Current Affairs

14 March, 2021


India Chaired the First Meeting Of BRICS CGETI From 9th – 11th March 2021

i.Under the chairship of India, the First Meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) was held from 9th March 2021 to 11th March 2021.
ii.The 2021 theme of the BRICS is “BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation, and Consensus”.
iii.India presented the calendar of events for BRICS CGETI 2021, this includes the priority areas for deliverables, schedule and scope of the MSME roundtable conference workshop on Services Statistics, and the BRICS Trade Fair.
About BRICS:
Establishment– 2009
Members– Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
The First BRICS Ministerial Meeting was held on 20th September 2006.

In a World-first Trial, Japan-Australia Venture starts producing Hydrogen from Brown Coal

In a World-first trial, a Japan-Australia venture has started to produce Hydrogen from Brown Coal. The production is taking place at the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) coal-to-hydrogen plant in Brown Coal Reserves in the state of Victoria, Australia. The project is worth 500 Million Australian Dollars (USD 390 Million) HESC is run by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan). The other partners in the project are Iwatani Corp, Marubeni Corp, Sumitomo Corp & AGL Energy Ltd (Australia).
About Japan:
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese yen
Prime Minister– Yoshihide Suga
About Australia:
Prime Minister – Scott Morrison
Capital – Canberra


Google honours ‘India’s Satellite Man’ Udupi Ramachandra Rao with doodle on his birth anniversary

Google has honoured ‘India’s Satellite Man’ Udupi Ramachandra Rao with doodle on his 89th birth anniversary, who was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) between 1984-94, supervised the 1975 launch of India’s first satellite “Aryabhata.”

Digital Skilled Workforce of India Needs to Grow 9 Folds by 2025: AWS Survey

i. The Amazon Web Service(AWS) released a survey report titled “Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches”.
ii.The report states that the present workforce of India comprises only 12% of digitally skilled employees and the Digitally skilled workforce of India has to increase to 9 fold by 2025.
iii.The report was prepared by AlphaBeta, a strategy and economic consulting firm and commissioned by AWS.
iv.To reach the estimated demands of a digitally skilled workforce, the 6 APAC countries require 5.7 billion digital skill sessions and India will require a total of 3.9 billion digital skill sessions by 2025.
About Amazon Web Services(AWS):
CEO- Andy Jassy
Headquarters- Seattle, Washington DC, USA

India Sets Up 1st of its kind ‘India Energy Office’ inaugurated in Moscow,Russia; Enhances Cooperation in Energy Sector

A 1st of its kind India Energy Office (IEO) was inaugurated by Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at Russia’s landmark Federation Tower in Moscow. India’s top 5 eminent oil companies – ONGC Videsh, IndianOil, GAIL, Oil India Ltd and Engineers India Ltd will use this as a common platform to expand cross investment in the Energy Sector.Indian is World’s third-largest oil consumer.
Note – Russia is India’s largest defence supplier.
i.IEO will promote mutual investment in the Energy Sector between Indian & Russian companies.
ii.Opening of IEO coincides with the participation of Indian oil companies in Russian Arctic Exploration project, “Vostok Project”.
iii.Russia, one of the World’s largest Energy Producers has the potential to act as an alternative to India’s overdependence on West Asia.
About Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas:
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)
Secretary – Tarun Kapoor
About Russia:
President – Vladimir Putin
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Ruble
Lena River is the longest river in Russia.
Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest Railway line in the world.

Jammu & Kashmir Celebrates “Hearth” Festival

Three day long Maha Shivaratri festival, locally known as “Hearth” festival is celebrated across the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). Pandit Community across J&K celebrated the festival with religious offerings “Watak Nath Pooja”. The festival marks the wedding of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati.
i.Biggest gathering of the festival was observed at Shankaracharya Temple, which is located near the Dal lake in Srinagar.
ii.This event is observed on the intervening night of 13th and 14th in the lunisolar month of the Hindu calendar.
iii.The event was celebrated with ‘Fish’, the traditional food of J&K.
About Jammu & Kashmir:
Lieutenant Governor – Sh. Manoj Sinha
1st Lt. Governor – Girish Chandra Murmu
Summer Capital – Srinagar
Winter Capital – Jammu
Amarnath Yatra is conducted annually at Srinagar.

India’s Fintech Sector valuation to touch USD 150-160 Billion by 2025: BCG & FICCI Report

According to the report ‘India FinTech: A USD 100 Bn Opportunity’ released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) & Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), India’s Fintech Sector is expected to reach a valuation of USD 150-160 Billion by 2025. The 150-160 Billion valuation will help in translating to an incremental value-creation potential of about USD 100 Billion.

INS Karanj, India’s 3rd Scorpene Class Submarine Commissioned at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai

The Indian Naval Ship(INS) Karanj, India’s 3rd Scorpene class submarine was commissioned into the India Navy at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Ship was commissioned in the presence of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Navy Chief Admiral (Retired) VS Shekhawat, the commanding officer of earlier INS Karanj (1971 Indo Pak War). The INS Karanj, a class of diesel-electric attack submarines designed by the Naval Group of France, was constructed at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited under the Make in Indian Program.

Labor Minister Launches Convergence of ESI Scheme with Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY in 4 States

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labor & Employment Santosh Gangwar launched the convergence of the ESI (Employees State Insurance) Scheme with Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY (Pradhan Mantri-Jan Arogya Yojana) in 113 districts of 4 States – Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh & Maharashtra.
Objective – To ensure easy access to medical care The convergence will enable 1.35 Crore ESI Beneficiaries in 4 states to make use of cashless medical services through empanelled hospitals of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY without any need of a referral.
About Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC):
Chairman – Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labor & Employment)
Head Office – New Delhi


SEBI Forms Expert Group Under PMAC to Examine Feasibility of SPACs

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had formed the Group of Experts under its Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC) to check the feasibility to implement Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) like structures in India.
Objective – To raise capital (Funds) in an initial public offering (IPO), which can be used for the proceeds to identify and merge with a target company.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairman – Shri Ajay Tyagi
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI removed LIC – Owned IDBI Bank from its PCA Framework after 4 Years

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) removed LIC – owned Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) from its enhanced regulatory supervision, the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework, after almost 4 years, on improved financial performance and credit profile.
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)

Edelweiss General Insurance Partnered with InterMiles to introduce ‘Free Cancellation Travel Insurance’

India’s 1st cloud-native insurers, Edelweiss General Insurance in partnership with InterMiles (leading travel and lifestyle rewards programme) launched Edelweiss Group Domestic Travel Insurance.
Significance of the Edelweiss Free cancellation policy: Customers booking tickets on InterMiles to travel anywhere in India can use this policy by paying a nominal amount at the time of booking. Cancellation of the booking could be done easily, using the policy’s Zero cancellation It allows the customers to cancel their flights up to 24 hours before departure and a full refund of the cancellation fee will be settled digitally as per the policy.
About Edelweiss General Insurance:
It is a member of the Edelweiss Group
Corporate office – Kalina, Mumbai
Executive Director & CEO – Shanai Ghosh
About InterMiles:
JetPrivilege, the flyer programme of Jet Airways, stepped away and renamed itself as InterMiles.
Establishment -2014
MD & CEO -Manish Dureja


Mithali Raj becomes first Indian woman cricketer to score 10,000 international runs across all formats

The veteran batter of the Indian women’s cricket team Mithali Raj on March 12, 2021, became the first Indian woman cricketer to complete 10,000 international runs across all cricket formats. She has also become the second woman cricketer internationally to achieve the milestone.

Mithali Raj who leads the ODI team of India has joined Charlotte Edwards of England in the elite club. She achieved success with a boundary off Anne Bosch in the 28th over of India’s innings in the ongoing third ODI match against South Africa.

The news was shared by BCCI via Twitter in which it mentioned that Raj is the first Indian woman batter to score 10k international runs.

Ashwin, Beaumont Win ICC Player of Month Awards for February

International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced India’s Ravichandran Ashwin as the ICC men’s player of the month (February) and England’s Tammy Beaumont as the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for February 2021.


JPMorgan & GomSpace successfully test World’s First Bank-led Blockchain Transaction in Space

Denmark based GomSpace and US-based JPMorgan Chase & Co have successfully tested the World’s First Bank-led Blockchain Transaction in Space (IOD – in-orbit demonstration) using Danish space firm GomSpace’s GOMX-4 Satellites. The Transactions were executive through smart contracts on a blockchain network, established between satellites orbiting the earth.
About GomSpace:
CEO – Niels Buus
Headquarters – Aalborg, Denmark

GP Samanta Appointed As The New CSI For A Term Of 2 Years

GP Samanta, an advisor in the Department of Statistics and information management(DSIM), Reserve Bank of India(RBI) was appointed as the 4th Chief Statistician of India(CSI) for a term of 2 years. Samanta replaces Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji, a 1986 batch IAS officer who has been the CSI since September 2020. The CSI will also hold the post of the Secretary of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation(MoSPI).

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou wins 2020 Ibrahim Prize

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou has won the 2020 Ibrahim Prize( $5 million award) for Achievement in African Leadership, who is the sixth recipient. The prize was introduced by Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim’s foundation in 2006, which is awarded on criteria of good governance, democratic election and respect of terms limits.
Bihari Puraskar 2020 to be awarded to Mohankrishna Bohara
Mohankrishna Bohara will be awarded the 30th Bihari Puraskar Award for his Book ‘Taslima: Sangharsh aur Sahitya’.

ICAR Receives King Bhumibol World Soil Day 2020 Award by FAO

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) received the King Bhumibol World Soil Day 2020 award for its contribution towards creating awareness on the importance of healthy soils in line with the theme of World Soil Day 2019 – Stop Soil Erosion, Save our Future. The award was presented at the ceremony held in Bangkok, Thailand on 7th March 2021. On Behalf of ICAR, Suchitra Durai, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Thailand received the award from H.E., Dr Chalermchai Srion, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Kingdom of Thailand.
About King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award:
i.The award was instituted in 2018 by the Global soil partnership(GSP) supported by the Kingdom of Thailand.
ii.The award recognises the individuals or institutions that organise successful and impactful World Soil Day Celebrations.
iii.The award comprises a medal, a USD 15,000 cheque, and a trip to Thailand.
About Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR):
Director General- Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra
Headquarters- New Delhi

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