Current Affairs

7 May, 2021

International

U.S Approves $550 million Crimson Solar Project in California desert

The United States(U.S) has approved a $550 million Crimson Solar Project in California desert.It is capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes.It is being developed by Canadian Solar unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison.This project will be installed on 2,000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, featuring 350 MW of solar photovoltaic facility and 350 MW of energy storage system.

Small hydro power plant built with Indian assistance inaugurated in Nepal

A small hydro power plant at Chandannath Municipality in Nepal’s Jumla district that was newly rehabilitated with India’s financial assistance of Nepali Rs 26.39 million (INR 1.64 Crore) was virtually inaugurated by Karun Bansal of the Embassy of India and officials of District Coordination Committee, Jumla,Nepal..
About Nepal:
President:Bidya Devi Bhandari
Capital:Kathmandu
Currency:Nepalese Rupee(NPR)

At Least 155 Million People faced Acute Food Insecurity in 2020: GNAFC Report

According to the ‘Global Report on Food Crises 2021 (GRFC)’ (5th Edition, Annual Report) launched by Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC), At least 155 million people (an increase of 20 million people from 2019) faced Acute Food Insecurity in 2020 due to conflicts, extreme weather & economic shocks caused by COVID-19. The 155 million people include 1, 33, 000 people who needed urgent food to prevent widespread death from starvation. The 2021 report focuses on 55 Countries which account for 97% of humanitarian assistance. GRFC is an initiative of the Global Network against Food Crises (GNFC) facilitated by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) and its 16 global and regional partners.
About Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Director-General – QU Dongyu
Headquarters – Rome, Italy

Prahlad Singh Patel Virtually Participates in 2021 G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in Italy

Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (I/c) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel virtually participated in 2021 G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in Italy. Mr Massimo Garavaglia, Minister of Tourism,Government of Italy Chaired the meeting.
India in Tourism development
i.India will support the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.
Establishment: 1999
2021 Presidency: Italy
Chairman: Mario Dradhi(Prime Minister of Italy)

National

IIT Kanpur’s SIIC team Launched ‘Mission Bharat O2’ to Tackle Oxygen Crisis

Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC) of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, has launched ‘Mission Bharat O2’ challenge to develop indigenous solutions for solving India’s oxygen crisis. SIIC aims to support innovative minds of India to set up more than 20,000 oxygen generation units and work with a set of manufacturers in different regions of India with a target production capacity of 100 units per day.

NDDB inks MoU with EESL to Offer Energy-efficient Solutions to Dairy Industry

NDDB inks MoU with EESL to Offer Energy-efficient Solutions to Dairy Industry

Cabinet Approvals on May 5, 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave approval for several initiatives. They are Additional foodgrain under Phase-III of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY). MoU between India & United Kingdom (UK) on Global Innovation Partnership (GIP) MoU between India & UK on Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP)
Allocation of additional foodgrain under PM-GKAY
i.The cabinet has accorded approval to the allocation of additional foodgrain under Phase-III of PM-GKAY for another period of 2 months – May to June 2021. Each beneficiary will get 5 Kg of rice per month for free of cost. It is set to benefit around 79.88 Crore people covered under NFSA (National Food Security Act) The Allocations are aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by the poor due to economic disruption caused by Covid-19.
About Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Raosaheb Patil Danve (Lok Sabha – Jalna, Maharashtra)

Labour Ministry notifies Section 142 of Social Security Code, 2020

Ministry of Labour & Employment has notified Section 142 of the Social Security Code, 2020 which covers the applicability of Aadhar. It will enable the Labour Ministry to collect Aadhar data of workers in the Unorganized Sector. The Aadhar details will be uploaded in the National Database for Unorganised Workers (NDUW) which is being developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). It will help the government to extend benefits to the workers under various social security schemes. The Social Security Code, 2020 is yet to be implemented in India.
About Ministry of Labour & Employment
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Lok Sabha – Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh)

TEMA, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce sign MoU to promote AtmaNirbhar Bharat

The Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (TEMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) to jointly promote AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
i.It will also facilitate investment & manufacturing in Telecom, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), railways, healthcare, agriculture, smart cities.
ii.TEMA will act as a partner organisation for CONNEXT 2021 – ICCC’s 10 days-10 states Virtual Trade Mission to India set to be held from June 11-25, 2021.
iii.The MoU will help both entities to cooperate on a series of mutually beneficial matters.
About Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (TEMA)
Chairman – Ravi Sharma
Head Office – New Delhi
About Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC)
President – Vijay Thomas
Head Office – Toronto, Canada

Economy

India’s GDP Growth- Fitch Forecast 9.5% for FY22; S&P Global Ratings Forecast 9.8% for FY22

Fitch Ratings reduced India’s GDP growth forecast for FY22 to 9.5 percent due to COVID-19, it has earlier estimated a 12.8 percent growth for FY22 in March 2021.
S&P Global Ratings Revised GDP Growth Projection For FY22 to 9.8%
S&P Global Ratings revised India’s GDP growth forecast for FY22 to 9.8 percent due to the impact of the second wave COVID-19, which is reducing the economic recovery. The rating agency has earlier forecasted 11 percent GDP growth for FY22 on March 2021 and currently it has a ‘BBB-‘ rating for India. It has estimated the average daily output loss at $210 million and the general government deficit in FY21 as 14 percent of GDP, with a net debt stock of just over 90 percent of GDP.
About Fitch Ratings:
President– Ian Linnell
Headquarters – New York, United States
About S&P Global Ratings:
Headquarters – New York, United States
President – John Berisford

IRDAI Introduced Standard Travel Insurance with Guidelines

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), has issued guidelines on Bharat Yatra Suraksha, the Standard Domestic Travel Insurance Product (SDTIP) of india. The standard product consists of five different plans under the standard travel insurance product and the coverage is both benefit and indemnity-based.
The five plans under SDTIP:
Plan type Mode of travel covered through Limit on distance Covered Journey Tenure
Plan-A Taxi Cab/bus Within 100 km from the Place of Origin A single journey (Origin-Destination) Duration of journey
Plan-B Taxi Cab/Bus More than 100 km from the Place of Origin A single journey (Origin-Destination) Duration of journey
Plan- C Train Travel (Only for Reserved tickets) No restriction A single journey (Origin-Destination) Duration of journey
Plan-D Air travel No restriction A single journey (Origin-Destination) Duration of journey
Plan- E Domestic Trips through Taxi Cab, Bus, Train, Ship or Air travel (one or multiple) No restriction Coverage from Origin till return to Origin/Place of Residence Domestic trips with a maximum duration of up to 30 days.
Establishment – 1999(incorporated- 1st April 2000)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Chairman – Subhash Chandra Khuntia

eNAM Selected Kotak Mahindra Bank as Digital Payments Partner

Kotak Mahindra Bank was selected as a digital payments partner by the National Agriculture Market (eNAM) to facilitate online transactions for all stakeholders on the eNAM platform, including farmers, traders and farmer producer organisations (FPOs)
About Kotak Mahindra Bank:
It is India’s first non-banking finance company which is converted into a bank.
Establishment – 1985
Headquarters -Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Let’s Make Money Simple
MD & CEO – Uday Kotak

Sports

Mark Selby becomes World Snooker Champion

In Snooker, English professional player Mark Selby has become the World Snooker Champion for the fourth time. He won the Championship title after defeating fellow mate Shaun Murphy by 18-15 victory at a professional snooker tournament, that took place from 17 April to 3 May 2021 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. Prior to this, Selby won the Championship title in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2021.

AICF launches Checkmate Covid Initiative

The All India Chess Federation has launched the ‘Checkmate Covid Initiative’ to help the chess community affected by the pandemic. The initiative was launched at an online event in the presence of FIDE (World Chess Federation) president Arkady Dvorkovich, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, World Rapid Chess Champion Koneru Humpy, AICF president Sanjay Kapoor and secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.

Miscellaneous

Chennai-based CIBA developed India’s 1st vaccine for VNN diseases in fish

Chennai-based Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) has developed India’s first vaccine for the viral nervous necrosis (VNN) disease, caused by the nervous necrosis virus (NNV), which affects various species of fish. JK Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) released the recombinant VNN vaccine over a virtual event. Various government and private enterprises have signed an MoU with CIBA for the Transfer of technology for Asian Seabass hatchery development. The VNN diseases affect various brackishwater and freshwater fish causing up to 100% mortality in larval and early juvenile stages. Red-spotted grouper nervous necrosis virus(RGNNV) is a common genotype in India.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe detected radio signal from Venus

The NASA Spacecraft Parker Solar Probe has discovered a natural radio signal from Venus. These signals were detected when the space probe flew over the upper atmosphere of Venus. According to the findings of Parker Solar Probe, just like the earth, planet Venus also has an electrically charged layer of gas in its upper atmosphere called the ionosphere. The space probe has also confirmed that the upper Venus atmosphere undergoes changes over a solar cycle.

SpaceX’s Starship Rocket Prototype achieves 1st Successful Landing

SpaceX successfully completed the high-altitude ascent & landing of Starship Rocket Prototype ‘SN15’ for the 1st time. The rocket was launched from SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, US. The rocket launched from Boca Chica reached its planned maximum altitude of 10 km (6 miles) and successfully landed back at the planned site. The previous test flights of Starship prototypes – SN8, SN9, SN10 & SN11 blasted off successfully but failed to make proper landing. SN15’s successful landing came on the 60th anniversary of the flight of Alan Shepard, 1st American in space.
About SpaceX
CEO – Elon Musk
Headquarters – California, USA

American Actor Tyler Perry received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statue, at the 93rd Academy Awards(Oscar 2021) Ceremony. He was honoured for his contribution towards the recovery of the entertainment industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry. The award is named after Danish actor and translator Jean Pierre Carl Buron, professionally known as ‘Jean Hersholt’, who was a philanthropist

China has successfully launched Yaogan-34 remote sensing satellite by the Long March 4C rocket which took off from the Jiuquan launch base in the Gobi Desert of northwestern China.
About Yaogan-34
i.Yaogan 34 is an optical remote sensing satellite that will be used for the survey of land resources, urban planning, the confirmation of land rights, road network design, crop yield estimation, and disaster prevention and reduction.
ii.Yaogan 34 satellite will provide support for the implementation of major national strategies and the modernization of national defense.
iii.The launch of Yaogan 34 was the 12th orbital launch attempt from China so far this year.
About China:
Capital:Beijing
Currency:Renminbi
President:Xi Jinping
About China National Space Administration(CNSA):
Administrator:Zhang Kejjian
Headquarters:Beijing,China

Tyler Perry received The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at Oscar 2021

American Actor Tyler Perry received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statue, at the 93rd Academy Awards(Oscar 2021) Ceremony. He was honoured for his contribution towards the recovery of the entertainment industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry. The award is named after Danish actor and translator Jean Pierre Carl Buron, professionally known as ‘Jean Hersholt’, who was a philanthropist

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