Current Affairs

20 February, 2021


3rd Quad Ministerial Meeting, FMs reaffirm commitment to strengthen co-op on advancing free and open Indo-Pacific

i.The 3rd QUAD meeting of Foreign Ministers of Japan, India, Australia and the United States (US) was held virtually from Washington DC, US. Notably, this Quad Ministerial Meeting was first under the Joe Biden Administration.
ii.The QUAD nations reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation including support for freedom of navigation and territorial integrity.
iii.Myanmar was the key focus of the meet.
iv.The Indian side was represented by Union Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Environmental Degradation Poses Triple Threat to Humans: UNEP Assessment

i.In accordance with the scientific assessment by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) title “Making Peace With Nature”, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution posing a triple threat to human health due to environmental degradation.
ii.There is a massive need of adopting renewable energy methods and eliminating habitat loss for saving our future generations from unacceptable risks.
iii.The lead author of the report is Robert Watson, Ivar A. Baste.
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya


Dharmendra Pradhan addressed Joint Conference of 11th World PetroCoal Congress 2021 & World Future Fuel Summit 2021 in New Delhi

i.Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) addressed the Joint Conference of the 11th World PetroCoal Congress 2021 and World Future Fuel Summit 2021 in New Delhi.
ii.The 11th World PetroCoal Congress-International Conference and Expo was organized by Energy and Environment Foundation on the theme “Petroleum-Coal-Gas: Towards a Win-Win Strategy for Producer and Consumer”.
iii.The World Future Fuel Summit and Exp 2021 was also organized by Energy and Environment Foundation. It is an annual summit to bring together global business leaders, future leaders (students), government, specialist exhibitors from globally, it showcases state-to-art technologies in clean future energy for globally.

IOC inked SoI with Greenstat Hydrogen India Pvt. Ltd to set up Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen

i.Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with Greenstat Hydrogen India Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of Greenstat Norway for setting up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen (CoE-H) including CCUS and Fuel Cells.
ii.It will be set up through Indo-Norwegian Hydrogen Cluster companies/organizations which will facilitate the transfer and sharing of technology, know-how and experience for R&D (Research & Development) projects in Green and Blue Hydrogen.
iii.The agreement has been signed by both the companies in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), Ambassador of Norway to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund, and senior officials of MoPNG.
About Indian Oil:
Chairman– Shrikant Madhav Vaidya
Headquarter– New Delhi
About Greenstat:
Manager for Greenstat Hydrogen– Tomas Fiksdal
Headquarter– Bergen, Norway

MoHUA shortlists 25 Cities for ‘Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge’ Cohort

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) shortlisted 25 Cities for the ‘Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge’ Cohort, the challenge is hosted by the Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA in collaboration with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), Urban95 of BvLF & technical partner World Resources Institute (WRI) India. The shortlisted cities will receive support & technical assistance for the next 6 months to implement their proposals. ‘Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge’ is a 3-year challenge that will help Indian cities to adopt & Implement neighbourhood-level pilot projects in public space, mobility, and access to services to enhance the physical and psychological health of young children (0-5 years old) & their caregivers.
About Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF):
Executive Director – Cecilia Vaca Jones
Headquarters – The Hague, Netherlands
About World Resources Institute (WRI) India:
CEO – O P Agarwal


Indian Bank signs MoU with SID of IISc to Provide Credit Facility to Start-ups and MSME

Indian Bank signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Society for Innovation and Development (SID), an initiative of Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru to provide exclusive credit facility to start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs).
ii.This initiative is a part of the Bank’s scheme ‘Ind Spring Board for financing Start-ups’
About Society for Innovation and Development (SID):
Chief Executive– Prof B Gurumoorthy
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka

Bank of Maharashtra Partnered with Vayana Network Launches its Mahabank Channel Financing Scheme for MSMEs

i.Bank of Maharashtra(BoM) in partnership with Vayana Network, a Supply Chain Financing (SCF) platform, launched its Mahabank Channel Financing Scheme, a Channel Financing solution for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs).
ii.This partnership enables BoM to provide short term credit to meet funding requirements of corporate dealers and vendors through its channel.
iii.Under the partnership, Vayana Network will provide SCF solutions to more than 1,870 branches of BoM through its technology and service knowledge. SCF solutions include vendor and dealer financing programs.
About Bank of Maharashtra(BoM):
HeadOffice– Pune, Maharashtra
Incorporated on– September 16, 1935
Commenced Operations– February 8, 1936
MD & CEO– A.S Rajeev


Japan’s Former Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto Takes Over as 2020 Tokyo Olympic President

Seiko Hashimoto, seven time Olympian (speed skater and cyclist) who was serving as the Minister of State for the Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games became the president of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Seiko Hashimoto resigned from the role of Minister of Olympics as she takes over as the president of 2020 Tokyo olympics. She succeeds Former chief Yoshiro Mori following his resignation over the condemned sexist remarks.


L&T delivers 100th & Final K-9 Vajra Howitzer Gun to Indian Army

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) delivered the 100th & Final K-9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled Howitzer guns to the Indian army from L&T’s Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) situated at Hazira near Surat, Gujarat. The K-9 Vajra was flagged off by Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane. K-9 Vajra has a range of 38 kms and is an indigenized version of K-9 Thunder of South Korea. The Howitzers have been produced by L&T with technology transfer from South Korean defence major Hanwha Defense. The Howitzers have been delivered with more than 80% indigenous work packages & above 50% indigenisation (by value) With this, L&T has successfully completed delivery of all 100 Howitzer guns under the INR 4, 366 Crore contract awarded to it by the Ministry of Defence in May 2017.

DRDO completes Joint User Trials for HELINA & Dhruvastra versions of ATGM

DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization) successfully conducted the trials of HELINA (Helicopter Launched Nag) (Army version) & Dhruvastra (Air Force Version) of the Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform in Pokhran, Rajasthan. The Missiles have been developed indigenously by DRDO. The Missiles successfully completed Five Missions for evaluating the missile capabilities in minimum and maximum range.

Mohammad Younes Menfi Becomes Interim Head of Presidential Council of Libya & Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as Interim PM of Libya

Mohammad Younes Menfi Becomes Interim Head of Presidential Council of Libya & Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as Interim PM of Libya

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakahria Resigns

Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister(PM) of Georgia resigned due to a disagreement with his own team over the decision to arrest Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party. Giorgi Gakharia belongs to Georgian Dream party. He served as the Prime Minister since September 2019. Note: The ruling party is expected to nominate a new PM and cabinet members for approval by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili shortly.
About Georgia:
Capital- Tbilisi
Currency- Georgian Lari(GEL)

Team TRIFED led by MD Pravir Krishna bag 4 awards at World Leadership Congress & Awards

Team TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India), the commercial wing of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and its Managing Director, Pravir Krishna won Four Awards in the 19th Global Edition & 4th India Edition of World Leadership Congress and Awards. The Economic Times presents ‘Business Leader of the Year’ took place in Mumbai, Maharashtra on February 17, 2021. TRIFED won the Collective Award of Excellence in PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) for investment in start-ups under the Organisational Award Category. Pravir Krishna won 3 awards in the Individual Category for his leadership – ‘CEO of the year’, ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ (both under ‘Business Leader of the Year’ category) & ‘Brand Builder of the Year’ (under Health Category). The Awards are hosted by World Leadership Congress and Awards.

Hyderabad, Recognised as the ‘2020 Tree City of the World’ by Arbor Day Foundation & FAO

The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations(UN) has recognised Hyderabad (Telangana) as one of the ‘2020 Tree City of the World’ for its contributions and commitment towards growing and maintaining urban forest. Hyderabad became the first and only city in India to be recognised as the Tree City of the World. With the recognition as the 2020 tree city of the world, Hyderabad became a part of the network of cities who recognise the vital role of trees towards building healthy, resilient and happy cities.
About Tree Cities of the World:
The tree cities of the world is a programme was inaugurated in 2019 by FAO of UN and Arbor Day Foundation.
To call cities to invest in forest-based solutions towards a sustainable and resilient model of urban development.
About Arbor Day Foundation:
Arbor Day Foundation is a non profit organization dedicated towards planting trees.
Chief Executive– Matt Harris
Headquarters– Lincoln, Nebraska
Founded in 1972

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