Current Affairs

13 September, 2021


Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar Addressed 74th session of WHO-SEARO; hosted by Nepal

Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) represented India and addressed the 74th session of the World Health Organization- South-East Asia Regional Office (WHO-SEARO) through a virtual conference. The 74th session WHO SEARO was organized by Nepal from 6th to 10th September 2021. The meet also focuses on the inclusion of treating non-communicable diseases including mental health and other programmes at the primary health care level.

South-East Asia comprises one-fourth of the world’s population. The Region has been prioritizing the elimination of measles and rubella by 2023.
Address of Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar:
MoS Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar highlighted the major measures and strategies planned to build back better to achieve Universal Health Care and Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) related to health and to strengthen health system resilience for the future.
Ministerial Declaration:
i.During the 74th session of WHO SEARO, the countries of the WHO South-East Asia region adopted a ministerial declaration that resolves to strengthen health system resilience for ensuring health security, achieve universal health coverage and achieve SDG for health.
ii.The declaration also commits to engagement with communities and making essential health services and public health programmes accessible to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
74th session of the WHO-SEARO:
i.The Regional Committee for South-East Asia is the WHO’s governing body in the South East Asia region.
ii.It is composed of representatives from 11member states of the region as well as Associated Members.
iii.The committee meets annually to formulate policies and consider, revise and endorse new initiatives.
About World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region:
Regional Director– Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Members– 11 Member States (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste).

Om Birla Addressed the5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament 2021 in Vienna, Austria

The 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (5WCSP) 2021 was held in Vienna, Austria from September 7-8, 2021 . The Loksabha Speaker Om Birla participated in the conference, organized by the Austrian Parliament, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations (UN).

Note- Austrian Parliament is the first national parliament in history to co-host the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
Indian Delegation
The Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh with Utpal Kumar Singh, Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, Dr Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat and Rajeev Dutta, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Speaker of Lok Sabha,other senior officers also participated.
The theme of the Conference is Parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people and planet.
Highlights: The 5WCSP took place in two parts. First part was held in August 2020 virtually and second part in-person held in Vienna. In August, 2020 Om Birla attended the inaugural ceremony of 5WCSP. The conference will be followed by the first Global Parliamentary Summit on Counter-Terrorism to be held on September 9 in Vienna, Austria.It is jointly organized by IPU and the UN. The Conference was held 5 years once, the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament was held in 2015 in New York, United States.

About Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
i.IPU is an international organisation of national parliaments. It was established in 1889 in Paris.
ii.It works with close co-operation with the United Nation (UN), regional parliamentary organisations, international intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations for the arbitration of conflict.
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Secretary General- Martin Chungong


India’s first Indigenously Designed High Ash Coal Gasification Based Methanol Production Plant at BHEL R&D Centre, Hyderabad

India’s 1st Indigenously Designed High Ash Coal Gasification Based Methanol Production Plant was inaugurated in Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), R&D centre at Hyderabad, Telangana.The Plant was designed with support from the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog to produce 0.25 ton per day(TPD) methanol. The project was supported by the Department of Science and Technology with a Rs 10 crore grant.

About the Plant:
i.The Plant will create 0.25 TPD Methanol from high ash Indian coal using a 1.2 TPD Fluidized bed gasifier.
ii.The methanol purity of the crude methanol produced is between 98 and 99.5 percent.
Reason for the Development:
i.Inorder to reduce the dependency on importing foreign oil & to meet the needs of India,BHEL produce the Methanol or Di Methyl Ether (DME) which can be used as an alternative liquid fuel for transportation and to power ship engines.
ii.This will also lower Green House Gas emission.
Future Enhancements:
BHEL is working on Blue Hydrogen, Hydrogen CNG (H-CNG) and Green Hydrogen… we are blending hydrogen with compressed natural gas for use as a transportation fuel as well as an industrial input to refineries.
About Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) – Dr. Nalin Shinghal
Headquarter – New Delhi, Delhi

IIT Kanpur signs MoU with Indian Air Force for academic collaboration

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and Indian Air Force (IAF) Signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Collaboration in the field of Academics and Research in the domain Aerospace Technology & for the establishment of the Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh, VSM Class I MBE, Chair of Excellence and Research Scholar Program (RSP) for Indian Air Force Officers at the IAF Headquarters, New Delhi, Delhi. The partnership will establish long term relationship for academic and research-based interactions and interchange of technical knowledge to foster knowledge development and promote breakthrough innovations in the domain of Aerospace Technology.

About the Program:
I.The Chair of Excellence will promote teaching, research and technology development in Aerospace Technologies, Aircraft Structural Integrity, Aircraft Health Monitoring, and other allied subjects in the fields of Aeronautics and Aviation.
ii.It will facilitate development of training programs for IAF personnel which will help them with dissemination of knowledge and novel ideas to innovate new technologies.It will also provide research grant to Ph.D scholars of Aerospace Engineering of IIT Kanpur working in these areas.
iii.The Program will allow the qualified serving officers from the IAF will be eligible for direct admission to Ph.D, M.Tech and eMasters Programmes at IIT Kanpur.
iv.The MoU was signed in the presence of Air Marshal Vibhas Pande AVSM VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance (AOM) and Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur by Air Vice Marshal Rajeev Sharma, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Education) and Head of Education Branch of IAF and Prof. Jayant Kumar Singh, Dean Resources and Alumni, IIT Kanpur.
About Indian Air Force (IAF)
Air Chief Marshal – Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria
Headquarter – New Delhi, Delhi

Haryana first State in Installation of Solar Pumps under PM KUSUM Scheme

Haryana has become the first state in the country to install off-grid solar pumps under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Uttan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM).So far, Haryana has installed 14,418 pumps against the sanctioned 15,000 pumps for the year 2020-21.It was announced in the concluding session of the nationwide ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ organized by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy( MNRE).
The implementation of PM KUSUM has provided an opportunity to the farmers to switch from diesel pumps to solar pumps. This move will lead towards doubling the farmers income by reducing the input cost of agriculture.
Target for Haryana
i.Under the PM KUSUM scheme, the target was to set up 20 lakh standalone solar pumps, under which, Haryana was given a target of setting up 15,000 pumps with a total cost of Rs 520 crore for the year 2020-21.
ii.The state department received more than 42,000 applications online therefore the new target has increased by setting up 22,000 pumps with a total cost of Rs 844 crore for financial year 2021-22.
About Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Uttan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM)
The PM-KUSUM scheme was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to support installation of off-grid solar pumps in rural areas and reduce dependence on grid, in grid-connected areas.
Objective – to provide financial and water security and doubling farmers income

Agrarian festival ‘Nuakhai’ being celebrated in Odisha

Nuakhai, the harvest festival of Odisha is celebrated on Bhadraba Shuklapakhya Panchami tithi, the next day of Ganesh Chaturthi i.e., September, 11, 2021. It marks the consumption of the first harvested crops. It is celebrated by worshiping the Goddess Samaleshwari, the presiding deity of Western Odisha. The name is derived from ‘nua’ which means new and ‘khai’ means food. The festival is also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakhai Bhetghat. It is a festival promoting mutual harmony and brotherhood.

Nuakhai is commonly celebrated in Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Bolangir, Sundergarh, Sonepur, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Boudh, and the Athmallik Sub-division of Angul.
About Odisha:
Capital- Bhubaneswar
Governor- Ganeshi Lal
Chief Minister- Naveen Patnaik
Dance forms- Ghumura Dance, Chhau dance, odissi.

India, US agree to collaborate on Emerging Fuels during US-India SCEP 2021

i.The Ministerial meeting of the United States (US)-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) 2021 held virtually was co-chaired by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri , Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas with the US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to launch the revamped U.S.-India SCEP.
ii.During this, both nations have agreed to expand their energy partnership by adding the emerging fuels to the list of areas of cooperation as a 5th pillar.
iii.The other four pillars of cooperation in this list are power and energy efficiency, oil and gas, renewable energy and sustainable growth.
About United States of America (USA):
Joe Biden is the 46th President of USA
US Secretary of State – Antony Blinken
No of States in USA – 50


Govt Enhanced the Scope of MTA Scheme for Agri Exports Including Dairy

The Government of India has enhanced the scope of the Transport and Marketing Assistance(TMA) for specified agriculture products schemes by including dairy products under its purview and increasing the rates of assistance.

The rates of assistance have been increased by 50% for exports by sea and 100% through the air. According to the notification of the Department of Commerce, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the revised TMA for specified agriculture products scheme for exports is effected on or after 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022. The existing scheme will remain in operation for exports effects up to March 31, 2021.

To assist Indian exporters of agricultural products to meet the increasing freight and logistics costs.
About revised TMA:
i.The diary products which were not previously covered under the TMA scheme will be eligible for assistance.
ii.Under this scheme, a certain portion of freight charges and assists market the agriculture produce.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal(Rajya Sabha- Maharashtra)
Minister of State– Som Parkash(Constituency- Hoshiarpur, Punjab); Anupriya Patel(Constituency- Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh)

Amazon Pay ties up with Kuvera to offer wealth management service for the first time

Amazon Pay, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon in partnership with Kuvera, Investment platform will provide wealth management services to its 50 million customers across India. It is the first ever wealth management tie-up for amazon across the world. Kuvera will offer its services, products and technology knowledge to Amazon Pay users in order to facilitate investments into Mutual funds, Fixed deposits.

Additional Info: Google with Indian fintech startup Setu has recently announced that it will allow its Indian Customers to open fixed deposits through its digital payments app Google Pay.
Amazon Pay
Formation: 2007
Headquarters – Washington, United States
Director of India: Vikas Bansal
About Kuvera
Founder & CEO: Gaurav Rastogi
Founded: 2016
Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka


US Open 2021 Final: Daniil Medvedev wins Grand Slam title, beats Novak Djokovic

US Open 2021: Daniil Medvedev won his first Grand Slam trophy on September 12, 2021, after defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win in the 2021 US Open men’s singles final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The match lasted for two hours and sixteen minutes. Russia’s World No.2 Medvedev ended Djokovic’s dream of sweeping the US, French, Australian Open, and Wimbledon in the same year for the first time since 1969.

With the 25-years-old Medvedev winning the US Open 2021 Grand Slam title, Djokovic lost his opportunity to join the league of legends Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962, 1969) who won all four Slams in a single season (in the same year). Instead, Djokovic became the 3rd man after Jack Crawford (1933) and Lew Hoad (1956) who won the first trio of Grand Slams in a year and made it to the US Open final.

Guinness World Records Honoured Cristiano Ronaldo as Highest Scoring Man in International Football

Guinness World Records has honoured Portugal football player Cristiano Ronaldo for becoming the highest-scoring man in International football history with his 111th goal for Portugal against Ireland in a World Cup qualifier. This marked his 180th game representing Portugal. He has surpassed the record held by Iranian footballer Ali Daei who has scored 109 goals in 149 games for Iran between 1993 and 2006. Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the feat of scoring goals for Portugal between 2003 and 2021 over a period of 18 years.

Note: Ronaldo and Daei are the only men to score more than 100 goals for their countries.
About Cristiano Ronaldo:
i.Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of the Portugal National football team, has represented the Premier League club Manchester United and Real Madrid.
ii.He became the first player to score in five different editions of the continental tournament, taking his haul to 11 to overtake Michel Platini’s record of nine goals at Euros.
iii.With 137 goals he became the top scorer in the history of the champions league.


Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigns

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijaybhai Ramniklalbhai Rupani, 65, submitted his resignation to the Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat. He succeeded Anandiben Patel and was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 7 August 2016. The reason of his resignation was remaining unknown and next Gujarat Assembly Elections are scheduled in December 2022 to elect 182 members. He is a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly representing Rajkot West. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil and state vice president Gordhan Zadafia are in the naming list of next Chief Minister of Gujarat to succeed Vijay Rupani.

Rahul Dravid Appointed as Brand Ambassador of Piramal Realty

Piramal Realty, the real estate arm of the Piramal Group, has appointed Former captain of Indian Cricket team Rahul Dravid as its brand ambassador for its portfolio of 4 residential projects and one commercial project.
The projects include Piramal Mahalaxmi (Jacob Circle), Piramal Vaikunth (Thane), Piramal Revanta (Mulund), Piramal Aranya (Byculla), and a commercial project Piramal Agastya (Kurla). As the brand ambassador of Piramal Realty, Rahul Dravid will speak with the customers of Piramal Realty with signature messages on the importance of homeownership. He will also showcase the Piramal Realty’s core values of Knowledge, Action, Care and Impact.

About Rahul Dravid:
i.Rahul Dravid, who was called the “The Wall”, was appointed as the coach of the India A Team and Under 19 cricket team.
ii.The government of India has honoured him with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan in 2004 and 2013 respectively.
iii.The Arjuna Award for Cricket was awarded to him in 1998.
About Piramal Realty:
Piramal Group is a global business conglomerate, with business interests in Pharma, Information Management, Financial Services, Glass Packaging and Real Estate.
Founder– Anand Piramal
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded in 2012

Aziz Akhannouch Appointed as New Prime Minister of Morocco

Aziz Akhannouch, the leader of the liberal National Rally of Independents (RNI) ,is appointed as the new Prime Minister of Morocco. He was appointed by the Moroccan King Mohammed VI.
Highlights : Akhannouch’s party RNI has won the election with 50% of votes. Out of 395, 102 seats were secured by his party in the parliamentary elections. The ruling moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (JDP) led by Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani suffered a defeat, only secured 13 seats in the parliament and later JDP leader decided to resign. RNI will form a new government in Morocco.

About Aziz Akhannouch
i.Akhannouch is one of the wealthiest people in Morocco, with an estimated wealth around $2 billion (€1.7 billion).
ii.Since 2016, he has been the leader of the RNI party, which is seen to have close ties to the royal household.
iii.Akhannouch is CEO of the Akwa Group, a Moroccan conglomerate operating mainly in the oil and gas sector. He has also served as Agriculture Minister since 2007.
About Morocco
Capital –Rabat
Currency- Moroccan Dirham

Taliban’s Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund appointed as Acting PM of Afghanistan

Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a leading member of the Taliban has been appointed as the acting Prime Minister(PM) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He will head the 33-member team for an interim government of Afghanistan. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of Taliban and Molavi Abdul Salam Hanafi has been appointed as the deputy Prime Ministers of Afghanistan.

About Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund:
i.Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund has been the head of the Taliban’s Rehbari Shura, or leadership council, for more than 20 years.
ii.He has served as the foreign minister and deputy PM during the last Taliban rule in 1996 to 2001.
iii.He has been described by the UN sanctions list as a “political advisor” of late Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader
Other appointments:
i.Amir Khan Muttaqi has been appointed as foreign minister of Afghanistan.
ii.Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai has been appointed as deputy foreign minister
iii.Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of the Taliban founder Mullah Omar, has been named as the defence minister.
iv.Hidayatullah Badri appointed as acting minister of finance.
v.Fasihuddin Badakhshani has been named the chief of the army.
vi.Zabhiullah Mujahid has been given charge of the information ministry.
About Afghanistan:
Acting Prime Minister– Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund
Capital- Kabul
Currency– Afghan afghani

Search Current Affairs by Date


Daily Current Affairs | 27th & 28th April 2022

Click here