Current Affairs

8 March, 2021


LinkedIn’s ‘The Opportunity Index 2021’ report highlights 85% Indian Women miss promotion on Gender basis

In January 2021, LinkedIn surveyed 10,000 working women in the Asia Pacific region and released “The Opportunity Index 2021”, which revealed that 85% of Indian women felt missed out of Salary hike or promotion because of their gender, while the number stands at 60% in Asia Pacific region. However, 66% felt that gender equality has improved from the time of their parents. Shockingly 9 of 10 women revealed that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Gender Inequality has cost the World USD 70 Trillion since 1990: BofA Report

According to a report compiled by the economists of Bank of America (BofA), Gender inequality has cost the world USD 70 Trillion since 1990. It also states that it would take a minimum of 257 years to bridge the gender gap. The Loss of Human Capital Wealth due to Gender Inequality is estimated at USD 160.2 Trillion. If all countries become gender-equal, the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase by up to USD 28 Trillion by 2025. The report also states that the LGBTQ+ Community is equal to the 4th Largest Economy in the world at USD 3.9 Trillion.
About Bank of America (BofA):
CEO – Brian Moynihan
Headquarters – Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

IAF Chief participated in Sri Lankan Air Force’s 70th anniversary celebrations along with IAF jets

i.The Indian Air Force Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria was on a two day visit to Sri Lanka from March 3-5, 2021 on an invitation from the Commander of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF), Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana. He was invited to attend the inaugural ceremony of 70th-anniversary celebrations of the SLAF consisting of an air show at Galle Face, Colombo.
ii.Apart from the IAF Chief Presence, the event also saw participation of 23 aircrafts of the IAF and Indian Navy along with Suryakirans and Sarang aerobatic display teams and India’s indigenous fighter aircraft Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft).
About Sri Lanka:
Capital– Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, Colombo
Currency– Sri Lankan rupee


IIT Jammu signed an MoU with Army’s Northern Command

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jammu entered into a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the Indian Army’s Northern Command to provide innovative technical solutions to them about Jammu and Kashmir.
The Command units could solve their unique problems on ground with the strong innovative solutions which will be provided by IIT Jammu through their exhaustive research.
IIT Jammu will be involved in research and product development collaborations with the Northern Command field units to empower them with technical excellence.
About IIT Jammu:
Established – 6th August 2016
Institute Location -Nagrota,Jammu
Director -Manoj Singh Gaur

India assists Drought hit Madagascar with 1000mt rice & 1 lakh HCQ tablets

India sent 1,000 metric tonnes (mt) of rice along with 1 lakh Hydroxychloroquine tablets in INS Jalashwa to the drought hit Madagascar. The Indian ocean region country was in severe drought for the past 3 years and currently the situation has worsened. An Indian Navy Training team is sent along with the consignment to train the Madagascar Special Forces. Previously, India assisted Madagascar in 2018 with 1,000 mt rice, in January 2020 to assist Cyclone hit the country & in March 2020 with 600 tonnes of rice.

India-Sweden Virtual Summit 2021 held between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi & Stefan Löfven

A Virtual Summit was held between the Prime Minister (PMs) of India Narendra Modi & Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden, Stefan Lofven. This is the Fifth Interaction between the two PMs since 2015. The key areas of discussion were Healthcare, Biotech, Smart Cities, Smart Grid, Circular Economy & Artificial Intelligence (AI).
About Sweden:
Capital – Stockholm
Currency – Swedish Krona

PM Modi inaugurates 2nd Edition of Maritime India Summit-2021; Chabahar Day observed during the Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the 2nd Edition of Maritime India Summit-2021 (MIS-2021)-“Exploring the potential business opportunities in Indian Maritime sector and making Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. The Maritime summit is being held from March 2-4, 2021 in a virtual format. On the sidelines of the MIS-2021, Chabahar day was commemorated on March 4, 2021. The event is organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW). Partner Country – Denmark Objective – To promote both International and Domestic investment in India’s Ports & Maritime Sector. Other Organizers – Industry Partner – FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry); Knowledge Partner – ET. The summit was one of the biggest virtual maritime summits in the world.
About Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW):
Minister of State (I/C) – Mansukh L. Mandaviya (Rajya Sabha MP representing Gujarat)


BSEIL inks Joint Venture with Frontier Agriculture Platforms Private Limited

i.A Joint Venture (JV) agreement was inked between BSE Investments Limited (BSEIL) and Frontier Agriculture Platforms Private Limited (FAPL) under which the latter buy 40% stake in BSE E-Agricultural Markets Limited (BEAM).
ii.The reason behind this JV is to boost innovation in agriculture markets.
iii.It is also on the lines of BSE Group’s commitment to broaden access to agricultural markets for investors and companies to create a ‘single market’ for agriculture commodities.
About BSE:
Establishment– 1875
Subsidiaries– Indian Clearing Corporation Limited, BSE Institute Ltd, and BSEIL BSE
Equity index– S&P BSE SENSEX
MD & CEO– Ashishkumar Chauhan
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Federal Bank to Launch Independent Credit Card

Federal Bank has partnered with Mastercard for launching Credit Cards in the coming months. It will start issuing Credit Cards to its own customers. Federal Bank has also tied up with Fiserv, an American Fortune 500 Company for the digitisation of the end-to-end issuance & processing cycle.

India Grants NRs 44.17million to Nepal to Build School Under Nepal Bharat Maitri Development Partnership

Government of India has extended a grant of 44.17 Million Nepali Rupees(NRs) (around Rs. 2.7 crore) to the Government of Nepal for the construction of new school buildings in Rupandehi district of Lumbini province, Nepal under the Nepal Bharat Maitri Development partnership.
Other Projects of India in Nepal:
i.India has completed around 446 projects in various fields like health, education, drinking water, connectivity, sanitation and creation of other public utilities across all seven provinces of Nepal.
ii.Under the reconstruction grant of NRs 5800 million, India is reconstruction around 71 educational institutions in 8 districts which were damaged during the 2015 earthquake

In a first, RBI announces Operation Twist cum OMO: March 2021

i.In a first, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is all set to conduct the simultaneous purchase and sale of Government securities (GS) under Open Market Operations (OMO) for an aggregate amount of Rs 20,000 crore under purchase and Rs 15,000 crore under sale on March 10, 2021.
ii.This makes it a combination of Operation Twist of Rs 15,000 crore and OMO of Rs 5000 crore.
iii.The bids for the same will be accepted by RBI in electronic format through its Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Established – 1st April, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeswar Rao)

Titan’s Fastrack ties up with Yono-SBI bank to launch a smart fitness band with digital payment components

Titans’s youth brand Fastrack joined with Yono-State Bank of India planned to introduce a new smart wearable fitness band with digital payment components under its sub-brand Reflex.
Payments through the fitness band: Fastrack planned to introduce a smart wearable fitness band with a chip embedded in its band to make cashless payments under its sub- brand Reflex. The chip in the smart band will be linked with their SBI account. By flashing the chip in front of the POS (Point of Sale) machine will lead to cashless payment within a short span of time. The fitness band will be launched in May.
About Titan company Limited(Titan):
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
Chairman- Mr N Muruganandam
Managing director – CK Venkataraman

HDFC ERGO launched Business Kisht Suraksha, to Protect MFIs & Financial Institutions Against Calamities

i.HDFC ERGO General Insurance, a non-life insurance company in the private sector, launched a Business Kisht Suraksha, a unique cover to protect the balance sheet of the Microfinance Institutions(MIFs), Financial institutions and banks against the natural calamities and disasters.
ii.This will address the impacts of calamities on the lending business by compensating against climate change and protect the Financial institutes from rising Non-Performing Asset (NPA).
To limit the impact on the balance sheet of financial institutions due to non-payment of EMIs by borrowers, resulting in listed disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.
iv.The Business Kisht Suraksha can be customized based on the requirements of an individual MFI or financial institution.
About HDFC ERGO General Insurance:
HDFC ERGO General Insurance is a joint venture (51:49) of Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (HDFC)and ERGO International AG.
MD & CEO– Ritesh Kumar
Formed in 2008
Head Office– Mumbai, Maharashtra

NPCI tie up with SBI Payments to launch a solution ‘Rupay SoftPoS’

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) partnered with SBI Payments to launch the ‘RuPay SoftPoS’ solution.
Uses of ‘Rupay SoftPoS’ solution and its Working:
It will convert the merchants and retailers NFC enabled smartphones into Point of Sale terminals.
Using this facility merchant were able to do digital payment and acceptance of up to INR 5000 through a simple ‘tap and pay’ mechanism via their smartphones.
Merchants who are having android smartphones can download the supportive app and to choose contactless menu in the app and enter an appropriate amount less than INR 5000 after that the RuPay card can be tapped on the mobile to make transactions immediately.
It is a secure, time efficient and user-friendly method for making payments.
About SBI Payments:
Establishment – 2010
Chairman -Shri Swaminathan Janakiraman
MD & CEO -Giri Kumar Nair


VIVO regains IPL Title Sponsorship

Chinese smartphone maker, VIVO, regained its Title Sponsorship in 2021’s edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). Previously, in 2018 VIVO acquired the title sponsorship of IPL for 5 years at a cost of Rs. 2,199 crores, ie; 440 crores per year. Due to the backslash of Chinese products in 2020, VIVO took a temporary break from the IPL’s title sponsorship, which was acquired by Dream11 at 50% cost of Rs. 222 crores for 2020 edition.

Rohit Sharma Signed as the Brand Ambassador of Glenmark’s Candid Powder

i. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited has signed Indian Cricketer Rohit Sharma as its brand ambassador. He will be representing Glenmark’s “Candid Powder”, the well-known brand of Glenmark’s consumer care division.
ii.As the brand ambassador of Glenmark, Rohit sharma will be the official face of the brand as a part of its 360-degree communication.
iii.The Candid Dusting Powder is used to treat skin problems like redness, irritation, sweat rash and fungal infection.
About Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director– Glenn Saldanha
Head office– Mumbai, Maharashtra


Indian Bank to divest its Stake in ASREC (India) for Asset Monetization

i.Indian Bank is all set to divest full or partial in joint venture entity ASREC (India) Ltd as part of asset monetisation. This decision has been taken by the board of directors (BoDs) of the bank during a meeting held on March 5, 2021. Currently, bank holds a 38.26% stake in ASREC (India) Ltd.
ii.ASREC acquires non-performing assets (NPAs) from the banks/financial institutions at mutually agreed prices to maximize the returns through innovative resolution strategies.
About Indian Bank:
In March 2020, Allahabad Bank was amalgamated with Indian Bank.
Establishment– 1907
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer– Padmaja Chunduru
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Tagline– Your Own Bank

DRDO successfully tests Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet technology; GRSE keel laid 3rd Stealth Frigate

i.The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight demonstrated Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology from Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur in Balasore, Odisha.
ii.With this test, DRDO achieved a technological advantage of developing long range air-to-air missiles (AAMs) with SFDR.
iii.Meanwhile the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata, carried out keel laying of Yard 3024 (third stealth frigate) for the Navy under Advanced Stealth Frigate Project, P 17A.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
Establishment– 1958
Chairman– Dr G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters– New Delhi
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Defence
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE):
It is ISO 9001:2015 Certified Company under Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Establishment– 1934 under the Indian Companies Act, 1913
Headquarter– Kolkata, West Bengal
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)– Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena

NABARD’s Chairman G R Chintala Took Over as Chairman of APRACA; Succeeds DPK Gunasekera, CEO of Bank of Ceylon

GR Chintala, the Chairman of the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) took over as the Chairman of Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association(APRACA). He succeeds DPK Gunasekera, General Manager of Bank of Ceylon(BOC).
APRACA’s meeting:
i.The 73rd Executive Committee (EXCOM) meeting and the 22nd General Assembly meeting of APRACA was held on 5th March 2021, over a virtual platform.
ii.The Regional Policy Forum of APRACA was held on 4th March 2021.
iii.D.P.K. Gunasekera chaired the Forum from 4th to 5th March 2021.
iv..Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and farmers welfare delivered the keynote address at the forum.
It is an international organisation which performs information exchange, takes capacity building initiatives and creates new institutions.
Chairman- G R Chintala
Members– 24 member countries (87 members)
Headquarters– Bangkok, Thailand

Govt of India Constitutes a National Committee Headed by PM to Commemorate 75 year of Independence Day

i.The Government of India constituted a National Committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate the 75 years of Independence day which falls on 15th August 2022. The day will be commemorated at national and international level in the form of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
ii.India Celebrated the first Independence Day on 15th August 1947.
iii.The committee consists of 259 members.
iv.The celebration of the 75 years of independence will be launched on 12th March 2022, 75 weeks prior to the 75th Independence Day 15th August 2022.
v.The Ministry of Culture will be organising a special program on the occasion.

Narendra Modi Received CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award at CERAWeek Conference 2021

i.The 39th edition of annual CERAWeek Conference 2021 was held virtually for the first time from March 1-5, 2021 where Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi was conferred with CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award. CERA stands for Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA).
ii.Themes of Conference: Energy Transition Climate & ESG; Geopolitics, Economics and Markets; Investment and Financing; Technology and Innovation; Mobility and the Future Workforce.
iii.CERAWeek Conference 2021 was organized by IHS Markit.
About IHS Markit:
Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer– Lance Uggla
Headquarter– London, United Kingdom (UK)

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