Current Affairs

17 September, 2021


AUKUS- a New Trilateral Defence & Security Partnership between the US, UK and Australia

The United States(US), United Kingdom(UK) and Australia established a trilateral security partnership named – ‘’AUKUS” in order to strengthen diplomatic, security and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The partnership was announced between the US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a virtual meeting.

Objective– To ensure peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and key focus areas are cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.
i.AUKUS is a trilateral partnership, which will provide exchange of technology, services, research and development and defence equipment.
ii.It is the first initiative under which Australia is acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for its Royal Australian Navy (RNS). Australia remains committed to fulfilling all of its obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state, including regulations under the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA).
iii.Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines, when they deploy, will be armed with conventional weapons only and not nuclear weapons.
Importance of the Alliance
The AUKUS and another alliance QUAD are formed with a vision for a safer and more secure Indo-Pacific.QUAD countries are the US and Australia formed alliance with India and Japan.
Note – US President Joe Biden will host the first-ever in person Quad Leaders Summit at the White House on 24 September 2021.
About United States (US)
President- Joe Biden
Capital- Washington DC
Currency- United States Dollar

India participates in SCO Peaceful Mission 2021 in Russia

I.Indian Military participated in a Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise SCO PEACEFUL MISSION 2021. It is a biennial exercise organised under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Orenburg in Russia from September 13 to 25, 2021. It was organised under aegis of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The exercise will be conducted between SCO member states. The 6th edition of the exercise SCO Peaceful Mission was hosted by Russia in Orenburg
About Russia
Host city: Orenburg
Capital: Moscow
President: Vladimir Putin

Supports to Farmers keeping the World away from SDGs: Report by FAO, UNDP & UNEP

i.Three United Nations (UN) agencies viz. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report titled ‘A multi-billion-dollar opportunity: Repurposing agricultural support to transform food systems’.
ii.The report is an analysis of countries’ support to farmers and its adverse impacts on food prices, environment, global warming and farmers, specifically smallholders.
iii.The contemporary food production system emits high greenhouse gas (GHG) and support is being provided for the most emission-intensive sectors like sugar and the beef production chain.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Establishment– 1965
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States of America
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Establishment– 1972
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya


PM Narendra Modi lays Foundation Stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University in Aligarh

Prime Minister (PM)Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh will establish the university in the memory of Jat social reformer Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.

Highlights: The University will have the department of modern defence studies, defence manufacturing- related technologies and manpower development. It will be spread over an area of 92 acres at Lodha village and Musepur Kareem Karouli village of Kol tehsil in Aligarh, it will provide affiliation to 395 colleges of the Aligarh division.

About Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh
i.Raja Mehendra Pratap Singh was born in a socio-economically influential Jat family of Mursan in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh 1886.
ii.He was a Jat freedom fighter, social reformist, journalist and writer. He served as the President in the Provincial government of India, the Indian government that served in exile during World War I.
iii.In 1979, the Government of India issued a postage stamp in his honour. He is popularly known as Aryan Peshwa.
iv.Singh was known as an unofficial envoy of Afghanistan.
Sansad TV Launched by Vice President, PM and Speaker of Lok Sabha
Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla jointly launched ‘Sansad’ TV.The launch of Sansad TV coincides with International Day of Democracy- 15th September . The programming of this TV will primarily be in four categories – functioning of Parliament and democratic institutions, governance and implementation of schemes, policies, history, and culture of India and issues, interests, concerns of contemporary nature.

VIL Partners with APSDMA & Celltick to launch India’s 1st Cell Broadcast Based Public Warning System

Vodafone Idea Limited(VIL), India’s leading telecom service provider, has partnered with the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Agency(APSDMA) and Celltick, the world’s largest cell broadcast-based products provider to Launch India’s 1st cell broadcasting Public Warning System (PWS). Andhra Pradesh(AP) became the 1st Indian state to implement Celltick’s state-of-the-art cell broadcasting PWS .It used to support for its state’s CAP-compliant Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Countries like the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Israel, UAE, Australia have deployed such kind of systems.

The world bank aided project for commissioning the state of the art Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) was awarded to the consortium led by Celltick following the International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process
About Vodafone Idea Limited(VIL):Vodafone Idea Limited is an Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group partnership.
MD&CEO-Ravinder Takkar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Celltick:
Celltick is a global leader of Public Warning Systems (PWS), Mass Notification Systems, and the world’s largest CBC (Cell Broadcast Center) provider.
CEO– Ronen Daniel
Headquarters- Delaware, United States of America

NITI Aayog launches “Shoonya” – a Campaign to promote Zero-Pollution Delivery Vehicles

NITI Aayog in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and RMI India launched a campaign named “Shoonya” – an initiative to promote the usage of Zero-pollution delivery vehicles among e-commerce companies, fleet aggregators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and logistics companies.

Aim – To create consumer awareness on the benefits of using pollution free Electric Vehicles (EV) in delivery of consumables.
i.Over 30 logistic and consumables companies participated in the meeting headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, where the Campaign was launched.
ii.They decided to implement an Online Tracking platform that shares the EV’s data including vehicle kilometers electrified, carbon savings, criteria pollutant savings and other benefits from clean delivery vehicles to customers.
iii.Around 10% of the freight transportation related CO2 emission in India is caused by Urban Freight vehicles, which is expected to grow by 114% by 2030.
About NITI Aayog:
Establishment – January 1, 2015
Headquarters – New Delhi
CEO– Amitabh Kant
About Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) India:
Establishment – 2019
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI):
Establishment – 1982
Headquarters – Basalt, Colorado
Manager – Lynn Daniels

Cabinet Approval on September 15, 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
i.Cabinet approves major Reforms in Telecom Sector. The Union Cabinet approved 9 structural reforms and 5 procedural reforms along with relief measures for the Telecom Service Providers to escalate the penetration of broadband and telecom connectivity in India.

ii.Government has approved PLI Scheme for Auto Industry and Drone Industry to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities
iii.Cabinet approves MoU between India and Italy on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
About Italy:
Capital– Rome
Currency– Euro


India’s GDP to grow by 7.2% in 2021 & 6.8% in 2022 – UNCTAD Report

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its “Trade and Development Report 2021”, which predicts India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 7.2 percent in 2021, whereas the Global Growth rate is projected at 5.3 percent.

Other Important GDP forecasts:

Rating Agency India’s GDP Forecast for FY22
OECD 9.9 percent
SBI 7.9 percent
ICRA 8.5 percent
World Bank 8.3 percent
IMF 9.5 percent
Economic Survey 2021 11 percent
About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
General Secretary – Rebeca Grynspan (Costa Rica)
Established – 1964
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland World’s First Cricket NFT Marketplace was launched

Cricket Foundation, a Singapore-headquartered blockchain-based platform launched world’s first cricket NFT (Non Fungible Token) named Cricket Foundation has partnered with around 120 cricketers including Wasim Akram, VVS Laxman and Lance Klusener The Cricket Token (CRIC) is listed on Indian and international crypto exchanges with a market cap of over $200 million

Objective: To engage with the cricket fans and to create financial opportunities to the retired cricketers
Note: NFT is a unique digital asset designed to represent ownership of a virtual item.
About CRIC Token
i.CRIC Token is the medium of transactions for all applications built on the platform
ii.It is used in maintaining the security and integrity of the ‘Cricket Blockchain’ platform
About Cricket Foundation
i.The platform has about 50 plus unique moments from cricket history
ii.It will add about 5 NFTs daily
iii.Co-founder: Parthiv Patel
Type: Blockchain based platform

HSBC Lunches UniTransact to simplify cross-border transactions

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Limited (HSBC) India launched ‘ HSBC UniTransact’ a digital preposition for simplifying cross border transactions. It will provide a one stop solution and seamless transaction between client and beneficiaries.
Objective– To unify all cross border transactions at a single point and provide seamless transaction facilities.
Highlights: It will provide a summary of all cross transactions, Including two-way communication with the client. The client can upload, store and retrieve documents for transactions It enables end-to-end visibility of the transactions to clients and provides a comprehensive dashboard, real-time status throughout the life cycle of all cross border transactions.

About HSBC India
The first ATM in India was set up in 1987 by HSBC in Mumbai.
General Manager and Chief Executive Officer-Hitendra Dave
Founded- 1853


IOC suspends North Korea until end of 2022 after Tokyo no show

The suspension of North Korea by IOC means that the country will miss out on the Beijing Winter Games. North Korea had failed to send a team to the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Virat Kohli steps down as T20 captain, to remain captain for ODI/ Test formats

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has announced that he will step down as the T20 captain of the Indian cricket team after the men's T20 World Cup in Dubai in October 2021. He will remain the captain for the ODI and Test formats.


Rohit Sharma as brand ambassador of TAGG; Kriti Sanon as Fossil’s brand ambassador for India

TAGG, a Delhi based tech-driven lifestyle electronics brand, has appointed Rohit Sharma, the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team and captain of Mumbai Indians as its TAGGSTER (brand ambassador).
Fossil, the American watches and accessories firm has appointed Indian Bollywood actress Kriti Sanon as its brand ambassador for India.
Rohit Sharma roped in as brand ambassador of TAGG
Rohit Sharma as the brand ambassador will help steer the brand to new heights in the audio and wearable industry. TAGG launched its first smartwatch TAGG Verve 2020. It has also planned on launching a series of next-generation smartwatches along with a fresh range of audio products.

Kriti Sanon roped in as Fossil’s brand ambassador for India

Kriti Sanon’s collaboration with Fossil will extend to promoting the watch and accessories category ranging from traditional and smartwatches to leather products as well as jewellery for women. Recently, She was appointed as the brand ambassador of kitchenware brand Wonderchef. Sanon is a celebrity endorser for several brands and products such as Bata, Whirlpool and Cadbury Fuse etc.

Adidas Named Olympic medalist Mirabai Chanu as face of ‘Stay in Play’ Campaign

Adidas, a German footwear and accessories company, has named Olympic silver medalist (weightlifting), Mirabai Chanu as the face of its “Stay in Play” campaign, which is designed to keep more menstruating women in sports. To support the menstruating women athletes, the brand has launched “TechFit Period Proof tights” with added layer of protection.

Euromoney Named DBS as ‘World’s Best Bank’ & ‘World’s Best Digital Bank’ for 2021

Euromoney, a UK-based financial publication, announced its Global Awards for Excellence 2021 recently, and named DBS, the Singapore based financial services group as ‘World’s Best Bank 2021’ for the 2nd time in 3 years. Euromoney has also named DBS the ‘World’s Best Digital Bank 2021’. DBS becomes the first bank in the world to hold both titles concurrently. DBS was awarded for demonstrating its rare skills in surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and for utilising the chance to innovate and become a better bank.

This is the 4th consecutive year for DBS to be named the World’s Best Bank.
DBS has been named the World’s Best Bank by Euromoney in 2021 & 2019 and by Global Finance in 2020 and 2018.
About Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence:
Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence established in 1992 was the first of its kind in the global banking industry.
About DBS Bank:
CEO– Piyush Gupta
Headquarters– Singapore

Modi, Mamata and SII CEO named among 100 most influential people by TIME

‘The 100 Most Influential People of 2021’, an annual list of global leaders was released by TIME magazine recently. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla were named among the world’s 100 most influential people of 2021.
i.Global leaders like US President Joe Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Israel’s Naftali Bennett, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi were listed.
ii.Even Former US President Donald Trump and the Taliban government’s deputy PM Abdul Ghani Baradar of Afghanistan.
iii.The list also includes tennis player Naomi Osaka, Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, music icon Britney Spears, executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Apple CEO Tim Cook, actor Kate Winslet and the first African and first woman to lead the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
About TIME Magazine
TIME is an American News magazine and news website Based in New York
Editor: Edward Felsenthal

President Ram Nath Kovind Conferred National Florence Nightingale Awards 2020

President Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, presented the National Florence Nightingale Awards 2020 to 51 nursing personnel across India over a virtual ceremony. He commended the selfless dedication and compassion of the nurses and felicitated the winners of the Florence Nightingale Awards 2020.
About National Florence Nightingale Awards:
i.The government of India instituted the National Florence Nightingale Awards in 1973 to recognise the meritorious services provided by the nurses to society.
ii.The award also recognises the courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflicts or natural disasters.
iii.The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 50000, a certificate and a medal.
2020 National Florence Nightingale Awards:
i.Clinical Nurse Bhanumati Somabhai Gheewala from Vadodara, Gujarat has been honoured with this award for taking care of the delivery of COVID-19 positive Pregnant women and newborns.
ii.Dr Shailla Cannie, Dean and Principal of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi College of Nursing, Jammu & Kashmir(J&K) was honoured for her work towards girl child and society.
iii.Nursing officer Anuradha and Nurse Latha from Puducherry have also won the National Florence Nightgale Awards 2020.Click here for the list of 2020 winners of the National Florence Nightingale Awards

Note –International Nurses Day (IND) is observed on 12th May (the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth) of each year.

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