Current Affairs

18 March, 2021


5th Volume Of UN’s Report “State Of The World’s Indigenous Peoples”: Suggest Measures To Protect Rights of Indigenous People

i.On 15th and 16th March 2021, the United Nations(UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs(DESA) released the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (SOWIP) volume V entitled “Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources”. The report examines challenges faced by the indigenous people in asserting their rights to lands, in the context of agribusiness, extractive industries, development, conservation and tourism.
ii.The preparation of the report was overseen by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
iii.The report offers a wide range of perspective on the rights of indigenous peoples on lands, territories and resources through analysis of legislation and agreements at the national and international level and through customary law.
About UN-DESA:
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs– Liu Zhenmin
Headquarters– New York, United States

India 3rd Most Polluted Country, Delhi Most Polluted Capital City : IQAir Report

According to the ‘2020 World Air Quality Report’ released by IQAir (Swiss Air Technology Company), India was the 3rd Most Polluted Country in the World in 2020 after Bangladesh & Pakistan. Delhi was the most polluted Capital City for the 3rd consecutive time it was followed by Dhaka (Bangladesh) & Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia). In the case of World’s most polluted cities, Hotan of China came first followed by India’s Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) & Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh). The rankings are based on annual average PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter) of the year 2020. It covered 106 Countries.

Asia-Pacific Region to Achieve Just 10% Targets of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: UN-ESCAP Report

i.United Nations- Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)’s report titled “Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report, 2021” states, Asia-Pacific(APAC) region may achieve just 10% targets of sustainable development goals(SDGs) by 2030.(i.e.)Only nine out of 140 measurable targets of the SDG will be achieved by 2030.
ii.Globally, Asia-Pacific region is too slow in achieving the half of the SDG goals and many SDG’s were achieved at levels well below the 2020 Target.
iii.The Progress of Environmental Goals is too slow in Asia-Pacific Region.Gender equality (Goal 5), clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), and life on land (Goal 15) are too slow in progress and achieving Target.
iv.Climate action (Goal 13) and life below water (Goal 14) are the worst achieved goal.There is no or less progress in these 2 above SDG Goals.
About United Nation-Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP):
Executive Secretary – Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Headquarter – Bangkok, Thailand


TRIFED Signed MoU with Craft Village for the Development of Tribal Communities

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Craft Village by ZEPHYR, a social organisation working for the training and promotion of Craft Sector for the overall development of the tribal communities. The MoU was exchanged between Iti Tyagi, Founder, Craft Village and Anupam Trivedi, Executive Director, TRIFED in the presence of Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and senior officials of both organisations.
Indian Railways connects 2 ends of arch of ‘Chenab Bridge’ – World’s Highest Railway Bridge
Indian Railway has successfully connected the 2 ends of the main arch of ‘Chenab Bridge’ – World’s Highest Railway Bridge. It is being built by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) at a cost of INR 12, 000 Crores. The bridge is 1.315 Kms long and is to be completed by the end of 2021. It is being constructed over the River Chenab which is 35 Metres higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
About Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL):
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)– Sanjay Gupta
Headquarters – Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

PTC India Signed a Pact with NPC to Explore Business Opportunities in Consultancy Services

i.PTC India Limited (Formerly known as Power Trading Corporation of India Limited), a leading provider of power trading solutions in India has signed an initial pact with the National Productivity Council(NPC), under Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry to explore the business opportunities in consultancy services.
ii.Under this pact, both NPC and PTC have agreed to jointly explore and develop business opportunities for consultancy or project management services in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, productivity enhancements, quality assurances, optimization of technology, and others within India and overseas.
About NPC:
Chairman– Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra
Director-General– Arun Kumar Jha
Established in 1958
About PTC India Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director– Deepak Amitabh
Headquarters– New Delhi
Established in April 1999

6th India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum Meeting Held; Chaired by Smriti Zubin Iran

i.The 6th India-Brazil-South Africa(IBSA) Women’s Forum meeting was virtually held on 16th March 2021. The meeting was chaired by Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.
ii.India, Brazil and South Africa shared their best practices & reiterated commitment towards enhancing mutual cooperation in bridging gender gaps.
iii.The IBSA’s vision to ensure improving the status and condition of women by addressing the structural and institutional barriers and to strengthen gender mainstreaming were resolved during the meeting.
iv.A joint declaration highlighting the shared IBSA goals and commitments towards achieving gender equality in all the spheres of life.
About IBSA Forum:
IBSA was established in 2003.
The IBSA fund was established in 2004 and became operational in 2006.

Maharashtra with its 56,000 Millionaire Households Leads the Country in HNI Households – Reported by Hurun India

Hurun India released the ‘Wealth Report 2020’ in which Maharashtra ranked first in the state wise distribution of High Net-worth Individual(HNI) households with 56,000 millionaire households followed by Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat.
About Hurun India
MD & Chief Researcher – Anas Rahman Junaid
Chairman -Rupert Hoogerwerf
Headquarters – Mumbai Maharashtra

Overview of India-Finland Virtual Summit 2021

India-Finland Virtual Summit 2021 was held between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
India & Finland had announced a new partnership in the fields of ICT, Mobile Technology, Digital Education clean energy investment and evolution of 6G. Both sides noted that Digital Domain was one of the promising sectors for an intensive India-Finland partnership.
About Finland:
President – Sauli Niinistö
Capital – Helsinki
Currency – Euro (EUR)

Cabinet Approvals on March 16, 2021

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi gave approval to several important proposals. They are Approval for the closure of Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India Limited (HHEC). Approval for Revised Cost Estimates for the strengthening of Transmission & Distribution in Arunachal Pradesh & Sikkim. Clearance for Development Finance Institution (DFI) with Capital Infusion of INR 20, 000 Crore. MoU between India & Maldives on Cooperation in Sports and Youth Affairs.

India commissions ‘INS Dhruv’ Nuclear Missile Tracking Vessel; Becomes 5th Country in the World

India commissioned its Ocean Surveillance & Nuclear Missile Tracking Vessel called ‘INS Dhruv’ (codenamed as VC 11184), with this it became the 5th Country after USA, France, Russia & China to possess such a Tracking vessel. It was constructed at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam under the Make in India initiative at an ~ cost of INR 725 Crore. It is one of the Largest Warships to be built at an Indian Yard. It was originally commissioned into the Indian Navy in a secret manner in October 2020.
About the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO):
Chief – Anil Dhasmana
Head Office – New Delhi
Established – 2004


Gautam Adani overtakes world’s richest Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk : Bloomberg Billionaires Index

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani is poised to become the world’s richest man by 2021, ahead of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk as per the recent Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur added a total of USD 16.2 billion to his net worth which has now jumped to USD 50 billion. Adani has been rapidly expanding his conglomerate, adding ports, airports, data centers and coal mines in India, and also proceeding with his Carmichael coal project in Australia. The shares of some of Adani’s group including Adani Total Gas have almost doubled while Adani Enterprises increased 90%, Adani Transmission Ltd gained 79%. Adani Power and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd gained more than 50%.

RBI imposes Rs 2 crore penalty on SBI for regulatory violations

RBI has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs.2 crore on the State Bank of India over “deficiencies in regulatory compliance”. SBI was penalized for “contravention of provisions of section 10 (1) (b) (ii) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and specific directions of RBI issued to the bank on payment of remuneration to employees in the form of commission”. This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of section 47A (1) (c) read with sections 46 (4) (i) and 51 (1) of the Act.

SBI & IOCL inked India’s First SOFR linked ECB deal by Replacing LIBOR

The State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) inked the first SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) linked External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) deal by replacing the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) which is used by world banks when charging each other for short-term loans. This SOFR linked ECB deal is for about $100 million with a maturity of 5 years.
About Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL)
Establishment -30 June 1959
Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairperson – Shrikant Madhav Vaidya


Union Cabinet approves MoU between India, Maldives on cooperation in sports and youth affairs

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of PM Modi on March 16, 2021, apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Maldives.
The MoU was signed in November 2020 between the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of Maldives and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India for cooperation in sports and youth affairs.

Kapil Dev Inducted into PGTI As A Board Member

Former Indian Cricketer Kapil Dev was inducted into the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) as a board member. Kapil Dev, the captain of the Indian Cricket team that won the 1983 World Cup, will be working towards the development of Golf in the country.
The official inclusion of Kapil Dev into the board was made while announcing the Prometheus School Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship 2021, which will be held from 16th to 19th March 2021 in Gurugram, Haryana.
About Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI):
PGTI is the controlling body for professional golf in India.
CEO– Uttam Singh Mundy
President– Gautam Thapar
Head office– Gurugram, Haryana
Formed in 2006


Indian Army decommissions 2 Artillery: 130mm Self-propelled Guns & 160mm Mortars

Indian Army decommissioned 2 of its longest serving Artillery – 130mm Self Propelled M-46 Catapult Guns and the 160mm Tampella Mortars, after making a customary firing of their last salvos in Mahajan Field Firing Range. The decommissioning event saw the presence of Director General Artillery, Lieutenant General K Ravi Prasad.
Line of Control – India & Pakistan (at Jammu & Kashmir)
Line of Actual Control – India & China
Radcliffe Line – India & Pakistan (at Punjab)
About Indian Army:
The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Force.
Chief of Defence Staff – Bipin Rawat
Chief of Indian Army – Manoj Mukund Naravane
Motto – “Service Before Self”

Tech Mahindra Planned To Purchase 70% Stake From Perigord Asset Holdings Ltd

Tech Mahindra announced its plan to acquire a 70 % stake in Ireland-based Perigord Asset Holdings Ltd for around Rs 182 crore and plans to buy the remaining 30% shareholding over a period of 4 years at a valuation of its financial performance.
The objective of the Acquisition: It is intended to help in augmenting its expertise in the domains of global pharmaceutical, and HLS (Healthcare and Lifesciences). It is a part of Tech Mahindra’s long-term growth plan which is to make a presence across key markets in Ireland, Germany, the USA, and India with enhanced global delivery.
About Tech Mahindra:
Establishment – 1986
Chairman – Anand G. Mahindra
MD&CEO – CP Gurnani

Paris-based duo of Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal Wins the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2021

i.French architects and educators Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal were selected as the laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2021, the highest honour in the field of architecture. The award was announced by Tom Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation. The Paris based duo won the award for their various social housing projects undertaken by their Paris based studio Lacaton & Vassal.
ii.Anne Lacaton became the first French female architect to win the prize and the 6th woman to receive the prize since it was established in 1979.
iii.The Prize was established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979.

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