Current Affairs

4 March, 2021


Sri Lanka approves Proposal to develop WCT of Colombo Port with India & Japan

Sri Lankan Cabinet approved a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) proposal for developing the West Container Terminal (WCT) of Colombo South Port with parties nominated by Indian & Japanese Government. The port will be developed in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Indian High Commission has nominated Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ Consortium) while the Japanese government is yet to nominate a party. As per the agreement, the WCT will be operated over a period of 35 years as a Public Private Partnership model with APSEZ & its local representative John Keels Holding PLC & the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
About Sri Lanka:
President – Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Capital – Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee

65% low, Lower-Middle Income Countries slashed Education Budgets after COVID-19 outbreak: WB report

i.In accordance with the report by World Bank (WB), the low and lower-middle income countries have cut the education budgets by 65% after COVID-19 pandemic despite the urgent need for adequate funding to allow school systems to reopen safely and to fund programs to make up for the losses in learning students experienced while schools were closed.
ii.33% of high and upper-middle income countries also followed the same scenario.
iii.The current level of government spending is also fall short for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About World Bank:
Establishment– 1944
President– David Robert Malpass
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
Members– 189 (including India)
Subsidiaries– International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)


The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Symposium on Sustainable Development of Dams & River Basins held in New Delhi

In February 2021, a 4 day long International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Symposium on Sustainable Development of Dams & River Basins was held in hybrid format in New Delhi. Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was the Chief Guest of the Event. The event acts as a forum to share expertise on latest technologies in Dam construction, dam safety measure etc. Advanced technologies can be implemented in Dams to generate clean and cost effective energy, thereby ensuring India’s commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement.

India, Norway to conduct Marine Spatial Planning in Lakshadweep & Puducherry

ndia & Norway agreed to collaborate in the area of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Oceanic space for the next 5 years. Lakshadweep & Puducherry have been identified as Pilot sites for the Project. National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai will be preparing the MSP framework for Puducherry & Lakshadweep in the initial phase of the project. The framework of these 2 environmentally critical areas (Pondicherry & Lakshadweep) will be replicated to other coastal regions of India. The 2 places have been chosen due to their potential to Flourish in multiple sectors such as Industries, Fisheries & Tourism.

DV Sadananda Gowda Inaugurates 6th edition of International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Sector 2021

DV Sadananda Gowda Inaugurates 6th edition of International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Sector 2021

GoI, FICCI, and Better Than Cash Alliance hosted Merchant Digitization Summit 2021

GoI, FICCI, and Better Than Cash Alliance hosted Merchant Digitization Summit 2021

First-ever ‘The India Toy Fair 2021’ held virtually, Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi

i.The first ever ‘The India Toy Fair 2021’ was held virtually on February 27, 2021 – March 2, 2021 on the underlying themes of ‘Atmanirbhar (Self Reliant) Bharat’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ to boost the India toy manufacturing industry. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi where he urged the manufacturers to use less plastic and more recyclable material.
ii.The fair was in the form of a digitally accessible exhibition and platform for the public to browse and buy toys and also to participate in events, activities and network with the various stakeholders of the toy Industry.
iii.It was divided into five stages viz. pre-school to Class II, primary, upper primary, secondary and senior secondary.
About Ministry of Education (MoE):
Union Minister– Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ (Constituency– Haridwar, Uttarakhand)
Minister of State (MoS)– Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre

World Customs Organisation recognizes CRCL, New Delhi as Regional Customs Laboratory for Asia-Pacific Region

World Customs Organisation (WCO) has recognized the Central Revenues Control Laboratory (CRCL), New Delhi, which functions under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) as a Regional Customs Laboratory (RCL) of the WCO for the Asia-Pacific Region.On this behalf, a virtual signing ceremony was held in which M Ajit Kumar, Chairman of CBIC & Mr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of WCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). With this recognition, CRCL will join a select group of Customs Laboratories in the region like those in Japan & South Korea.
About World Customs Organisation (WCO):
Members – 183
Secretary General – Kunio Mikuriya
Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium


Arya Partners With Canara Bank for Farm loan Management

i. Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt. Ltd.(Arya), a post harvest agriculture technology provider, entered into a strategic partnership with Canara Bank to offer collateral management and warehousing services to support the farmers with effective market linkage.
ii.The partnership aims to support and extend finance to farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations(FPO), processors, and various depositors stocking their agri-produce in Arya’s warehouses across India.
iii.Arya will support the farmers and FPOs to get financial assistance against their agricultural produce stored in warehouses managed by Arya.
About Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt. Ltd.:
MD– Prasanna Rao & Chattanathan D
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Incorporated in 1982
About Canara Bank:
MD & CEO– L.V.Prabhakar
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Tagline– Together We Can
Founded in– July 1906
Founder– Ammembal Subba Rao Pai.
Syndicate Bank was amalgamated into Canara Bank on April 2020

NSE Signed a MoU with SIDBI for Debt Capital Platform for MSMEs

i.The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE India) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for the cooperation in the various Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) initiatives of NSE and SIDBI and to explore the feasibility of debt Capital Platform for the MSMEs.
ii.The various initiatives of the NSE and SIDBI for the betterment of MSME and the cooperation between them will impact the development of the MSMEs and increase the reach of these programs.
iii.The major MSME initiatives to solve the working capital problems faced by small businesses were SME Exchange, NSE Emerge and TreDs platform of Receivable Exchange of India Ltd (RXIL).
About SIDBI:
SIDBI acts as the Principal Financial Institution for Promotion, Financing and Development of the MSME sector.
Deputy Managing Director– V Satya Venkata Rao
Headquarters– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Established on– 2nd April 1990 under an Act of Indian Parliament

SBI joins ‘Liink’ Blockchain-based payment network of JPMorgan

State Bank of India (SBI) joined ‘Liink’, a peer-to-peer Blockchain-based data network of US based Investment Banking Company JPMorgan chase. The partnership will help SBI to reduce transaction costs, speed up Consumer transactions (including International transactions). SBI became the 1st bank in India to go live on the blockchain-based payment network of JPMorgan. By using JPMorgan’s ‘Liink’ SBI is expecting to reduce the time taken for International Payments to a few hours from upto 2 weeks.


J&K tops medal tally at Khelo India Winter Games held at Gulmarg, J&K

Jammu & Kashmir retained the top spot in the 2nd Edition of Khelo India Winter Games, which was held at Gulmarg, J&K. With 11 Gold, 18 Silver and 5 Bronze Medals J&K led the medal tally during the closing ceremony of the Khelo India Winter Games in Ski Resort of Gulmarg.
i.Jammu & Kashmir retained the top spot for the second consecutive time.
ii.Following the success of the event, Principal Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Alok Kumar retained the venue for 3rd edition of Khelo India Winter Games at Gulmarg, J&K.


MapmyIndia integrated with Co-WIN portal to Locate Vaccination Centres

MapmyIndia has been integrated with India’s official vaccination registration portal – ‘Co-WIN’ (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) to enable users to locate nearby COVID-19 vaccine centres. Using the portal, Users can insert their current location or enter their address, pin code, or elocation of interest to check nearby vaccination centres. The feature will be available on MapmyIndia’s app & also Co-WIN portal. The 2nd Phase of COVID-19 Vaccinations started on March 1, 2021, in order to make the vaccination effort easier MapmyIndia has put all COVID-19 vaccine centres across India on MapmyIndia’s maps.

Siemens Acquired 99.22% Stake In C&S Electric For Rs.2100 Crore

Siemens Limited acquired the 99.22% equity stake in C&S Electric Limited, leading manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment, from its promoters for Rs.2100 crore on a cash free or debt free basis.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the deal on 20th August 2020.
Siemens Ltd, is a flagship listed company of Siemens AG in India,

Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2021

The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) Awards 2021 were announced. DPIFF was introduced by the Government of India in 1969 to commemorate the Father of Indian Cinema Dadasaheb Phalke. Late Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was awarded the ‘Critics Best Actor’ award for his performance in the movie ‘Dil Bechara’. The full list of awards can be accessed here.

Overview of 78th Golden Globes Awards 2021 held from Los Angeles and New York City

i.The 78th Golden Globes Awards 2021 took place in a Hybrid Format on 28th February 2021. It was the first bi-coastal ceremony, filmed from Los Angeles and New York City, United States of America(USA) hosted by Amy Poehler from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Tina Fey from New York’s Rainbow Room.
ii.The 78th Golden Globes was produced by Dick Clark productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association(HFPA).
iii.2021 Golden Globe Ambassadors: Satchel Lee and Jackson Lee, children of filmmakers and three-time Golden Globe Nominee Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee, philanthropist.
iv.Nomadland by chinese Female director Chloé Zhao won the Best Pictures Drama and Chloé Zhao won the Best Director Motion Picture. Chloe Zhao became the first Asian woman and only the 2nd woman to win the best director award after Barbra Streisand who won the award for “Yentl.” in 1984.
v.The Crown, a television series, has the highest nominations for any tele series and it has won in 4 categories (Best Drama Series, Best Television Actress, Best Television Actor, Best Supporting Actress).

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