Current Affairs

7 March, 2021


Pakistan to remain in FATF’s ‘greylist’ till June, 2021

Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering & terrorist financing watchdog (headquarters in Paris, France) has retained Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ (also called as ‘Increased monitoring group’) till June, 2021 as Pakistan had failed to implement the 27-point action plan mandated by FATF. It means that Pakistan will have difficulties getting financial aid from International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) & European Union.

IAF to participate in Multinational Air Exercise ‘Desert Flag VI’ in UAE for the 1st time

For the First Time, Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in the Annual Multinational Large force employment warfare exercise ‘Desert Flag VI’ held at the Al-Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The exercise is hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force from March 3-27, 2021. It is the 1st time that IAF is participating in a multilateral exercise in the Gulf Region. Participating Countries – Bahrain, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and USA. Observers – Greece, Jordan, Kuwait & Egypt.

UNGA adopts India’s Resolution to mark 2023 as ‘International Year of Millets’

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution sponsored by India to mark 2023 as ‘International Year of Millets’. The resolution was initiated by India along with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia & Senegal. The resolution titled ‘International Year of Millets 2023’ was supported by over 70 nations. Objective – To raise awareness about health benefits of the grain & suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions. Implementing Agency – The resolution called for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to implement the International Year of Millets in 2023.

India signs Pact with Philippines for Sale of Defence Equipment

i.Philippines has signed a implementing arrangement for ‘procurement of defence material and equipment’ with India during a pact’s signing ceremony at the Camp Aguinaldo in Manila, headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
ii.The agreement involves the procurement of defence equipment by the Philippines from India.
iii.It was signed by India’s Ambassador to the Philippines Shambu S. Kumaran and Philippines Defence Undersecretary Raymundo Elefante in the presence of Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
About Phillipines:
Capital– Manila


PM Modi inaugurated Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at IIT Kharagpur

Prime Minister(PM) Shri Narendra Modi has addressed the 66th Convocation of IIT Kharagpur through a video conference and also inaugurated Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at IIT Kharagpur Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research is a super specialty hospital that has been set up by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur with support from the Minister of Education.

India to replace TEQIP with MERITE project to improve Technical Education

The Government of India is planning to replace the World Bank Assisted ‘Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP)’ with a new programme called ‘Multidisciplinary Education and Research Improvement in Technical Education (MERITE)’ project for improving the Technical Education system in India. The TEQIP programme is slated to come to an end by March, 2021.

India to fund NPR 246 Million for Restoration of 3 Cultural Heritage Projects in Nepal

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) & Contract Agreement for restoration of 3 more Cultural heritage sites in Nepal were signed between India & Nepal. India will fund NPR 246 Million (~ INR 15.498 Crore) under the Government of India reconstruction grant for the 3 Restoration Projects, the projects are

Project, Place

Undertaking Agency

Jestha Varna Mahavihara, Lalitpur


(Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage)

Sulighyang Gumba, Sindhupalchowk district

CLPIU (Building)

(Central Level Project Implementation Unit, Nepal)

Shermathang Gumba, Sindhupalchowk district

CLPIU (Building), Nepal

Key Points

· All 3 Buildings were damaged during the 2015 earthquake.

· India is undertaking reconstruction of 28 cultural sector projects at a cost of USD 50 Million (NPR 5800 Million) under the Indian reconstruction grant of which 6 contracts have already been awarded & reconstructed.
About Nepal:
President – Bidya Devi Bhandari
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency – Nepalese Rupee (NPR)

2nd edition of Global Bio-India 2021 held Virtually; Inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan

i.A 3-day long 2nd edition of Global Bio-India 2021 was held virtually from New Delhi on March 1-3, 2021 which was inaugurated by Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Science & Technology. The theme of the event was ‘Transforming lives’ with the tag line ‘Biosciences to Bio-economy’.
ii.Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance addressed the inaugural session as a special guest.
iii.Country Partners: Switzerland and The Netherlands State Partners: Karnataka and Odisha.
iv.It is being co-organized by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India along with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Invest India.
About Department of Biotechnology (DBT):
Secretary– Dr. Renu Swarup
Headquarter– New Delhi

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Released Report of ICMR-AIIMS & DGHS-PGIMER’s Pictorial Guidebook on ‘Prevent Hearing Loss’

As a part of the World Hearing Day, Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, released the the report related to hearing loss prepared by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) ICMR-AIIMS.
He also released the Pictorial guidebook on ‘Prevent Hearing Loss’ prepared by Directorate General of Health Services(DGHS)- Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research(PGIMER).
Aim of the centers:
To reach out to the underserved and unserved areas in India and provide the needs of the people with communication disorders.


Tabreed, IFC to invest USD 400 Million in India & Southeast Asia

United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) National Central Cooling Company or Tabreed & International Finance Corporation (IFC) are set to invest USD 400 Million(~Rs.2900 Crore) in Capital deployment in India & South-East Asian countries for building cooling service infrastructure.The focus areas of Investment will be district cooling, trigeneration & cooling as a service offering. The 400 Million investment will help in installation of energy-efficient end- to-end cooling as a service offering for real estate developments, new urban master plans & ongoing redevelopments across target cities. Tabreed & IFC (member of the World Bank Group) have formed a Joint Venture (JV) for establishing a district energy investment platform in Singapore.
About Tabreed:
Chairman of the Board – Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi
Headquarters – Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE
About International Finance Corporation (IFC):
MD, Executive Vice President – Makhtar Diop
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA

KVGB Signed A MoU With Our Food Pvt Ltd For Arranging Processing Units to Farmers Through Bank Loan

i.Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Our Food Private Limited, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh for arranging cost effective food processing units to farmers through bank loan.
ii.Our Food will assist the farmers to set up processing units and will also procure the processed products and sell them to bulk buyers.
iii.Under this MoU, the vendor will ensure the supply, delivery and installation of high quality, standardised and branded equipment as the needs of the farmers.
About Our Food Pvt Ltd:
Our Food is a tech based agribusiness platform based in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
MD– Bala Reddy
Head Office– Hyderabad, Telangana
About Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB):
Chairman– P Gopi Krishna
Headquartered– Dharwad, Karnataka

Exim Bank Signed a USD 10.40 Million Soft Loan Deal with Eswatini

i.On behalf of the government of India, the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) signed a soft loan deal of 10.40 million USD (around Rs.75.99 crore) with Eswatini (former Swaziland).
ii.Exim Bank has extended the Line of Credit(LoC) of 10.40 million USD to the government of Eswatini for the construction of a disaster recovery site.
iii.The loan covers the Eswatini projects in various sectors like information technology, disaster management and agriculture.
iv.With this LoC to Eswatini, Exim bank has extended 3 LoC’s of total value 68.30 million USD to Eswatini.
About Exim Bank:
MD– David Rasquinha
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Regulated By– Reserve Bank of India
Establishment– 1982
About Eswatini:
Formerly known as Swaziland
Capitals– Mbabane & Lobamba
Currency– Swazi lilangeni

Government amends Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017 ‘Insurance Ombudsman (Amendment) Rules, 2021

i.The Central Government amended Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017 by exercising the powers conferred under section 24 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. The amended rules are called as ‘Insurance Ombudsman (Amendment) Rules, 2021‘.
ii.It should be noted that the Ombudsman mechanism was administered by the Executive Council of Insurers, which has been renamed as the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Establishment– 2000 (As Statutory Body)
Chairman– Subhash Chandra Khuntia
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana


Mary Kom Appointed as Chairperson of AIBA Champion & Veterans Committee

The International Boxing Association(AIBA) has appointed 6-time Boxing World Champion Mary Kom (37 years old) as the new chairperson of the AIBA Champion and Veterans Committee. She was elected by the mail vote of the Board Member of AIBA.
Olympic medalist Michael Philip Carruth of Ireland was appointed as the Vice Chairperson of the committee by the board of directors. The AIBA Champion and Veterans Committee was formed in December 2020. It consists of boxing veterans across the globe and champions who have achieved significant results.
About AIBA:
President– Umar Kremlev
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland

South Africa appoints Dean Elgar as Test captain, Temba Bavuma as ODI & T20 captain

South Africa has named Dean Elgar as their new Test captain and Temba Bavuma will lead the side in ODIs and T20Is. Temba Bavuma has become the first black African captain to lead limited-overs sides.

Temba Bavuma has played 44 Tests, six ODIs and eight T20s for South Africa. He has become the first black African to permanently captain a South Africa side after being appointed their limited-overs captain.

The 30-year-old will lead the Proteas in the next two Twenty20 World Cups later this year and in 2022, and the ODI World Cup in 2023.

Speaking about his appointment, Bavuma said that this is one of the greatest honours of his life. He said captaining the Proteas has been a dream of his for many years.

The 33-year-old Dean Elgar will lead the team in the next cycle of the World Test Championship.


ISRO’s SEED program to help Indian space tech startups use agency’s resources, facilities

Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) is on formulating an exclusive space startup programme “Space Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development (SEED)” to take startups in the space sector to a higher orbit with a string of initiatives to help them realise their business potential. SEED is conceived as a competitive early stage encouragement programme to startups and MSMEs (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises) keen on developing products/services in focus areas of interest to ISRO with the space agency helping them to use its facilities.

Government of India to Sell 16% Stake in IRCON Through OFS to Raise Rs.662 Crore

The Government of India planned to sell 16% stake or 7.52 crore shares in IRCON International Limited, a government of India undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, through an Offer For Sale(OFS) on 3rd March 2021 and 4th March 2021 to raise around Rs.662 crore.
The floor price of the offer is fixed at Rs.88 per share, which is 10% less than the closing price of 2nd March 2021(Rs.97.85).
About IRCON International Limited:
CMD– S.K Chaudhary
Headquarters– New Delhi

Tarun Bajaj given additional charge of revenue secretary

The appointments committee of Cabinet notified that Department of economic affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj has been given the additional charge of the post of secretary, department of revenue under the Ministry of Finance, He succeeds Ajay Bhushan Pandey who retires from February 28 2021.

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