Current Affairs

6 April, 2021


Indigenous and Tribal Peoples ‘best guardians’ of Forests: FAO’s Report

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in association with Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC) has released a report titled “Forest Governance by Indigenous and Tribal Peoples” The report states that, Forests under indigenous people are more protected or Indigenous and Tribal Peoples are ‘best guardians’ of forests.
i.It is to be noted that, Indigenous and tribal peoples and the forests in their territories play vital roles in global and regional climate action and in fighting poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
ii.Each year, between 2003 and 2016, on an average, Amazon Basin lost 0.17 % of the carbon stored in their forests in indigenous and tribal territories where as forests outside indigenous territories lost 0.53 % each year which is 0.36 % more than the indigenous territories.

WTO revised its Global Trade Projection for 2021 to 8%

The World Trade Organisation(WTO), the multilateral trade body in its Trade forecast, revised its global merchandise trade volume growth for 2021 to 8% from the earlier forecast of 7.2% in October 2020.
About World Trade Organisation(WTO): WTO deals with the global rules of trade between the countries.
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment – 1 January 1995
Created by – Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94)
Director-General – NgoziOkonjo-Iweala
Members – 164


Harsh Vardhan Inaugurates Event for Promoting DSIR-PRISM Scheme

Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually inaugurated the Alignment and Awareness Event for Publicity of DSIR-PRISM Scheme (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research-Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups and MSMEs) held at IIT Delhi. The event was organized by DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology in partnership with 3 major National Initiatives namely Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), Ministry of Education; RuTAG, IIT Delhi; and Smart India Hackathon (SIH), Ministry of Education.
About Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR):
It is a Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology
Secretary – DrShekhar C Mande
Headquarters – New Delhi

India contributes USD 300, 000 to UN Women

T.S. Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Secretary to the United Nations (UN) stated that India has contributed USD 300, 000 (~ INR 2.2 Crores) to the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (also known as UN Women). With this, India reaffirms its support for Gender Equality and Women empowerment. India has been working for Women Empowerment at the Global Stage, In September 2020, India along with Afghanistan was elected as Members of the UN Commission on Status of Women, a body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) In August 2020, India co-sponsored a UNSC (United Nations Security Council) Resolution tabled by Indonesia for the Greater Participation of women in peacekeeping forces.
About UN Women:
Executive Director – PhumzileMlambo-Ngcuka
Headquarters – New York, USA

Rajasthan becomes 1st State to commission Farm Based Solar Power Project under PM-KUSUM Scheme

Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) commissioned India’s 1st Farm-based Solar Power Project under the PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri-Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan) Scheme at Bhaloji Village, Kotputli in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It has a capacity of 1 megawatt and is spread over on 3.5-acre semi-barren land. It has been developed at an investment of nearly INR 3.7 Crore. The power generated by the project will be purchased by Rajasthan VidhyutVitran Nigam Ltd (at the rate of INR 3.14 per unit).
About Rajasthan:
Chief Minister – Ashok Gehlot
Capital – Jaipur


WB, AIIB Approved Loan for 300 Million USD Canal-based Drinking Water Projects in Punjab

i.The World Bank(WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have approved the loan for the 300 Million USD (around Rs.2190 crore) canal-based drinking water project in Punjab.
ii.The entire project will be co-financed by International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of World Bank(USD 105 million), AIIB (USD 105 million) and the Government of Punjab(USD 90 million).
iii.The canal-based drinking water projects in Punjab are: Amritsar Project and Ludhiana Project.
About World Bank(WB):
President– David Malpass
Headquarters– Washington DC, United States
Founded– 1944
Members– 189 countries (including India)
About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):
President– Jin Liqun
Headquarters– Beijing, China

NIIFL made its 1st investment in Health sector by its investment in Manipal Hospital

The National Investment & Infrastructure Fund Ltd (NIIFL) made its first investment in the Indian healthcare sector by its investment of ₹2,100 crores in Manipal Hospitals through its direct private equity fund, Strategic Opportunities Fund(SOF).
About Manipal Health Enterprises Private Limited(MHEPL):
It is a part of Manipal Education and Medical Group
Establishment – 1991
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
Chairman– Dr. H SudarshanBallal
MD & CEO – Dilip Jose
Establishment – 2015
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

World Bank approves USD 32 Million Project to improve Healthcare services in Mizoram

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a USD 32 Million (~INR 234.80 Crores) Project titled ‘Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project’ for improving management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram. The project will help Mizoram to improve quality certification at health facilities, enhance human resources, improve health insurance and other innovations.
Areas of Focus: Reducing financial barriers in accessing hospital services. For this purpose, it will build cooperation with India’s Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojna (PMJAY). Preventing out of pocket expenditure for health by poor families and expanding coverage. To invest in a comprehensive quality assurance programme for enabling quality certification of health facilities.
About Mizoram:
Lakes – Tam Dil, PalakDil, Rungdil
National Parks (NP) – Murlen NP, Phawngpui Blue Mountain NP
About World Bank
Members – 189
President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA

RBI Tightened the Security Norms for Payment companies

Following the rise in cyber-security breaches at Indian tech startups over the last few months, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened its supervision norms over Payment companies that are storing customer data. As per RBI’s norms, from April 1, 2021, all licensed payment system operators (PSOs) have to submit detailed “compliance certificates” to the RBI twice a year. The certificate should be signed by their CEOs or managing directors, confirming adherence to all RBI regulations around security and storage of payment data.
About The Department of Payment and Settlement Systems(DPSS):
The Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS), a sub-committee of the Central Board of the RBI is the highest policy-making body on payment systems in the country.
The DPSS of RBI serves as the Secretariat to BPSS and executes its directions.
In India, the payment and settlement systems are regulated by the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act) and the Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008.


Delhi Capitals (DC) squad IPL 2021, team profile, top records and other details

Delhi Capitals (DC) representing the National Capital Delhi is one of the teams of IPL 2021 that has not released too many players before the auction.
Steve Smith, on April 1, 2021, became the first player to be picked at the Indian Premier League mini-auction as the Delhi Capitals picked the former Australian Captain for Rs. 2.20 crores, which is almost his base price.
In 2020, the team appeared in their first IPL final under the Captaincy of Shreyas Iyer. However, for IPL 2021, the 23 years old wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been named the Captain after Shreya Iyer suffered a shoulder injury. He has been ruled out of the entire season.

Punjab Kings Team Profile: IPL 2021: Check Punjab Kings full squad, past records, batsmen and wicket-keeper of the team

Gearing up for the Indian Premier League 2021, Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) is one of the eight franchise cricket team that was formed in 2008. Based in Mohali, Chandigarh, Punjab, the franchise is jointly owned by Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta, Mohit Burman, and Karan Paul. The team will be led by Indian Wicket-Keeper Batsman KL Rahul and coached by Anil Kumble. Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will see Kings XI Punjab in its new identity which is ‘Punjab Kings’. The new brand name and logo, a roaring lion, is symbolic of the team’s dynamic Punjabi provenance and their spirit of fighting against all odds.


DRDO Developed Lightweight Bullet-proof Jacket for Armed Forces

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a lightweight Bullet-Proof Jacket(BPJ) for the armed forces. The BPJ, weighing around 9 kg, meets the qualitative requirements of the Indian Army. The BPJ was developed by Defence Materials and Stores Research and Development Establishment (DMSRDE), Kanpur. The Front Hard Armour Panel (FHAP) jacket was tested at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh and met the relevant Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) standards. The FHAP technology has reduced the weight of the medium-sized BPJ from 10.4 kg to 9 kg.

Bharat Dynamics Ltd Starts Delivery of ‘Akash Missile’ to Indian Army

Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) started the delivery of the ‘Akash Missile’ (surface-to-air Missile System) to the Indian Army. The delivery was flagged off by Lt Gen A P Singh, Director General & Senior Colonel Commandant, Army Air Defence. BDL manufactures AKASH Missile for both the Indian Army and Indian Air Force. The Missile system has been designed and developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) with 96% Indigenous content.
About Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL):
Chairman & Managing Director – Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana

YES Bank Bought RInfra’s Reliance Centre at Santacruz for Rs.1200 crore

YES Bank bought the Reliance Centre of Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RInfra) at Santacruz, Mumbai, Maharashtra for Rs.1200 crores. This sale of the office building of 21432.28 square meter plot in Santacruz is utilised to repay the debt of YES Bank.
Additional info:
i.The sale of the assets by RInfra is a part of its aim to become debt free in 2021.
ii.In the past 3 months, the company has made similar deals like,
Sale of its entire holding (74%) in Power Grid Corporation of India namely Parbati Koldam Transmission Company, for Rs 900 crore.
Sale of its Delhi-Agra road project to Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pte for Rs.3600 crores.
About YES Bank:
MD & CEO– Prashant Kumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience our expertise
Incepted in 2004
About Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RInfra):
Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RInfra) is a constituent of the Reliance Group.
Chairman– Anil Dhirubhai Ambani
Incorporated in 1929

AP Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan Receives Kalinga Ratna Samman 2021

i. M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India presented the Kalinga Ratna Samman for the year 2021 to Biswabhusan Harichandan, governor of Andhra Pradesh(AP) to recognise his contribution to literature.
ii.The award was presented during the 600th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Adi Kabi Sarala Das and the 40th Annual Day of Sarala Sahitya Sansad at the Sarala Bhawan, Cuttack.
About Sarala Sahitya Sansad
President – Sri Sahadeva Sahoo, IAS (Retd.)
Head Quarter – Bhubaneswar, Odisha

India’s Fiscal Deficit for FY21(April-February) was about 76% of RE : CGA

Based on the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on March 31, 2021, the fiscal deficit for the 11months of FY21(April – February) stood at Rs 14.05 lakh crore which is about 76% of the revised estimates(RE)and for FY20 the deficit was about 135.2% of RE.
About Controller General of Accounts (CGA):
CGA is in the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance is the Principal Accounting Adviser to the Government of India.
The Annual Appropriation Accounts (Civil) and Union Finance Accounts are submitted by CGA to Parliament under Article 150 of the Constitution.
It has the responsibility to Disburse the Pension through Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in respect of Central Civil Pensioners, Freedom Fighters, High Court Judges, Ex-M.P. s and Ex-Presidents.
Current CGA – Smt. Soma Roy Burman

PayPal Launches Cryptocurrency Checkout Service in United States

PayPal Holdings Inc has started allowing United States(U.S.) consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay its online merchants globally. In PayPal digital wallets, Customers who hold bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash & litecoin will be able to convert their holdings into fiat currencies at checkouts to make purchases. About PayPal :President and CEO- Dan Schulman; Headquarters- San Jose, California.

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