Current Affairs

11 May, 2021

International

Portugal Opened ‘516 Arouca’ – Pedestrian Suspension Bridge

Portugal opened the Pedestrian suspension bridge named ‘516 Arouca’ in Northern Portugal. The 516-meter long bridge is built in the Arouca Geopark, which is suspended at 175 metres above the Paiva River.
The bridge was built by the Institute for Research and Technological Development for Construction, Energy, Environment and Sustainability as a tourist attraction for the Arouca region. At present this is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Europe which surpassed the 494-metre Charles Kuonen Bridge in Switzerland (completed in 2017). Note – Baglung Parbat Footbridge in Nepal with 567-metre is the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge.

India’s vision & long-term plans for the Arctic region

Dr Harsh Vardhan shared India’s vision and long-term plans for research, work, and cooperation in the Arctic region. India is set to launch ‘NISAR’ (NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) in collaboration with the US for conducting global measurements of the cause and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging. India’s research activities in the Arctic region are coordinated & conducted by National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It has a permanent research station in the Arctic called ‘Himadri’ in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway.
About Arctic Council
Chair of the Arctic Council (2019-21) – Iceland
Headquarters – Tromso, Norway

India virtually participates in the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial 2021

Union Minister for Earth Science Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually represented India in the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM3) 2021 held in Tokyo, Japan from May 8-9, 2021, it was jointly organized by Iceland & Japan. The ASM3 2021 is the 1st meeting to be held in Asia. The theme for 2021 is ‘Knowledge for a Sustainable Arctic’. ASM is a global platform for discussing research and cooperation in the Arctic region, it is an event initiated by the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum.

National

PM Modi participates in the 16th India-European Union Leaders Meeting 2021

Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually participated in the 16th India-European Leaders (EU) Meeting 2021 which was held in a hybrid format on 8th May 2021 in Porto, Portugal. It is the 1st time that the EU has hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format.
i.Host – Prime Minister of Portugal, Mr Antonio Costa (Portugal holds the Presidency of the Council of EU for the year 2021).
ii.India participated in the meeting virtually, while the Leaders of the 27 EU Member States met in person in Porto-Portugal.
iii.During the meeting, the two sides India-EU launched Connectivity Partnership Signed Finance Contract for funding (2nd Tranche) for Pune Metro Rail project – Euro 150 million (~ INR 1, 335 Crore).
About European Investment Bank (EIB)
President – Werner Hoyer
Headquarters – Kirchberg, Luxembourg

India & Indonesian Navies conduct ‘PASSEX’ in the Arabian Sea

The Indian and Indonesian Navies conducted Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Southern Arabian sea. The main aim of the exercise was to improve interoperability and understanding between the Navy units of two countries.
i.From the Indian Navy, INS Sharda, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) with a Chetak helicopter participated in the exercise.
ii.From the Indonesian Navy, KRI Sultan Hasanudin, a 90m Corvette took part in the exercise.
iii.An Passage Exercise is usually conducted by 2 navies, to make sure that the navies are able to communicate and cooperate in times of war or humanitarian relief.
About Indonesia
President – Joko Widodo
Capital – Jakarta
Currency – Indonesian Rupiah
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) – New Delhi

Economy

HDFC BANK in Partnership With CSC Launched a ChatBot, ‘EVA’ for VLEs

HDFC Bank and Common Services Centers (CSCs) announced the launch of a chatbot called ‘Eva’ on CSC’s Digital Seva Portal to support Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs).
Objective: To provide banking services to last-mile rural consumers.
Uses of Chatbot – Eva:
i.Under Eva, the VLEs could become a Business Correspondent (BC) by getting access to the training content and taking a quiz before getting the certification.
ii.VLEs could learn about HDFC Bank’s products and services, account opening, and loan in Eva.
iii.Around 1,27,348 VLEs were currently providing HDFC Bank’s products and services in semi-urban and rural India.
About HDFC Bank:
Establishment – 1994
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Sashidhar Jagdishan
Tagline– We understand your world

Reliance Retail Became the World’s 2nd Fastest-Growing Retailer – Deloitte

In the “2021 Ranking of Global retail powerhouses” by Deloitte, millionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ltd has been ranked the 2nd fastest-growing retailer in the world, which is 1 rank down from its 2020 rank (In 2020 it was ranked 1st).
Note – South Korea’s Coupang is the World’s 1st Fastest-Growing Retailers.
List of Global Powers: In the report of the list of Global Powers, Retailing Reliance Retail Ltd was ranked 53rd (ranked 56th in 2020’s list) and it was the only Indian entry in the global list of 250 retailers. In the list of Global Powers of Retailing and World’s Fastest Retailers, Reliance Retail took place consecutively for the 4th time. The list has 7 United States(US) retailers among the top 10 and 1 from the United Kingdom(UK) (Tesco PLC at 10th position)
Rank Country
1 US giant Walmart Inc
2 Amazon.com Inc
3 Costco Wholesale Corporation of US
4 Schwarz Group of Germany.
53 Reliance Retail Ltd

Bajaj Finance got RBI’s nod for PPIs

Bajaj Finance got authorization from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the issuance and operation of semi-closed Prepaid Payment Instruments(PPIs) with perpetual validity. In Q4 FY21, Bajaj Finance’s consolidated net profit jumped 42 percent to Rs 1,346.64 crore on a 5.2 percent decline in total income to Rs 6,854.94 crore when comparing with Q4 FY20. Bajaj Finance is a Non-Banking Finance Company(NBFC), which focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) lending, commercial lending, rural lending, fixed deposits, and value-added services.
About Bajaj Finance:
It is the third-largest non-banking finance company (NBFC) in India
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
Chairman – Sanjiv Bajaj

Sports

Tennis-2021 Madrid Open: Alexander Zverev won Men’s Singles, Aryna Sabalenka won Women’s Singles

Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Matteo Berrettini of Italy to win the Men’s Singles Title of the 2021 Madrid Open (19th Edition on ATP). This is the 2nd Madrid Open Title (previous one – 2018) & 4th Masters 1000 Title for Alexander Zverev. In the Women’s Singles Category, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka defeated World No.1 Ashleigh Barty (Australia) to clinch her maiden Madrid Open Title. The 2021 Madrid Open is the 20th edition of the Tournament in WTA . The 2021 Madrid Open was held from 30th April 2021 – 9th May 2021 at Manzanares Park Tennis Center (also known as Manolo Santana Stadium), Madrid, Spain. The Madrid Open is a Clay-court event.
Category Winner Runners-up
Men’s Singles Alexander Zverev (Germany) Matteo Berrettini
(Italy)
Women’s Singles Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) Ashleigh Barty
(Australia)
Men’s Doubles Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) & Marcel Granollers (Spain) Nikola Mektic & Mate Pavic
(Croatian Pair)
Women’s Doubles Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova
(Czech Republican Pair) Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) & Demi Schuurs (Netherlands)

Formula One: Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix 2021

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (Britain) won the Spanish Grand Prix 2021 for the 6th time (5th consecutive victory). The Spanish GP was held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmela, Spain. The victory is also his 98th F1 Race Win (highest-ever in F1). Lewis Hamilton also became the 1st Formula One driver to seal 100 pole positions (1st position in the starting grid when the race is starting). Red Bull Racing Honda’s Max Verstappen (Netherlands) finished 2nd followed by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (Finland). The F1 Championships are organised by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France

Miscellaneous

Himanta Biswa Sarma Becomes 15th Chief Minister of Assam

Himanta Biswa Sarma was sworn in as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam. He has replaced Sarbananda Sonowal. Both the candidates are from BJP(Bharatiya Janata Party). He was administered the oath by Governor Jagdish Mukhi.

CCI Approved the 100% Acquisition of Ingram Micro Inc. by Imola Acquisition Corporation

Imola Acquisition Corporation received approval from Competition Commission of India (CCI) to acquire 100% shareholding and sole control of Ingram Micro Inc. with its parent companies GCL Investment Management Inc., GCL Investment Holding Inc., and its direct and indirect subsidiaries
About Ingram Micro Inc.:
Establishment – 1979
Headquarters – Irvine, California, United States
Chief Executive Officer – Alain Monié

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