Current Affairs

16 March, 2021

International

US becomes India’s 2nd Biggest Oil Supplier overtaking Saudi Arabia

According to trade data released by Reuters, the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia as India’s 2nd Biggest Oil Supply in February, 2021. Iraq continues to be India’s Largest supplier despite a 23% decline in purchases to a five-month low of 867, 500 BPD (Barrels Per Day). India’s imports from America increased to 48% to a record 545, 300 BPD in February, 2021 accounting for 14% of India’s overall imports last month Saudi Arabia slipped to No.4 Position for the 1st time since January 2006. Nigeria rose to 3rd Position and UAE slipped to 5th Position. Totally, India shipped 3.92 million BPD of Oil in February, 2021 (decline of 18% from January).

Position

Country

1

Iraq

2

USA

3

Nigeria

4

Saudi Arabia

5

UAE
About Thomson Reuters:
Reuters is an International News Organization owned by Thomson Reuters
Chairman – David Thomson
Headquarters – London, UK

India ranked highest in workplace satisfaction: JLL HPI Index

i.According to JLL’s (Jones Lang LaSalle)’s Human Performance Indicator (HPI) Index, India ranked highest in workplace satisfaction at 98 percent followed by China at 97 percent.
ii.As per the report, India leads other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries with 81 per cent of high performers practising flexible working, including flexible hours and work-from-home.
iii.Technology workers (53%) and young professionals aged 25 to 34 (37%) make up the majority of High Performers. As much as High Performers were champions of flexible work, they felt that the office was a critical factor to performance.
About Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL):
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Chief Executive Officer & President – Christian Ulbrich

India’s Regime type has turned into ‘Electoral Autocracy’ – Swedish Democracy Report 2021

According to the ‘Autocratization Turns Viral: Democracy Report 2021’ released by Swedish-based V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute states that India’s regime type has turned into ‘Electoral Autocracy’ in 2020 from ‘Electoral Democracy’ in 2010. Hungary & Turkey have also been demoted as ‘Electoral Autocracy’. India has registered a 23%-point drop on the Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) scale marking one of the most dramatic shifts among all countries in the world over the past 10 years. Based on the LDI Index, the top 3 democratic countries in the world are Denmark, Sweden & Norway.
About V-Dem Institute:
Director – Staffan I. Lindberg
Location – Gothenburg, Sweden

National

Harsh Vardhan addresses the inaugural session of Techbharat 2021

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan addressed the inaugural session of 2nd edition TechBharat 2021, e-conclave HealthTech & Edutech sectors. Laghu Udyog Bharati and IMS Foundation have organized the 2nd edition of the conclave. In the Union Budget 2021-22, ₹2,23,846 crore budget outlay was allocated in health and well-being, “highest ever funding for the health sector”.

UP Govt Celebrates 3 Day-long ‘Kalanamak Rice Festival’

Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a three-day-long ‘Kalanamak rice festival’ in Siddharth Nagar.The festival was organized after the success of Strawberry and Jaggery festivals. The rice festival event is being organised so as to promote, market and brand the selected products as One District One Product (ODOP) under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Local for Vocal’ campaign. To promote the production, processing, packaging, and branding of Kalanamak Rice, the UP Government has declared the rice as the One District One Product(ODOP) of Siddharth Nagar in 2018.

About One District One Product(ODOP):

Uttar Pradesh government was the first state of India to launch the concept of ODOP in 2018 Ministry of Commerce and Industry is now working on an institutional mechanism to promote the ODOP scheme across India. The ODOP product could be a perishable Agri produce, cereal-based product, or a food product widely produced in a district and their allied sectors.

India’s 1st dedicated Express Cargo Terminal launched at Kempegowda International Airport

India’s 1st dedicated Express Cargo Terminal, exclusively for export and import of international couriers was inaugurated in Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore. The 2,00,000 sq.ft Export Cargo Terminal will also accommodate international courier organisations like DHL Express & FedEx Express, under the Common-User Express Terminal that will be operated by Express Industry Council of India (EICI).
About Express Industry Council of India (EICI):
Chairman – Vijay Kumar
Location – Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Area, Mumbai.
About Karnataka:
Festivals- Vijaya Utsav (Hampi Utsav), Karaga, Kambala (Buffalo Race).
Nicknames:
Rome of East – Mangalore
Scotland of India – Coorg
Silicon Valley of India – Bangalore

Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal- India’s 1st Centralized AC Terminal set to become operational in Bengaluru

‘Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal’ – India’s 1st Centralized Air-Conditioned Railway Terminal at Baiyappanahalli in Bengaluru, Karnataka is set to become operational soon. It is being developed by the Indian Railways at a cost INR 314 Crore and has been named after one of India’s 1st Civil Engineers, Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya. It was sanctioned in 2015-16 and is the 3rd Coach Terminal in Byappanahalli.

About Indian Railways:
CEO – Suneet Sharma
Head Office – New Delhi

Economy

World Bank Economist Deepak Mishra Appointed as Director & Chief Executive of ICRIER

Deepak Mishra the lead Economist and Practice Manager at the World Bank was appointed as the new Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER), the economic think Tank of India.
Deepak Mishra will take over as the Director and Chief Executive from Rajat Kathuria, who has been serving as the Director and Chief Executive of ICRIER since 1st September 2012.
About Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER):
Chairman– Pramod Bhasin
Headquarters– New Delhi

India became the World’s 4th largest Forex Reserve by surpassing Russia

As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, India’s Foreign exchange (Forex) reserves to become the world’s fourth-largest by surpassing Russia.India’s foreign currency holdings fell by $4.3 billion to $580.3 billion and Russia’s forex holdings were $580.1 billion.As of March 2021, International Monetary Fund(IMF)table, China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan, Switzerland, India, and Russia. Most of the foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars, as it is the most traded currency in the world.
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Managing Director : Kristalina Georgieva
Membership: 190 countries
The largest borrowers: Argentina, Egypt, Ukraine, Pakistan

Sports

Bhavani Devi becomes 1st Indian Fencer to qualify for Olympics

Chadalavada Anandha Bhavani Devi who hails from Tamil Nadu became the 1st ever Indian Fencer to qualify for an Olympics. She was assured of qualification for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after Hungary lost to South Korea in the Quarter-finals of Team event of 2021 Fencing Sabre World Cup being held at Budapest, Hungary. She qualified through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method. 2 Individual spots were available for grabs for the Asia-Oceania region based on World Rankings as of April 5, 2021. She is ranked 45th & hence occupied one of the two available slots based on the ranking. Bhavani Devi, a Sabre Fencer is also an 8-time National Champion. The Tokyo Olympics 2021 is set to take place July 23, 2021 – August 8, 2021.
About International Fencing Federation (FIE):
It is the International Governing body of Olympic Fencing
President – Alisher Usmanov
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland

Miscellaneous

Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan’s Children’s book – “Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma”

Under Westland’s ‘Red Panda’ imprint, an illustrated book for children titled “Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma” written by Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan will be published in April
Objective: It aims to inspire young readers to learn about the famed artist and how he made his entry and mark in the art world. Srinivasan has earlier authored children’s books like “Indi-Alphabet” and “How Many Lines in a Limerick?”

World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer “Fugaku” by Japan, Now Fully Operational

“Fugaku” the Japanese supercomputer that topped the Top500 list for 2 consecutive years is now fully operational. The supercomputer that was developed for 6 years by Japanese scientific research institute RIKEN and Fujitsu was used in projects to combat COVID-19 pandemic. Japan’s Research Organization for Information Science and Technology (RIST) has selected 74 projects that will use the supercomputer in FY2021. This will work towards the Japanese government’s vision of an ultra-smart Society 5.0.

Government reconstitutes Advisory Committee for Studying Sarasvati River

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) released a notification stating that it has reconstituted an Advisory Committee for Multidisciplinary Study of the River Sarasvati (also known as Ghaggar-Hakra River). It has been reconstituted for the next two years (2021-23), after the earlier term’s panel ended in 2019 (it was constituted in 2017). Head of the Committee will be Union Minister for Culture (Prahlad Singh Patel). The committee will review the work done by the previous panel and then formulate a plan.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):
It functions under the Ministry of Culture
Director General – V Vidyavathi
Head Office – New Delhi

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