM Narendra Modi congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leadership for its successful Presidency of the G20 in 2020 and for organizing the second virtual G20 Summit in 2020 despite the challenges posed by the C-19 outbreak.

Second Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20 held in Andaman Sea

• The 2nd edition of India, Singapore and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20 was conducted from 21 to 22 November 20 in Andaman Sea.

• The 2020 edition of the exercise is being hosted by Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

• Indian Navy (IN) Ships including indigenously built ASW corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk participated in the exercise.

• The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual inter-operability between IN, RSN and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and also strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region. 

• The first edition of SITMEX was hosted by Indian Navy in 2019 off Port Blair.

                                                                                                             International

China to launch spacecraft to Moon to bring back lunar rocks, first attempt since 1970s

• China is all set to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon this week for bringing back the lunar rocks. It will be the first attempt by any nation in the world for retrieving the samples from the natural satellite of Earth since the 1970s.

• Named after the ancient Chinese Goddess of the moon, Chang’e-5 probe will seek on collecting the materials from the moon. It will help the scientists to understand more about its origin and surface.

• If China becomes successful in its mission, it will become the third country to retrieve moon samples, following the Soviet Union and the United States decades ago. The mission will also be testing China’s ability to remotely acquire the samples from space.

• China also plans on retrieving the samples from Mars by 2030. In July 2020, China had also launched an unmanned probe to Mars. It was its first independent mission to another planet.

                                                                                               Banking and Economy

Bank Credit Rises 5.67%, Deposits Up 10.63%, RBI Data Shows

• Bank credit grew by 5.67 per cent to Rs 104.04 lakh crore, while deposits increased by 10.63 per cent to Rs 143.80 lakh crore in the fortnight ended November 6, according to RBI data.

• In the fortnight ended November 8, 2019, bank credit stood at Rs 98.46 lakh crore and deposits at Rs 129.98 lakh crore.

• On a year-on-year basis, non-food bank credit growth decelerated to 5.8 per cent in September 2020 from 8.1 per cent in the same month of the previous year.

• Credit to industry recorded ‘nil’ growth in September 2020 as compared to 2.7 per cent rise in September 2019.

• Credit to agriculture and allied activities rose by 5.9 per cent during the reporting month, as against a growth of 7 per cent in the same month last year.

• Loan growth to the services sector accelerated to 9.1 per cent in September 2020 from 7.3 per cent in September 2019.

• Personal loans registered a growth of 9.2 per cent in the month compared to 16.6 per cent growth in September 2019.

RBI becomes world’s first central bank with a million Twitter followers

• Reserve Bank of India, in a first among Central Banks, has become the first monetary authority that has gained 1 million followers on its official Twitter Handle.

• Shaktikanda Das, RBI Governor congratulated his colleagues on this occasion. He also has a separate Twitter Handle with 1.37 lakh followers. He shared the news of achievement through Twitter and congratulated everyone for the new milestone.

• India’s monetary authority has beaten the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve on Twitter by becoming the most popular central bank to be followed on the microblogging site. Currently, the Reserve Bank of India is followed by as many as 10,00,513 followers on Twitter.

                                                                                                             Awards

Department of Fisheries presents Fisheries Sector Awards for the first time on World Fisheries Day

• Department of Fisheries presents Fisheries Sector Awards for the first time on World Fisheries Day The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying awarded best performing States for 2019-20 on 21 November 2020 on the occasion of the ‘World Fisheries Day’, to recognise their accomplishments in the field and their contribution into the growth of the sector. 

Top States

1. Marine states – Odisha

2. Inland states – Uttar Pradesh

3. Hilly and NE states – Assam

Top Organisations

1. Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd. (for Marine)

2. Telangana State Fishermen Cooperative societies Federation Ltd (for Inland)

3. Assam Apex Cooperative Fish Marketing and Processing Federation Ltd. (for Hilly region)

Top Districts

1. Best Marine District – Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh

2. Best Inland District – Kalahandi, Odisha

3. Best Hilly and NE District – Nagaon, Assam

Read More
Read Less