Current Affairs

7 October, 2021


Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan Won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to German chemist Benjamin List and British chemist David W.C. MacMillan for the development of a precise new and ingenious tool for molecular construction: asymmetric organocatalysis. 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was announced by Professor Göran K. Hansson, Secretary-General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Nobel Prize carries a gold medal and a cash prize of 10 million Swedish kronor(around Rs 8.5 crore) which will be shared equally between the laureates. Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan independently discovered that organic molecules can be used as a catalyst, a tool to speed up the reactions.

Significance of asymmetric organocatalysis:
i.Asymmetric organocatalysis is the third type of catalysis that builds upon small organic molecules.
ii.The development of asymmetric organocatalysis has made chemistry greener and made it easier to produce asymmetric molecules.

Lasker Foundation Announced the Winners of 2021 Lasker Awards

The Lasker Foundation announced the winners of the 2021 Lasker Awards, America’s top biomedical research prize. Lasker Foundation was established in 1942 by Albert and Mary Lasker, the Foundation is committed to inspiring robust and sustained support for biomedical research.

Lasker Awards:
i.Lasker Awards, America’s most prestigious biomedical research awards, recognizes the contributions of leaders who made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of human disease.
ii.The prizes are named for Mary and Alfred Lasker
The award carries an honorarium of USD 250000 for each category.

Jeel Albena Aid Organization from Yemen won 2021 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

Jeel Albena Association for Humanitarian Development (JAAHD), a Yemeni humanitarian organization, has been declared the winner of the 2021 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award.
JAAHD is a humanitarian organisation that provides emergency services to internally displaced people in northern Yemen. The winner of the award was announced by Filippo Grandi, Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) and Ameen Jubran, Founder of Jeel Albena, received the award on behalf of Jeel Albena.

About UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award:
i.UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award was established in 1954 to honour the individuals, groups and organizations who protect the refugees as well as displaced and stateless people.
ii.The award is named after Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian scientist, polar explorer, diplomat and first High Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations.
iii.He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.
iv.The award carries a cash prize of 150000 USD.
About Jeel Albena:
i.JAAHD was founded by Ameen Jubran in 2017
ii.Jeel Albena operates in Hudaydah, Hajjah, Al Mahwit and Raymah and the organisation has provided shelter and hope to thousands of internally displaced people during Yemen’s six-year conflict.

Asia: Dr Saleema Rehman, obstetrician and gynaecologist, is an Afghan refugee in Pakistan.
About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR):
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees– Filippo Grandi
Created in 1950
Headquarters– Genève, Switzerland


Transport Ministry Announced Rules to set up RVSF

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has released the rules for setting up the Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF) named ‘Motor Vehicles (Registration and Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021’ under the Vehicle Scrapping Policy.

Background: In August 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Automobile Scrappage Policy to discard/Scrap the old inefficient and polluting vehicles in an environment-friendly manner. Click here to know more

About Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH):
Union Minister – Nitin Jairam Gadkari (Constituency – Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Vijay Kumar Singh (Constituency – Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)

MoS Som Prakash released Industrial Parks Rating System 2.0; 41 sites in Leaders Category

i.Minister of State (MoS) Som Prakash, Ministry of Commerce & Industry released the 2nd edition of Industrial Park Ratings System (IPRS) report or IPRS 2.0 Report in New Delhi. It should be noted that it is the first annual IPRS as the earlier one was a pilot phase conducted in 2018.
ii.In the report 41 Industrial Parks named as ‘Leaders’ category. These are mostly from Maharashtra and Rajasthan. 90 Industrial Parks are marked as ‘Challenger’ while 185 have been rated under ‘Aspirers’.
iii.This report is an extension of the India Industrial Land Bank (IILB)
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Constituency – Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Anupriya Singh Patel (Constituency – Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh), Som Parkash (Constituency – Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

Textile Ministry Approved Continuation of Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme

The Ministry of Textile has approved to continue its Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) up to March 2026 with a total outlay of Rs 160 crore.

The scheme aims to offer support in terms of infrastructure development, design and technology access, market support, and others to the handicraft artisans and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises(SMEs) to enhance production and exports This will focus on the integration of artisans, building grass-root level enterprises and link them to SMEs in handicraft sectors to ensure economies of scale.

About Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS):
To create a world-class infrastructure to provide the business needs of the local artisans and local artisans and small and medium-sized enterprises to boost production and export.
Significance of CHCDS:
i.The cluster aims to assist the artisans & entrepreneurs to set up world-class units with modern infrastructure, the latest technology, and adequate training and human resource development inputs, coupled with market linkages and production diversification.
ii.Under this scheme, various soft interventions like baseline survey and activity mapping, skill training, improved tool kits, marketing events, seminars, publicity, design workshops, the capacity building were provided to SMEs.
iii.Under this scheme, the clusters with 10000 artisans will be selected for overall development.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal(Rajya Sabha- Maharashtra)
Minister of state– Darshana Vikram Jardosh(Constituency- Surat, Gujarat)

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Released UNICEF’s Report on World’s Children Mental Health

Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released UNICEF’s (United Nations Children’s Fund) global flagship publication – ‘The State of the World’s Children 2021; On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health’. The publication details the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children. The report was launched globally on the same day.

About United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
Establishment – 11 December 1946
Headquarters – New York, United States
Executive Director – Henrietta H. Fore


Bank Credit Growth Reached 5.8% in Q1 FY22: RBI Data

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the report titled ‘Quarterly Basic Statistical Returns (BSR)-1: Outstanding Credit of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), June 2021’. As per the report, the bank credit has registered a 5.8 percent growth in the first quarter of the financial year 2021-22 (Q1 FY22) compared to 5.1 percent in Q4 of FY21.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

SEBI Introduces Swing Pricing for Mutual Fund Schemes

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to introduce swing pricing for open-ended debt mutual fund (MF) schemes (except overnight funds, Gilt funds and Gilt with 10-year maturity funds). Swing pricing allows a fund house (i.e. Asset Management Company (AMC)) to adjust the net asset value (NAV) of any Mutual Fund (MF) scheme that is facing redemption pressure. After enabling the Swing pricing, investors exiting or entering the MF scheme have to transact only at the adjusted NAV (which is lower than the usual NAV). Initially the swing pricing framework was made applicable only for net outflows (outflows exceeding inflows) from the MF schemes. Swing pricing will not be applicable for redemptions up to Rs 2 lakh for each scheme both in normal and market dislocation times (it will safeguard small investors).
About Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi


Hockey India withdraws from 2022 Commonwealth due to Covid concern

Hockey India has withdrawn from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games citing Covid-19 concerns and UK’s discriminatory quarantine rules for travellers from India. The move comes a day after England withdrew from the Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar over similar reasons.
Reason for the withdrawal
i.As there is only a 32-day window available between the Commonwealth Games (July 28-August 8, 2022) and the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25, 2022), Hockey India did not want to take risk by sending players to the UK, which has been one of the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
ii.India preferred the Asian Games over the 2022 Commonwealth Games because Asian Games is the Continental qualification event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
About Hockey India
President: Gyanendro Ningombam
Headquarters: New Delhi, India
About 2022 Commonwealth Games
Host: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Motto: Games for Everyone
Mascot: Perry

Amrutanjan Appointed Olympians Mirabai Chanu & Bajrang Punia as Brand Ambassadors

Amrutanjan Health Care Limited(Amrutanjan) has appointed Tokyo Olympic’s weightlifting silver medalist Mirabai Chanu and wrestling Bronze medalist Bajrang Punia as the brand ambassadors of its range of products in pain management. As the brand ambassadors both Mirabai Chanu and Bajrang Punia will endorse the advanced pain management products of Amrutanjan, which includes Back Pain Roll-On, Joint Muscle Spray, and Pain Patch. The athletes will also feature in various initiatives like consumer and customer outreach programs. Under this partnership, Amrutanjan highlights its pain management products

Mirabai Chanu:
i.Mirabai Chanu a native of Imphal, Manipur, is the 2nd Indian to win a medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleswari, who won the bronze in 1994.
ii.She won the gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast and 2019, EGAT Cup in Thailand.
iii.The government of India honoured her with Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (now
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award) in 2018.
Bajrang Punia:
i.Bajrang Punia from Jhajjar, Haryana, is the only Indian wrestler to win 3 medals at the World Wrestling Championship.
ii.At present, he is ranked number 2 in the 65 Kg weight category.
iii.The government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2019.


AirAsia India claims to be First Airbus Operator to Start Taxibot Services

AirAsia India has become the first Airbus operator in the world to start Taxibot services with passengers on board with a modified Airbus fleet. It has announced the implementation of an Alternate Taxiing Solution (ATS), TaxiBot.
The airline has tied up with KSU Aviation, the exclusive operator of the TaxiBot in India. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) was the first airport in the world that introduced Taxibot -an operationally efficient and environment-friendly advanced taxiing solution – in 2019.It is also the first airport in the world to adopt this green taxiing solution.
About AirAsia India
MD & CEO-Sunil Bhaskaran
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Founded- 28 March 2013

Govt Extended Additional Charge of PK Purwar as CMD of MTNL till Oct 2022

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has extended the additional charges of Pravin Kumar Purwar(PK Purwar) as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for a period of 1 year with effect from 15th October 2021 to 14th October 2022 or until further orders. In April 2020, PK Purwar, CMD of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) took an additional charge as the CMD of MTNL.

About PK Purwar:
i.PK Purwar is an Indian Post & Telecommunications (P&T) Accounts & Finance Service officer of the 1990 batch.
ii.He has held various top positions in the Department of Telecommunications and BSNL.
iii.He has also served in various capacities at MTNL for more than 5 years.
About Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL):
CMD– Pravin Kumar Purwar
Established on 1st April 1986
Headquarters– New Delhi

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