Current Affairs

15 January, 2021


UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and MSF collaborates to stockpile a global Ebola Vaccine

World’s four leading Health and Humanitarian organisations UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) collaborated to stockpile a global Ebola Vaccine with financial assistance from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
i.The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization has recommended 500,000 doses of Ebola vaccine to be stockpiled, as a precautionary measure to the sudden Ebola outbreak.
ii.Ebola Vaccine- Injectable single-dose Ebola vaccine (rVSV∆G-ZEBOV-GP, live), Manufactured by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Corp.
About Ebola:
Ebola was first discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.
Initial Symptoms- sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, and sore throat.
About IFRC:
President – Mr Francesco Rocca
Headquarter – Geneva, Switzerland

India, Vietnam hold 13th Defence Security Dialogue virtually

13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue was held virtually. Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, Government of India & Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam co-chaired the meeting.
i.During the meeting, both sides exchanged their views on a plan of action that emerged from the Virtual Summit between Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi & Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December, 2020.
ii.Both the sides,
About Vietnam:
Prime Minister – Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Capital– Hanoi
Currency– Vietnamese dong


Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurates India’s 1st Fire Park and launches the virtual platform ‘Agnishama Seva’

Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik virtually inaugurated India’s first ‘Fire Park’ at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. On that occasion CM Patnaik also launched the virtual platform ‘Agnishama Seva’ to provide through which 16 fire related services can be availed.
i.The Fire Park is a first of its kind initiative to provide awareness on fire safety measures, mainly focusing on School and College students.
ii.It is located under the premises of the Odisha Fire and Disaster Academy in Bhubaneswar.
iii.The Fire Service Portal ‘Agnishama Seva’ portal will provide 16 fire related services.
About Odisha:
Ramsar Sites- Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Chilika Lake
Temple City of India – Bhubaneswar
Sports Capital of India – Bhubaneswar
Silver City of India – Cuttack

CSIR-NIO/NGRI sign MoU with POI FEB, Russia to conduct research in Marine Science

CSIR-NIO of Goa (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-National Institute of Oceanography) & CSIR-NGRI of Hyderabad (National Geophysical Research Institute) virtually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with V.I. Il’Ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (POI FEB RAS) in the field of Marine Sciences and Technology.
Components of the Agreement:
i.The MoU will enable Scientists from both countries to increase capacity & skill development in the field of marine sciences & Technology.
ii.Sharing of Knowledge & expertise in the field of sustainable development for development of National Economic Interests of both countries.
iii.It will also strengthen cooperation between the two countries in combating ocean pollution and climate changes.
Director – Professor Sunil Kumar Singh
Location – Dona Paula, Goa
Director – Virendra M. Tiwari
Location – Hyderabad, Telangana

Indian Navy Coordinates 2nd Edition of ‘Sea Vigil 21’- Largest Coastal Defence Exercise

The Second Edition of the Biennial Pan-India, Largest Coastal Defence Exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ coordinated by Indian Navy took place from January 12-13, 2021. It was conducted along the entire 7516 Km coastline & Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
i.The Defence Exercise involved 13 Coastal States/Union Territories. It also included the fishing and coastal communities.
ii.During the exercise, security audits of vulnerable locations like Fish Landing Centers, and major, minor & intermediate ports, lighthouses, coastal police stations, control rooms & operations centres were carried out.
iii.‘Sea Vigil 21’ is a build up towards the major Theatre level TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise) which Indian Navy conducts every 2 years.
iv.The entire coastal security set up has been reorganised after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi


India Post Payments Bank Collaborated with FSS to Promote Financial Inclusion

i.India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has collaborated with the leading payment processor and provider of integrated payment products, Financial Software and Systems (FSS) to promote Financial Inclusion in underserved and unbanked segments of India. To attain this purpose, IPPB will use FSS’ Aadhaar Enabled Payment System(AePS).
ii.The objective of this collaboration to provide doorstep delivery of banking service to customers in India.
iii. FSS is also IPPB’s preferred payment partner for Bill Payments, UPI, Card Management System, PoS ability, Aadhaar Pay, Smart Recon and Switching systems.
iv.After this collaboration, IPPB bank has become the single-largest platform in India for providing interoperable banking services to customers of any bank.
About Financial Software and Systems (FSS)
Established – 1991
Founder, Chairman and Managing Director –Nagaraj Mylandla
Headquarter – Chennai, Tamil Nadu


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Tech Mahindra to acquire Payments Technology Services for about ₹66 crore

IT services major, Tech Mahindra is set to acquire 100% share of Hong Kong based Payments Technology Service Ltd (PTSL) a subsidiary of Fidelity Information Services (FIS) for $9 million (about Rs.66 Crore)to scale its enterprise payments and banking capabilities. In regard to this acquisition, Tech Mahindra had signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with FIS. The transaction is expected to completed by 31 March 2021.
Note –Turnover of the PTSL for Financial Year ended December 31, 2019, was USD 5.4 million.
About Payments Technology Service Ltd (PTSL):
Established – 2007
Headquarter – Hong Kong
About Tech Mahindra:
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer – CP Gurnani
Headquarter – Pune, Maharashtra

MoHFW sets up Panel under Preeti Pant to study findings of NFHS-5,2019-20

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has set up a Technical Expert Group under Preeti Pant, Joint Secretary, MoHFW to examine the findings from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), 2019-20. The committee will provide suggestions and policy interventions to improve indicators regarding Malnutrition, Stunting, Anaemia, and C-section.
i.The committee consists of experts from Medicine and Nutrition, and also State Programme Officers from Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
ii.On December 12, 2020 (International Universal Health Coverage Day), Union Minister of MoHFW, Harsh Vardhan released the Factsheets of theFirst Phase of the 2019-20, 5th National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan
Minister of State – Ashwini Kumar Choubey

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