Current Affairs

17 February, 2021


Preeti Sinha, Indian Origin Investment Banker was Appointed as the Executive Secretary of UNCDF

i.The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) appointed Preeti Sinha, an Investment and development Banker of Indian Origin as the New Executive Secretary of UNCDF. Sinha succeeds Judith Karl, who retired in February 2021.
ii.Preethi Sinha started her tenure on 15th February 2021.
iii.Preeti Sinha will be overseeing the efforts of UNCDF in delivering scalable impacts to enable the international financial architecture work for the world’s frontier and pre-frontier markets.
iv.She will focus on the sustainable development for women, youth and small and medium sized enterprises, smallholder farmers and other underserved communities.
About UNCDF:
Executive Secretary– Preeti Sinha
Headquarters– New York
Established in 1966

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appointed as 7th DG of WTO; Becomes the First Woman and First African to Head WTO

i.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria was appointed as the 7th Director General of the World Trade Organisation(WTO), multilateral trade body.She will hold the position from 1st March 2021 to 31st August 2025.
ii.She succeeds former Director-General Roberto Azevêdo who announced his retirement 1 year before the expiry of his tenure.
iii.With this appointment, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala became the first woman and the first African to head the WTO.
iv.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has twice served as the Finance Minister of Nigeria between 2011 and 2015 and she has also served as the Foregin Minister of Nigeria in 2006, the first woman to hold both the positions.
v.She served as the Managing Director of the World Bank.


AYUSH Ministry & WHO SEARO signed LoE to Depute AYUSH Expert for WHO’s Traditional Medicine Programme

i.The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) and the World Health Organization South East Regional Office (WHO SEARO) signed a letter of exchange (LoE) for deputation of an AYUSH expert to WHO’s regional traditional medicine programme in New Delhi.
ii.The LoE was signed by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region.
iii.Under this AYUSH ministry will support WHO SEARO for implementing the regional traditional medicine action plan on safe and effective use of traditional medicine service.
iv.Both participants also agreed to launch a public health research project on COVID-19.
About World Health Organization South East Regional Office (WHO SEARO):
Member States– 11
Headquarter– New Delhi

Mandu Festival held at Mandu in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh

A three-day Mandu Festival was held at Mandu in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh on the theme “Khojne mein Kho Jao (feel lost in discovering)”. It was inaugurated by state culture and tourism minister Usha Thakur. She also inaugurated Dino Adventure Park & Fossils Museum in Mandu and construction of Astro Park building at a cost of Rs 59 lakh. Notably, Dinosaur Park is India’s first modern fossil park which has 24 eggs and other fossils of dinosaurs. The park provides information related to the life of dinosaurs.
About Madhya Pradesh (MP):
Chief Minister– Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Capital– Bhopal
Dams – Gandhi Sagar Dams (Chambal River), Indira Sagar Dam (Narmada River)

HCL Signed MoU with IIT – Kanpur to Collaborate in Cybersecurity

The HCL Technologies (HCL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur (IIT – K) to collaborate in the field of cybersecurity. HCL will also work with the C3iHub, a specialised cyber security research centre of IIT-K.
About HCL:
Founder– Shiv Nadar
Executive Director & CEO– Roshni Nadar Malhotra
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh

India needs USD 500 Billion to reach 2030 RE Target of 450 GW: IEEFA Report

According to the report ‘Capital Flows Underpinning India’s Energy Transformation’ released by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), India needs an Investment of USD 500 Billion to reach its target of 450 Gigawatts (GW) of Renewable Energy (RE) by 2030.
About Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA):
Executive Director – Sandy Buchanan
Headquarters – Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Smriti Irani Virtually Inaugurated Jute seed distribution Plan & Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop at Barrackpore, WB

i.Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Ministry of Textiles and Women & Child Development virtually inaugurated the Certified Jute Seeds Distribution Plan and Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop on Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (ICARE-Jute) Initiative.
ii.The workshop was organised at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibers (CRIJAF) Institute at Barrackpore, West Bengal (WB).
iii.Both events were organized by the Ministry of Textiles through its field offices viz; Office of the Jute Commissioner, National Jute Board (NJB), Jute Corporation of India (JCI) and ICAR-CRIJAF.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Smriti Irani Constituency– Amethi, Uttar Pradesh
Headquarter– New Delhi


Bank Credit Growth at 90% of FY20 level: RBI Data

In accordance with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data on Scheduled Banks’ Statement of Position in India, bank credit growth in FY21 up to January 29, 2021 has reached about 90% of the same period of F20. This states that credit demand is coming back to normalcy after severe economic impact amid COVID-19. It should be noted that RBI has projected real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth at 5% in FY22.

ADB Signs Rs 100 Crore Debt Financing Agreement with Medanta to Support COVID-19 Response in India

i.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed Rs 100 crore(USD 13.7 million) debt financing agreement with Multi-Specialty medical institute, Medanta to provide essential health care services and medical equipment to India.
Purpose: To Support COVID-19 Response in India
ii.This financing is part of the $20 billion assistance package announced by ADB in April 2020 to help its developing members manage the pandemic.
iii.Aniruddha Patil, head of Health and Education Investments at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, and Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta signed the agreement.
About Medanta:
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
Chairman & Managing Director– Dr. Naresh Trehan
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Establishment– 1966
Headquarters– Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines
Membership– 68 countries(Including India)
President of ADB and Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Director– Masatsugu Asakawa

RBI Formulates EC for Strengthening & Consolidating UCBs; Headed by N S Vishwanathan

i.On the lines of the “Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies” released with the Monetary Policy Statement on February 05, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) formulated an 8-member Expert Committee (EC) on Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs). The former Deputy Governor of RBI, N. S. Vishwanathan, is the chairman of the committee. The Committee is required to submit its report within three months.
ii.The committee will examine the issues faced by the UCBs and will also be responsible for preparing a road map for its strengthening.
iii.The measures to be recommended by the committee will adhere to the recent amendments to Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Formation– 1 April 1935
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeswar Rao)


Former Indian Cricketer Naman Ojha retires from all forms of Cricket

Former Indian Wicketkeeper – Batsman Naman Ojha(37 years old) from Madhya Pradesh(MP) announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket(international and BCCI/MPCA domestic first-class cricket). He has represented India in all three formats and holds the record for the most dismissals (351) by a wicketkeeper in Ranji Trophy.


Rajnath Singh Launches E-Chhawani Portal & Mobile App for Cantonment Boards

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched ‘E-Chhawani’ Portal & Mobile app in New Delhi. It has been developed by eGov Foundation, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Director General Defence Estates (DGDE) & National Informatics Centre (NIC). ‘E-Chhawani’ has been launched along the lines of Digital India & e-Governance. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat;Director General Defence Estates (DGDE), Deepa Bajwa were present during the event.

i.Dr Ajay Mathur has been named as the new Director-General of International Solar Alliance (ISA) following his election at the 1st special Assembly of ISA members that was held virtually on February 15, 2021. ii.He succeeds Upendra Tripathy who was in the position since ISA was founded in 2015. iii.Prior, being named as the director general of ISA, Dr Ajay Mathur was serving as the director general of The Energy & Resources Institute(TERI)

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) delivered the Third of Six Kalvari-class submarines based on ‘Scorpene Class’ to the Indian Navy at Mumbai, Maharashtra. The submarine will be commissioned into the Indian Navy in March, 2021 as ‘INS Karanj’. ‘INS Karanj’ successfully completed its sea trials which began in January, 2018. The submarine has been designed by French company ‘The Naval Group’ (formerly known as DCNS) & constructed in MDL, Mumbai under Project 75 (P-75).
About Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL):
CMD – Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad
Location – Mazagon, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Dr Ajay Mathur Elected as Director-General of ISA; Succeeds Upendra Tripathy

i.Dr Ajay Mathur has been named as the new Director-General of International Solar Alliance (ISA) following his election at the 1st special Assembly of ISA members that was held virtually on February 15, 2021.
ii.He succeeds Upendra Tripathy who was in the position since ISA was founded in 2015.
iii.Prior, being named as the director general of ISA, Dr Ajay Mathur was serving as the director general of The Energy & Resources Institute(TERI)

Actor Rana Daggubati Becomes Brand Ambassador of CEAT

CEAT Limited, a tyre company of RPG Enterprises(Rama Prasad Goenka Group) has signed in Actor Rana Daggubati as its brand ambassador to promote the new ‘Puncture Safe’ range of bike tyres.
About Rana Daggubati:
i.Besides being an actor, he is also a producer, television personality, visual effects coordinator, and an entrepreneur .
ii.He acted in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil language films.
iii.His films include, Baahubali: The Beginning(2015) , Baahubali 2: The Conclusion-2017(which became the highest grossing Indian film of all time), Ghazi (2017), and Nene Raju Nene Mantri (2017).

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