Current Affairs

22 March, 2021


PM Addresses 3rd Edition of Annual Conference of ICDRI 2021

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi addressed the 3rd Edition of the Annual Conference of International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure 2021 (ICDRI 2021). The Conference took place virtually from March 17-19, 2021 and was hosted by Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
About Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI):
Director General – Sandeep Poundrik
Head Office – New Delhi (Interim Headquarters)
Membership – 22 countries & 6 International agencies (as of 2nd March, 2021)

India Ranked 139 out of 149 in UN World Happiness Report 2021, Finland Tops

India with a score of 3.819 has been ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the ‘World Happiness Report 2021’ an publication of United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The rankings were topped by Finland (tops for the 4th time). This is the 9th World Happiness Report and is based on surveys conducted during the time period of 2018-20. The happiness study ranks countries based on questions from the Gallup World Poll. The least happiest countries were Afghanistan (149), Zimbabwe (148) & Rwanda (147). Apart from Afghanistan (149), all neighbouring countries ranked higher than India.
Ranking Based on Past 3 Years(2018-2020):
Country Ranking Points
India 139 3.819
Finland 1 7.842
Denmark 2 7.620
Switzerland 3 7.571
Ranking Based on Last Year(2020):
Country Ranking Points
Finland 1 7.889
Iceland 2 7.575
Denmark 3 7.515
About United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN):
President – Jeffrey Sachs
Secretariat – New York, USA; Paris, France; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


AAI Agreed To Assist Bangladesh Aviation Regulator To Enhance Infrastructure

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has agreed to assist the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), the aviation regulator of Bangladesh, to enhance its capacity in terms of infrastructure and skilled manpower.
To explore the possible cooperation areas, the high-level delegations of CAAB visited AAI from 7th to 11th March 2021.India is currently celebrating ”Swarnim Vijay Varsh”, the golden jubilee year marking the 1971 war victory over Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Received Interim Dividend Cheque Of Rs. 92.56 Crore From DPSU – MDL

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received the interim dividend cheque of Rs.95.56 crore from the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (formerly called Mazagon Dock Limited – MDL), a Defence Public Sector Undertaking(DPSU) in New Delhi.
i.Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (Retd.), Chairman and Managing Director of MDL handed over the cheque to the Defence Minister.
ii.With this, MDL has paid a total dividend of Rs.138.73 crore to the Government during FY2020-21 including a final dividend of Rs. 46.17 crore for FY2019-20. DPSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has paid an interim dividend of 140% – Rs 174.43 crore interim dividend to the government. The company has declared interim dividend of 109.11 crore rupees @ 54.10 per cent of equity capital for Financial Year 2020-21, Government share being 84.83 per cent. M V Gowtama, CMD of BEL presented the cheque to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

NITI Aayog Submits 1st List of about 12 PSUs for Privatisation

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi headed Think Tank, NITI Aayog had submitted the 1st list of 12 Public Sector Undertaking’s(PSUs) for Privatisation. The list contains both Banks as well as Insurance Companies. Now, the list will be considered by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), and the Core Group of Secretaries on Divestment (CGD), headed by the cabinet secretary (Current Cabinet Secretary is Rajiv Gauba).
While Presenting the Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Plan to Privatise the PSUs to clear the ways for centre to complete the target of Rs 1.75 lakh crores of disinvestment in the financial year 2021-2022.

Sadananda Gowda inaugurates 11th Edition of India Chem 2021 in New Delhi

Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers inaugurated ‘India Chem 2021’ – the 11th Biennial International Exhibition & Conference at New Delhi. It is organized by the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Government of India & FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) and will be held from March 17-19, 2021.
Theme – “India: Global Manufacturing Hub for Chemicals and Petrochemicals”

4th JPO-DPIIT Review Meeting held Virtually under Indo-Japan MoC on Industrial Property

i.4th Review Meeting held virtually between Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India and the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan under Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Industrial Property signed in 2015.
ii.The 1st Phase of the meeting was Co-chaired by Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, DPIIT & Mr. Toshihide Kasutani, Commissioner, JPO. Similarly, the 2nd Phase of the meeting was Co-chaired by Shri Ravinder, Joint Secretary, DPIIT and Mr. Toshihide Kasutani.
iii.In June 2015, JPO & Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) (predecessor to the DPIIT) signed an MoC in the Field of Industrial Property.
iv.During the Review Meeting, both the entities agreed to act mutually & competent International Searching and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) for any international patent application filed with them under the PCT, from 1 July 2021.

IBBI & British High Commission released an ethical handbook for Ips

In New Delhi, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) in association with the British High Commission has prepared and released a publication titled “Handbook on Ethics for Insolvency Professionals: Ethical and Regulatory Framework”, a practical guide for insolvency professionals(IPs) for discharging their duties ethically. Dr. Navrang Saini, Whole Time Member, IBBI released the handbook in the presence of Ms. Natalie Toms, Chief Economist and Counsellor, British High Commission. The launch was followed by the webinar on “Pre-Pack Insolvency Resolution Process: Report of the Sub-Committee of the ILC”.
About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI):
Establishment – 1st October 2016
Headquarters – New Delhi, India
Chairperson – M.S. Sahoo

ISRO to Set-up Space Technology Incubation Center at NIT-Rourkela

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Institute of Technology (NIT)- Rourkela to set-up a Space Technology Incubation Center (S-TIC) at NIT-Rourkela campus, Odisha. This will be the 4th S-TIC of the 6 targeted by ISRO.
i.Under this MoU, Rs. 2 crores will be provided by ISRO to the NIT for infrastructure development of S-TIC & to carry out ISRO projects & prototypes.
About ISRO:
Founded by Vikram Sarabhai, also known as the Father of Indian Space Program.
Established- 1969
Headquarters- Bangalore, Karnataka
Chairman- Kailasavadivoo Sivan

PM Narendra Modi addresses the 4th Global Ayurveda Festival 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 4th Global Ayurveda Festival 2021 (GAF 2021). The event being held in a virtual format is organized by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) from March 12-19, 2021. FICCI is the industry partner. The Global Ayurveda Festival is the largest Ayurvedic event held anywhere across the world. Chairman of GAF 2021 – V Muraleedharan (Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs).
About Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA):
President – G G Gangadharan
Location – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Power Minister R K Singh launches GRAM UJALA in Bihar; 1st Carbon Credits Programme in India

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, R K Singh virtually launched the ‘GRAM UJALA’ programme in Arrah, Bihar. Under the programme, 15 Million (1.5 Crore) LEDs with 3 years of warranty will be given to rural customers on submission of working condition incandescent bulbs.Under this scheme Government will offer the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas at a INR 10. The LEDs distributed has the capacities of 7-watt & 12-watt.Each household can get up to 5 LEDs.The scheme was unveiled by Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL).
About Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL):
It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL)
CEO – Mahua Acharya

Labour Bureau signs agreement with BECIL for conducting all-India surveys

Labour Bureau an attached office of Ministry of Labour & Employment has signed an service level agreement with Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL) for providing technical and manpower support for conducting All India Surveys on Migrant Workers & All India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES).
About Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL):
CMD – George Kuruvilla
Head Office – New Delhi
About Labour Bureau:
Director General – DPS Negi
Head Office – Chandigarh/Shimla


Amitabh Bachchan Honoured with FIAF Award 2021

i. Indian Actor Amitabh Bachchan received the FIAF Award 2021 by the International Federation of Film Archives (French: Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film, FIAF), an international organization of film archives and museums across the globe over a virtual award ceremony hosted from Mumbai, Maharashtra.
ii.The award was bestowed upon him by former FIAF Award recipients and filmmakers Martin
About FIAF:
President– Frédéric Maire
Secretary-General– Michael Loebenstein
Headquarters– Brussels, Belgium

Moody’s Analytics sees India’s GDP growth at 12% in 2021

Moody’s Analytics, a subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation, predicts India’s GDP to grow by 12 % in 2021 following a contraction of 7.1%(-7.1%) in 2020 and sees favorable near-term prospects due to the stronger unexpected growth over months.
India’s Growth forecast by Moody’s Analytics: Domestic and external demand has increased and leads to improved manufacturing output in recent months as the restrictions are eased. Private consumption and non-residential investments also will pick up over the next few quarters and strengthen the demand in growth thus they saw real GDP growth of 12% in the 2021 calendar year.
About Moody’s Analytics:
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – United States
President – Stephen Tulenko


Mumbai Cricket Team Wins 2021’s Vijay Hazare Trophy; Prithvi Shaw-1st player to Score 800 runs in Single Edition

Mumbai cricket team won the 2021’s Vijay Hazare Trophy in the finals against Uttar Pradesh, where the captain of Mumbai, Prithvi Shaw became the 1st player to score 800 runs in a single edition. Previously, Mayank Agarwal held the highest run scorer record with 723 runs from the 2018 edition. In the same match, Uttar Pradesh batsman, Madhav Kaushik, scored 158 runs recording the highest runs scored by a batsman in the tournament’s final.

ICC Bans UAE Cricketers Mohammad Naveed & Shaiman Anwar for 8 Years

International Cricket Council (ICC) handed an 8-year ban to UAE cricketers, Former United Arab Emirates(UAE) captain Mohammad Naveed and batsman Shaiman Anwar from all forms of cricket. They were banned for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. They were found guilty of corruption relating to attempted match-fixing during 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifying tournaments. The bans are backdated to 16th October 2019, when they were provisionally suspended.

Former Ireland Captain, Gary Wilson, retires from International Cricket

The 35 year Gary Wilson, Former captain of Ireland Cricket Team announced retirement from International Cricket. He represented the Ireland squad in 2 Cricket World Cups (2011, 2015) and 5 T20 World Cups (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016). Currently, he is all set to take over the role of Head Coach and Pathway Manager for North West Warriors.
i.Gary Wilson made his International Debut in 2005 for Ireland, and represented the side 292 times.
ii.He is the 2nd Highest wicket-taker for Ireland with 160 catches & 33 stumping’s.
iii.In his 16 yearlong cricketing career, he scored 5,959 runs for Ireland, with 1 century and 30 fifties.
iv.His highest score 113 came against the Netherlands in 2010.
v.He captained Ireland’s T20 squad in 2018, leading the country to be qualified for 2020’s T20 World Cup.
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
Chairman- Greg Barclay
Deputy-Chairman- Imran Khwaja
CEO- Manu Sawhney
Chairman of ICC Cricket Committee- Anil Kumble
Headquarter – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)


MoD, BDL sign deal for supply of 4, 690 MILAN-2T ATGMs to Indian Army

The Acquisition wing of Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed INR 1, 188 Crore deal with Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) for acquiring 4, 960 MILAN-2T Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) for the Indian Army. The deal will boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian Government. The induction of 4, 960 tanks is expected to be completed in three years. MILAN-2T missiles have a range of 1, 850 meters. They are capable of being fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers. MILAN-2T is being produced by BDL under license from French defence major MBDA Missile Systems. The acquisition is expected to enhance the operational readiness of the Indian Army. The deal will be a big opportunity for the Defence Industry in India to achieve ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ in the defence sector.
About Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL):
CMD – Siddharth Mishra
Head Office – Hyderabad, Telangana

Govt focused to Develop & Strengthen India’s First own Mobile Appstore – “Mobile Seva Appstore”: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY), stated that the government is keen to develop and strengthen India’s first indigenously developed mobile app store – “Mobile Seva Appstore”. This digital app store for government and private apps is a part of India’s efforts towards self-reliance.
About Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY):
Union Minister– Ravi Shankar Prasad (Lok Sabha- Patna Sahib, Bihar)
MoS– Sanjay Dhotre(Lok Sabha – Akola, Maharashtra)

PowerGrid acquired the Outstanding 74% stake in JPVL from Jaypee Powergrid

Power Grid Corporation of India(Powergrid) has signed an agreement with Jaiprakash Power Ventures (JPVL) for the acquisition of the outstanding 74% stake of JPVL in Jaypee PowerGrid(JPL) at an aggregate consideration of Rs 351.64 crore. Powergrid has already owned a 26% stake in JPVL and now through this acquisition, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Grid. JPL has developed a 214-kilometer-long EHV power transmission project to evacuate power from the Karcham-Wangtoo project in Himachal Pradesh. The power transmitted is slated for distribution and consumption in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
About Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID):
Establishment – 23rd October 1989
Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana
Chairman & Managing Director – K. Sreekant
About Jaypee Powergrid Limited (JPL):
It is a joint venture company set up between Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL)
Establishment – April 2012
Company Location– New Delhi
Chairman– Shri I.S. Jha(Part-time)

CCI approved Tata Power’s 51% stake acquisition in NESCO Utility from GRIDCO

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 51% of the equity share capital of North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (NESCO Utility) by The Tata Power Company Limited (TPCL) from Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (GRIDCO) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, The proposed acquisition is in accordance with the competitive bidding process initiated by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (“OERC”) under Section 20 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Establishment – 14th October 2003
Headquarters – New Delhi, India
Chairman – Ashok Kumar Gupta

Anurag Thakur becomes first serving MP to be appointed captain in Territorial Army

Minister of State (MoS) for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur has become the first serving member of parliament (MP) to be appointed as Captain in the Territorial Army. The four-time BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur was commissioned into the Territorial Army as a Lieutenant in July 2016. Territorial Army is the second line of defence in the hierarchy, which comprises volunteers who are imparted military training for about a month in a year.

Govt Forms Experts Advisory Committee For Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), Chaired by H K Mittal

i.The Government of India has constituted an expert advisory committee to execute and monitor the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme(SISFS). The committee will be chaired by H K Mittal from the Department of Science and Technology.
ii.The committee will evaluate and select incubators for the allotment of the fund under the scheme.
iii.It will also monitor the progress of the scheme and take the required measures to effectively utilise the funds to achieve the objectives of SISFS.
iv.On 5th February 2021, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry approved the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) for a period of 4 years starting from 2021-22.
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha – Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS)- Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha – Uttar Pradesh), Som Parkash (Lok Sabha – Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

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