Current Affairs

5 May, 2021


Saudi Arabia Joins ‘Net Zero Producers Forum’ on Climate Change

The five countries which are responsible for 40% of oil and gas production – Saudi Arabia (the world’s biggest crude exporter), Qatar, the United States, Canada and Norway have launched a cooperative forum on climate called “Net Zero Producers Forum”.
Purpose: Under the forum, they will discuss about the ways to achieve net zero carbon emission targets to limit global warming and discuss how they can support the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
About Net-zero:
i.Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions in turn the net-zero emission refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
ii.A country will reach net zero when the amount they add is not more than the amount taken away.
About Saudi Arabia:
Capital -Riyadh
Currency – Saudi riyal
Salman/King – Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Online Sales accounted for 19% of Overall Retail Sales in 2020 : UNCTAD Report

According to Estimates released by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), the Online Sales accounted for 19% (from 16% in 2019) of Overall Retail Sales in 2020. The increase in online sales has been due to the pandemic.
i.The Estimates were released in UNCTAD’s Report – ‘Estimates of Global e-commerce 2019 and preliminary assessment of covid-19 impact on online retail 2020’.
ii.Countries which reported the highest online share of retail trade in 2020 are
South Korea – 25.9%, China – 24.9%, Britain 23.3% and the United States – 14.0%.
iii.The report also states that Global e-commerce reached USD 26.7 Trillion in 2019 (including Business-to-Business (B2B) & Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sales).
E-commerce sales in 2020
The Top 3 e-commerce companies based on Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in 2020 are Alibaba (China), Amazon (USA) & (China).
E-commerce sales – 2019
According to the Estimates of Global e-commerce 2019,
i.In B2B e-commerce sales – the US came 1st followed by Japan & China.
ii.In B2C e-commerce sales – China finished top followed by the US & United Kingdom (UK). India came 9th.
About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Acting Secretary-General – Isabelle Durant
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland


MoFPI issues guidelines for PLI Scheme for Food Processing Industry

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has issued guidelines for ‘Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI)’.
i.Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Narendra Singh Tomar launched an online portal for applicants to apply for the scheme.
ii.In March, 2021, the Union Cabinet had approved the Central Sector Scheme – PLISFPI with a total outlay of INR 10, 900 Crores.
iii.The scheme was launched with objectives of creating global food manufacturing champions & supporting Indian brands of food products in International markets.
About Ministry of Food Processing & Industries (MoFPI)
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Lok Sabha – Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Rameswar Teli (Lok Sabha – Dibrugarh, Assam)

JSW Energy signs 540 MW Wind PPA with Solar Energy Corporation of India

JSW Renew Energy, the renewable energy wing of JSW Energy has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for supplying 540 MegaWatt (MW) out of the total awarded capacity of 810 MW of blended wind power capacity.
i.It is the single largest PPA for wind/blended wind power capacity awarded to a company.
ii.JSW Renew Energy won the contract for 810 MW of blended Wind Power Project in a competitive bidding done by SECI in September, 2020.
India’s Renewable Energy Target
i.India has set a target to raise the capacity of installed Renewable Energy (RE) generation plants to 450 GW by 2030. The Current installed RE generation capacity stands 94 GW.
About JSW Energy
Joint MD & CEO – Prashant Jain
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
An Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
Chairman & MD – Jatindra Nath Swain
Head Office – New Delhi

Government Sets Road Construction Worth INR 15 Lakh Crore as Target for Next 2 years

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has stated that the Government has set a target of road construction of worth INR 15 Lakh Crore in the next 2 years.
i.Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is set to achieve its target of constructing highways(Road) of 40 Kms per day in FY 2021-22.
ii.The Government has also permitted 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the road sector.
iii.The Ministry enlisted various targets & initiatives set by India to improve infrastructure. He stated it during the Indo-U.S. Partnership Vision Summit which was held virtually.
National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP)
In order to provide world class infrastructure and improve the quality of life of citizens, the Government has set up a National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-25.
i.The Infrastructure Pipeline is the first of its kind.
ii.Under NIP, around 7, 300 projects worth INR 111 Lakh Crores are set to be implemented by 2025.
About Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH)
Union Minister– Nitin Gadkari (Constituency – Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Minister of State(MoS)– Vijay Kumar Singh (Constituency – Ghaziabad, UP)


Goldman Sachs Revised India’s GDP Forecast for FY22 to 11.1% from 11.7%

Goldman Sachs, brokerage has reduced India’s economic growth forecast for FY22 to 11.1 percent from 11.7 percent due to the local restrictions and increasing COVID-19 cases. It has revised down the growth forecast for calendar year 2021 from 10.5 percent to 9.7 percent. GDP expansion: The GDP expansion was reduced to 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent in FY18 and FY19 from 8.3 percent growth rate of FY17. It was reduced to 4 percent in FY20.
About Goldman Sachs Group:
Establishment – 1869
Headquarters – New York, United States
Chairman and CEO -David M. Solomon

RBI Imposed Monetary Penalty of Rs 3 crore on ICICI Bank for Contravention of Rules

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a Rs 3 crore monetary penalty on ICICI Bank for contravention of certain directions issued by the RBI on ‘Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operation of Investment Portfolio by Banks in July 2015.
i.Cause for the Penalty: For shifting of securities in May 2017 from HTM (held to maturity) category to AFS (available for sale) without explicit permission.
ii.The penalty is intended only over the ICICI bank’s insufficiency in regulatory compliance and not over any agreement by the bank with its customers.
iii.Under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with section 46 (4) (i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act), RBI was vested with the power to impose penalty.


Mark Selby Won the 2021 World Snooker Championship

Mark Selby, an English professional Snooker Player won the 2021 World Snooker Championship by defeating Shaun Murphy(English professional snooker player).This is his 4th World Championship. The Championship held in Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England. The Championship was organized by the World Snooker Tour, a subsidiary of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). Selby gets 500000 Pound (around Rs.5 crore) prize money and secured the 2nd spot in the world ranking.
About Mark Selby:
i.Mark Selby is a 37-year-old snooker player from Leicester, United Kingdom.He was nicknamed as ‘The Jester from Leicester’.
ii.Previously Mark Selby has won the World Championship in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
iii.By winning this Championship, he equalled the Scotland’s John Higgins World Snooker Championship medal(4 Titles).

PV Sindhu, Michelle Li Named Athlete Ambassador for IOC’s ‘Believe in Sports’ Campaign

Badminton World Federation(BWF) World Champion and Olympic medal winner Pusarla Venkata Sindhu(PV Sindhu) and Michelle Li, a Canadian badminton player have been named the athlete ambassador for International Olympic Committee(IOC)’s “Believe in Sports” Campaign.
Both the badminton players(shuttlers) will work towards creating awareness about competition manipulation among the athletes.
Believe in Sports:
The Believe in Sports Campaign was launched by the IOC in 2018 to raise awareness about the threat of competition manipulation among the athletes, coaches and officials.
About International Olympic Committee(IOC):
President– Thomas Bach
Established on 23rd June 1894
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland


GSR’s Patania II – Mining Robot Stranded on Pacific Ocean Floor in Deep Sea Mining Trial

Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR)’s Patania II, a deep-sea mining prototype robot, was stranded on the Pacific Ocean floor following a malfunction during a deep-sea mining trial.
During the final dive in the GSR area, a lifting point separated and the robot was stranded on the seafloor. The Patania II, a 25-tonne mining robot prototype, was developed to explore and collect the rocks rich in cobalt and nickel from the floor of the Pacific Ocean at a depth of more than 13000 feet(4 km). The mission started on 20th April 2021 and the mining robot was attached to the GSR’s Rainbow Warrior ship with a 5km cable.

HAL’s ALH Dhruv MkIII Undergone Deck Operation Trials on ICGS Sujay in Chennai Coast

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s(HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Dhruv MK III Maritime Variant (MR) 2.5t helicopter has successfully demonstrated its deck-operations capabilities and flight operation trials aboard an Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Sujay at Chennai Coast, Tamil Nadu.
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Establishment – 1940(as Hindustan Aircraft Limited)
Headquarter– Bangalore, Karnataka
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)– R Madhavan

BRO appoints Vaishali S Hiwase as First Women Executive Engineer to command RCC

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has appointed Vaishali S Hiwase as the first woman officer to command a Road Construction Company (RCC). The officer would command the company, to provide connectivity in a high-altitude area along the India-China border. She is a M.Tech graduate and has already carried out a demanding tenure in Kargil.

Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema instituted in 2021 to be given at IFFI Annually

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B) has instituted the “Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema” which will be given at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) every year starting from 2021. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a certificate, shawl along with a silver peacock medal and a scroll. The award is instituted as a part of the celebration of the birth centenary of Bharat Ratna Awardee Satyajit Ray, who was born on 2nd May 1921 in Kolkata, West Bengal.

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