Current Affairs

11 January, 2021


India and France Strategic Dialogue 2021 held in New Delhi; Ajit Doval Represented India

i.The annual India and France Strategic Dialogue 2021 to discuss regional and global issues was held at New Delhi where Indian delegation was led by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and French delegation was represented by Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President.
ii.The key focus areas of discussions were Covid-19 vaccines, cooperation within the Indo-Pacific area, nuclear, space, maritime safety, environment, digital economy, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and defence sectors.
iii.The last edition of the Strategic Dialogue was held in February 2020 in Paris, France. It is held with the two countries as alternating as hosts.
iv.Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed the ‘International Monolithic conference’ organised by CUPB.
About France:
Capital– Paris
Currencies– Euro, CFP franc
President– Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron


Union MoE Ramesh Pokhriyal Inaugurated Virtual International Akhand Conference ‘EDUCON-2020’

i.The two-day Virtual International Akhand Conference ‘EDUCON 2020’ held which was inaugurated by Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Ministry of Education (MoE). The Chief Guest of Valedictory Ceremony was Prof Dhirendra Pal Singh, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi.
ii.This 31-hour long marathon International Conference was the first of its kind conference in India where global scholars continuously explored the possibilities of use of ICT (Information and communications technology) in the higher education to promote quality education in India.
iii.Its theme was Envisioning Education for Transforming Youth to Restore Global Peace.
About Ministry of Education (MoE):
The Ministry of Education was formerly known as the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).
Minister of State (MoS)– Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre
About Ministry of Earth Science:
Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan
Headquarters – New Delhi

EESL, NHAI sign MoU to Establish Clean & Energy Efficient Interventions at NHAI Establishments

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish Clean & Energy Efficient Interventions at NHAI Establishments.
i.EESL will set up Solar Power Projects, energy efficient LED lighting and EV Charging stations at NHAI establishments.
ii.The MoU was signed in the presence of Rajeev Sharma, Chairman, EESL & RK Pandey, Member-Projects, NHAI.
iii.It will also construct EV charging infrastructure works at toll plazas & buildings. It will also take up the task of supplying electric vehicles to NHAI.
To meet targets of increasing environment friendly clean initiatives through implementation of e-mobility services, energy efficiency & renewable energy projects.
About Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):
Chairman – Rajeev Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi


Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited ties-up with Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Finance Corporation

Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited has joined hands with Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) to initiate comprehensive insurance covers for the customers of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
JKIDFC is operational in the entire territory of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and works towards enhancing industrial growth in this area by providing financial assistance to various Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) besides others.
Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd is a joint venture (JV) of Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Karnataka Bank Ltd, Dabur Investment Corporation and a leading general insurer from Japan, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.
About Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Finance Corporation (JKIDFC)
Managing Director (MD) – Rajesh Kumar Shavan
About Japan:
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese yen
Prime Minister– Yoshihide Suga


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Harsh Vardhan Inaugurates Coastal Research Vessel ‘Sagar Anveshika’ at Chennai Port

Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan launched Coastal Research Vehicle (CRV) ‘Sagar Anveshika’ at the Chennai Port. The vehicle will be used to carry out environment indexing and bathymetric (mapping underwater features) in both coastal and offshore waters. It will be used for research purposes by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and has been built by Titagarh Wagons, Kolkata, West Bengal.
i.Anveshika has been built under Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) and is a DP (Dynamic Positioning)-Capable vessel.
ii.NIOT already has 6 Research Vessels – Sagar Kanya, Sagar Sampada, Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Manusha, & Sagar Tara.
iii.Utilizing the Research Vehicle, Marine Scientists can travel six kilometers below the sea.
iv.The scientists can also stay underwater for more than 16 hours to conduct research activities.
About National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT):
Director – Dr G A Ramadass
Location – Chennai, Tamil Nadu

CCI Approves Acquisition of 100% Shareholding of Columbia Asia Hospitals by Manipal Health Enterprises

i.The Competition Commission of India (CCI) gave approval to the acquisition of 100% shareholding of Columbia Asia Hospitals Private Limited(CAHPL) by Manipal Health Enterprises Private Limited(MHEPL).
ii.After this acquisition MHEPL will become India’s 2nd largest healthcare chain, after Apollo Hospitals.
iii.In regard to the acquisition MHEPL has entered into a share purchase agreement with CAHPL in November 2020.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Established by– The Central Government with effect from 14th October 2003
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Chairman– Ashok Kumar Gupta( a 1981 Batch IAS officer)

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