Current Affairs

19 March, 2021


Around 736 Million Almost 1 In 3 Women Across the Globe Face Physical and Sexual Violence: WHO Report

i.The World Health Organization(WHO) has launched a report titled “Violence Against Women Prevalence Estimates, 2018”. The report was based on the WHO’s largest study on the prevalence of violence against women.
ii.The study conducted by WHO on behalf of The United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence Against Women Estimation and Data (VAW-IAWGED) states that around 736 million to 852 million women across the globe i.e., 1 in 3 women have faced physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
iii.This is the first of its kind study by WHO since 2013 that focus on both violence by intimate partners and sexual violence by non-partners. The report compiles the data from 158 countries.
iv.Around 31% of women aged between 15 to 49 and 30% of women aged 15 and older has been subjected to physical or/and sexual violence from their male intimate partners or sensual violence from a not intimate partner at least once since the age of 15.
About WHO:
Director-General– Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarter– Geneva, Switzerland

India to record Largest Increase in Child and Maternal deaths in South Asia in 2020 due to COVID-19: UNICEF

UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) in partnership with WHO, UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) has released a report called ‘Direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 pandemic and response in South Asia’. The report has released estimates which anticipate that India will record the largest increase of deaths among children aged 5 years (15%) & Maternal deaths (18%) among 6 South Asian Countries in 2020 due to pandemic.
Executive Director– Henrietta Holsman Fore
Headquarters – New York, United States of America

Italy joins ISA under the amended ISA Framework Agreement

Italy joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) (also known as International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (IASPA)) after signing the amended ISA Framework Agreement. Vincenzo de Luca, Ambassador of Italy to India signed the Italian membership to the ISA. The new ISA Framework Agreement came into force on January 8, 2021. Under the new amended framework, the membership of ISA is open to all member states of the United Nations. Previously, it was open to countries that were partially or entirely located within the Tropics.
About Italy:
President – Sergio Mattarella
Capital – Rome
Currency – Euro (EUR)


India’s First Elevated Urban Expressway to be completed by 2022

According to a recent inspection by Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Jairam Gadkari to India’s First Grade Separated Urban Expressway ‘Dwarka Expressway’ ,it will be expected to complete before 2022 Independence Day i.e August 15. The total length of the expressway is 29 km, of which 18.9 km falls in Haryana and the remaining 10.1 km is in Delhi. It connects Dwarka in Delhi to Gurugram,Haryana has been constructed under the Bharatmala Project at a price of ₹8,662 crores.

IOCL, Phinergy Ltd form JV to manufacture Metal-Air Batteries;2 Indian firms sign LoI

An ‘Equal’ Joint Venture (JV) called ‘IOC Phinergy Private Limited’ of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) & Israeli firm Phinergy was formalised. Under the JV, both entities will also undertake research and development, assembly, manufacturing & sale of Aluminium-Air batteries for the Indian market.
Objective – To manufacture Ultra-Lightweight Metal-air Batteries for Electric Vehicles (EVs) using Aluminium Air Batteries (Al-Air) technology.
About Phinergy:
CEO – David Mayer
Headquarters – Lod, Israel


ADB Raises $307 Million from 1st Panda Bond Issue in over a Decade

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised over USD 307 Million(~ INR 2232 Crore or Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY) 2 billion) from the 1st Panda bond issue in more than a decade.This is ADB’s largest-ever borrowing in an Asian local currency. It is the first borrowing of ADB from a CNY10 billion program approved by regulator National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors in June 2020.

USAID, DFC announces USD 41 Million for financing Renewable Energy solutions in India

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) & US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced a USD 41 Million (~ INR 297 Crore) Joint Loan Portfolio guarantee program for financing investments in renewable energy solutions including rooftop solar installations by Indian Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
About the United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
Acting Administrator – Gloria D. Steele
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA

IATA partners with Standard Chartered Bank for providing EasyPay Services

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has partnered with Standard Chartered Bank for providing ‘EasyPay’ services to Travel Agents in India. It will provide greater payment flexibility to travel agents. ‘EasyPay’ is a ‘pay as you go’ service which aims to replace the traditional billing and settlement plan payment methods (Cash or Credit Card). It aims to increase the digitisation of payments and is expected to boost cash flows for the aviation industry & travel agents.
About the International Air Transport Association (IATA):
Director General and CEO – Alexandre de Juniac
Headquarters – Montreal, Canada
Members – 295 Airline members

PNB Set up ‘PNB Cards & Services Ltd’ – A Subsidiary to Manage Credit Card Business

Punjab National Bank (PNB) set up a wholly-owned subsidiary named PNB Cards & Services Ltd to provide the non -financial support services related to the credit card business of the bank.
About Punjab National Bank(PNB):
Founded– May 19, 1894
Commenced Operations– April 12, 1895
MD & CEO – CH. S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Tagline– The name you can bank upon

Deutsche Bank Executed World’s First Green Hedge with Continuum

Deutsche Bank and Continuum Energy Levanter Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Continuum Green Energy (Continuum) executed the world’s first green hedging transaction based on a specially designed green hedge framework with a second party opinion.
About Deutsche Bank:
Establishment – 1870
Headquarters – Frankfurt, Germany
CEO -Christian Sewing


Rawalpindi’s KRL Stadium renamed after Shoaib Akhtar

The cricket authorities in Rawalpindi has renamed historic KRL Stadium in Rawalpindi, Pakistan as Shoaib Akhtar Stadium to honour Akhtar for his services to Pakistan cricket for years.

Mithali Raj becomes 1st Indian & 2nd International Woman Cricketer to score 10, 000 International Runs

Mithali Raj became 1st Indian Woman Cricketer & 2nd International Women Cricketer (after England’s Charlotte Edwards) to score 10, 000 runs in International Cricket across all 3 formats of Cricket.
She achieved the record during the 3rd ODI Between India & South Africa Women’s team which took place on March 12, 2021 at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
Mithali Raj has scored 6, 974 runs from 212 One Day Internationals (ODI); 2, 364 runs from 89 T20 Internationals & 663 runs in 10 Test matches.
Mithali Raj hails from Rajasthan; she made her debut for India in June 1999.
1st to reach 7, 000 runs
She became the First Woman Cricketer to complete 7, 000 runs in Women’s ODI cricket.
She reached the milestone in her 213th Match, which was the 4th ODI of the 5-match series against South Africa at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
Previously, England’s Charlotte Edwards was the 1st player to score 6, 000 runs in Women’s ODIs. She retired from International Cricket in 2016, and is the 2nd leading run scorer with 5, 992 runs.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
President – Sourav Ganguly
Head Office – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai


CAIT Launches Vendor Onboarding App for its upcoming ‘Bharat e Market’

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) launched a vendor onboarding mobile app for its upcoming e-commerce portal ”Bharat e-Market”. This application allows businesses and service providers to register on the portal and create their own “e-dukaan(an online shopping store)”. There will be no charge for creating an e-dukaan nor any commission on business done on the portal. The other e-commerce portals are charging commission from 5% to 35% on transactions done on their portal.

KRAS begins Delivery of MRSAM Missile kits to Indian Armed Forces

Kalyani Rafael Advanced System (KRAS), a joint venture of India’s Kalyani Strategic Systems (KSSL) and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense System has started the delivery of BARAK-8 Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) kits to the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. The kits will be delivered from the Hyderabad plant of KRAS.’ In 2019, KRAS bagged a USD 100 Million Contract for manufacturing 1, 000 BARAK-8 MRSAM missile kits. Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is the custodian of the missile programme & Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) the integrator.
About Kalyani Rafael Advanced System (KRAS):
Chief Operating Officer – Ravindra B Naidu
Location – Hyderabad, Telangana

Govt to Sell up to 16.12% stake in Tata Communications via OFS

Government of India(GoI) is likely to sell 16.12% stake in Tata Communications (erstwhile VSNL) via Offer For Sale(OFS) at the floor price of ₹1,161 per equity share.It would fetch Rs. 5,334 crore to the GoI. Immediately after the OFS, the government shall sell the remaining(10%) equity shares held by it in the company to Panatone, arm of Tata Sons. With regard to this, President, GoI signed an amendment agreement with Panatone Finvest Ltd, Tata Sons Private Ltd and the company for sale of the entire shareholding.

Adani Ports Acquired 31.5% In Gangavaram Port from Warburg Pincus for Rs. 1,954 Crore

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ) Ltd, a subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group acquired a 31.5 % stake in Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) which is held by Windy Lakeside Investment Limited (an affiliate of Warburg Pincus) for around Rs 1,954 crore. The acquisition expands APSEZ’s market share to 30% across 12 locations in India
About Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ) Ltd:
APSEZ – India’s largest private Ports & Logistics company
Headquarter – Gujarat, India
CEO – Karan Adani
Chairman – Gautam Adani

NeoGrowth Appointed Ajinkya Rahane as its Brand Ambassador

NeoGrowth Credit Pvt., Ltd announced the appointment of Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane as its brand ambassador for one year. Rahane will feature in a campaign of the company named “Keeping it simple”. In the campaign, Ajinkya Rahane will talk about the ease of procuring loans through NeoGrowth for small businesses which will be released in the first week of April.
About Ajinkya Rahane: He is the current vice-captain of the Indian cricket team in Test cricket.
About NeoGrowth Credit Pvt.
Establishment – 2013
Chairman -D.K Khaitan
Managing Director (MD) – P.K. Khaitan
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Dr Harsh Vardhan Appointed as the Chairman of ‘Stop TB Partnership Board’

i. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) was appointed as the Chairman of ‘Stop TB Partnership Board’ for a term of 3 years starting from July 2021. The appointment is in recognition of his contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis(TB) from India by 2025. He will succeed Dr. Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Minister of Health of Brazil.
ii.On 25th September 2019, Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched the “TB Harega Desh Jeetega” campaign along with the National TB Prevalence Survey.
iii.The Stop TB Initiative was established following the 1st session of the Ad Hoc Committee on Tuberculosis Epidemic held in March 1998 in London.
About Stop TB Partnership:
Executive Director– Dr Lucica Ditiu
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland

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