Current Affairs

21 April, 2021


Global CO2 emissions set to touch 33 Billion Tonnes in 2021, 2nd Largest rise in Emissions : IEA Report

According to ‘Global Energy Review 2021’ released by International Energy Agency (IEA), Global CO2 emissions are set to touch 33 Billion Tonnes in 2021, an increase of 5% compared to 2020 Levels (up by 1.5 Billion Tonnes from 2020). It is the 2nd Largest increase in emissions ever.

About International Energy Agency (IEA)

Executive Director – Fatih Birol
Headquarters – Paris, France
Members Countries– 30 member countries

Cyclone Amphan of 2020 resulted in USD 14 Billion Economic Losses to India : WMO Report

According to the ‘State of the Global Climate 2020’ released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Cyclone Amphan which made Landfall in the India-Bangladesh border in May 2020 caused Economic losses of ~ USD 14 Billion (~Rs. 1.5 Lakh Crore) to India. It was the costliest tropical cyclone on record for the North Indian Ocean.

i.Due to the cyclone around 2.4 Million People were displaced in India (mostly in West Bengal and Odisha) & 2.5 Million in Bangladesh.
ii.The report further stated that 2020 was one of the Three Warmest Years on Record (1st – 2016, 2nd – 2020 & 3rd 2019). The Global Average Temperature for 2020 was about 1.2 Degree Celsius (variation of +/- 0.1 °C) above the 1850–1900 baseline.

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
President – Gerhard Adrian
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Members – 193 (187 Countries, 6 Member Territories)

Australia announces INR 8.12 Crore Grant for Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative

Australia has announced a grant of AUD 1.4 Million (INR 8.12 Crore) under the newly launched ‘Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership (AIIPOIP)’ programme of the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI). AIIPOIP is a grants programme which will help deliver practical outcomes outlined in the IPOI. It is an initiative under Australia-India Joint Declaration on a ‘Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific’. The Joint Declaration is part of the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in June, 2020.
About Australia:
Prime Minister – Scott Morrison
Capital – Canberra
Currency – Australian Dollar (AUD)


Union Minister Piyush Goyal Launches Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS).

Objective – It aims to provide Financial Assistance to startups for Proof of Concept, Prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization

Duration – 4 years, starting 2021-22. It aims to build an Robust Startup ecosystem in Tier-2 & Tier-3 towns of India which are suffering due to inadequate funding. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this scheme on January 16, 2021 during ‘Prarambh:StartupIndia International Summit’ which was held to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of Startup India initiative.

Component Details
Corpus Fund INR 945 Crore
Monitoring & Executing Agency Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) created by DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade)
Grants ● INR 5 Crore to eligible Incubators selected by EAC.
● INR 20 Lakhs to startups for validation of Proof of Concept, or prototype development, or product trials.

● Investment of INR 50 Lakh for startups for market entry, commercialization, or scaling up through convertible debentures or debt-linked instruments.

About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister– Piyush Vedprakash Goyal (Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Minister of State (MoS)– Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha, Uttar Pradesh), Som Parkash (Lok Sabha – Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

Finance Ministry expands Scope of ECLGS 2.0, includes Healthcare Sector

The Ministry of Finance has extended the Scope of ECLGS 2.0 component of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) by including SMA-1 (Special Mention Accounts-1) of the Healthcare sector .ECLGS 2.0 already includes borrowers from 26 sectors identified by RBI (Reserve Bank of India) constituted K V Kamath Committee.The revised operational guidelines are issued by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC).

About Ministry of Finance:
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Rajya Sabha MP representing Karnataka)
Minister of State (MoS) – Anurag Singh Thakur (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)


PhonePe becomes 1st company to cross 1 billion transactions in UPI

PhonePe,a Bengaluru based digital payments and financial services company has become the first company to cross 1 billion transactions on Unified Payment Interface(UPI).The company has crossed over 1.3 billion transactions on its platform across payment offerings of wallet,cards and UPI in March 2021.PhonePe has seen a growth in UPI transactions to 975.53 million in February 2021 from 902.03 million in December 2020.

RBI Decided not to Activate CCyB due to Lack of Necessity

In April 2021, Based on the empirical testing and review of Counter-Cyclical Capital Buffer (CCyB) indicators by The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI), it has decided not to activate CCyB at present as there is no necessity for it.

ADB partners with Habitat for Humanity to provide housing loans to vulnerable communities

Asian Development Bank(ADB) announced its partnership with Habitat for Humanity International to help Microfinance Institutions(MFI) in providing housing loans to low income families in rural and semi urban areas of Bangladesh,India,Indonesia and Philippines.

In order to improve the construction quality and climate resilience by upgrading semi permanent structures and installing sanitation and water connections ,loans will be given to around 20,000 households by partner MFIs in the first phase.

In the first phase Commercial banks will provide $30 million financing for housing loans to MFIs.

About Asian Development Bank:
President: Masatsugu Asakawa
Established in: 1966
Headquarters: Manila,Philippines
Members: 68 members(49-Asia & Pacific & 19 – outside)
About Habitat for Humanity:
Chief Executive Officer: Jonathan Reckford
Chief Operating Officer: Patrick Canagasingham
Headquarters: Atlanta,Georgia

RBI Set up a Committee Headed by Sudarshan Sen to Review Working of ARCs

In April 2021, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up a 6 member committee to evaluate the role of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) in stressed debt resolution and review their business model. The committee will be headed by Sudarshan Sen, former executive director, RBI.
About Asset Reconstruction Company(ARC):

It is a financial institution (FI) that buys the NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) or bad loans from banks and FI and helps them to recover from the NPAs.

They are registered under RBI and regulated under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002.

Capital needs: The net owned funds of ARCs should be Rs 100 crore or more and they also have to maintain a capital adequacy ratio of 15% of its risk-weighted assets.

About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao


Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium to host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has selected the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to host the finals of the 7th International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T2O World Cup in November 2021. It has shortlisted eight venues to host the tournament of 2021 (October-November, 2021) which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Dharamshala.
Note – BCCI has decided to field both the men’s and the women’s cricket teams at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics if the game is included in the roster.

Former Sri Lankan Cricketer Dilhara Lokuhettige Banned For 8 Years Under ICC Anti Corruption Code

The International Cricket Council(ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has imposed an 8 year ban on 40-years-old former Sri Lankan Cricketer Dilhara Lokuhettige from all forms of cricket for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption code. The ban was backdated to 3rd April 2019 when he was provisionally suspended. He was the 4th former Sri Lanka player to be charged with corruption.

Charges against Dilhara Lokuhettige:
i.Charges levied under Article 2.1.1 – For being to fix otherwise influence improperly the result, progress.
ii.Charges levied under Article 2.1.4 – Directly or indirectly inducing, instructing, encouraging to breach code.
iii.Charges levied under Article 2.1. Article 2.4.4 – Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches under the code.
iv.He was also charged by the ICC on behalf of Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for breaching 3 ECB anti corruption code for T10 league in 2017.


NASA’s ‘Ingenuity’ Becomes 1st Helicopter to take Controlled Flight on Mars

The ‘Ingenuity’, the experimental Mars helicopter of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) became the first helicopter to take powered, controlled flight on another planet(Mars).

To demonstrate that powered controlled flight is possible on mars.
i.Ingenuity is a mini 4 pound(1.8 kg) copter, which carried a bit of the wing fabric from the 1903 Wright flyer (Kitty Hawk), the first successful heavier than air powered aircraft.
ii.NASA has invested around 85 million USD to build the ingenuity, a 19 inch(48 cm) tall copter with carbon fiber blades.
The ingenuity was taken to mars along with the Perseverance rover and landed inside the Jezero crater.
iii.The ingenuity was taken to mars along with the Perseverance rover and landed inside the Jezero crater. Chief Pilot- Håvard Grip

1st Unit of Indigenously built ALH MK-III Aircraft ‘INAS 323’ commissioned into Indian Navy at Goa

Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the 1st Unit of the Indigenously built ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Mk-III Aircraft was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa, Goa. INAS 323 Squadron will comprise of 3 ALH Mk IIIs. It will be commanded by Commander Samik Nundy. The ALHs are designed and developed Indigenously by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The squadron will perform roles like Search and Rescue operations, Special Operations and Coastal Surveillance.

About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff – Admiral Karambir Singh
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)– R Madhavan
Headquarter– Bengaluru, India

Govt of Ghana to Acquire 100% stake of AirtelTigo from Bharti Airtel, Millicom International Cellular S.A.

The government of Ghana has made an agreement with Bharti Airtel, and Millicom International Cellular S.A. to acquire the 100% shares of AirtelTigo. After the agreement Ghana will take over AirtelTigo along with all its customers, assets and liabilities and later it will operate as a state-entity of Ghana.

About AirtelTigo: In 2017 Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharati Airtel and Millicom International Cellular merged their operations in Ghana (Airtel Ghana Ltd and Tigo Ghana Ltd) and formed AirtelTigo the mobile operator.
Note – Bharti Airtel which is based in NewDelhi, operates in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa.
About Ghana:
Capital – Accra
Currency – Ghanaian cedi
President – Nana Akufo-Addo
About AirtelTigo
Establishment – November 2017
Headquarters – Accra, Ghana
Chief Executive Officer – Murthy Chaganti

Cape Verde’s Prime Minister – Ulisses Correia e Silva led ‘MpD party’ has Won Parliamentary Election

The Movement for Democracy (MpD), the ruling party of Cape Verde has won the country’s Parliamentary Election with 37 seats in the national assembly out of 72. The African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) (another important party of Cape Verde) has won 29 seats. It is expected that the MpD party would reappoint Ulisses Correia e Silva (the current Prime Minister) as the Prime Minster for second 5 year term.

About Cape Verde:
It is an archipelago lying around off the coast of Senegal
Capital – Praia
President – Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Prime Minister – Ulisses Correia e Silva
Currency – Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)

RBI Approved the Re-appointment of Murali Natrajan as the MD and CEO of DCB Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Murali Natrajan as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DCB Bank for one year from April 29, 2021. Initially, he was appointed as MD and CEO of DCB Bank in May 2009. About Murali Natrajan: Before joining DCB, he worked in foreign banks such as Standard Chartered and Citibank. Note – DCB Bank is the first bank in India to start an Aadhaar-based ATM (2016).
About DCB Bank:
Establishment – 1930
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – We Value You

Kim Boo-kyum Nominated as the New Prime Minister of South Korea

Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea nominated Kim Boo-kyum, the former Minister of the Interior and Safety as the new Prime Minister (PM) of South Korea. Kim Boo-kyum will be the 3rd PM under the government headed by President Moon Jae-in. He will replace former PM Chung Sye-kyun who resigned to run in the 2022 presidential election.

About Kim Boo Kyum:
i.Kim Boo Kyum served as the interior minister in 2017-2019.
ii.He has served as the mayor of Daegu, the southeastern metropolitan city.
About South Korea:
President– Moon Jae-in
Capital– Seoul
Currency– South Korean won

Puma India Signed Washington Sundar, Devdutt Padikkal As Brand Ambassadors

Puma India, leading German sportswear brand signed a long term endorsement deal with Indian Cricketers, Washington Sundar and DevduttPadikkal. Both Sundar and Padikkal will be joining Puma as its brand ambassadors. In March 2021, Puma signed as the official kit partners of the Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) in the IPL 2021 season.

About Washington Sundar:
Washington Sundar(21 years old) from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is the youngest T20I cricketer(18 years) to represent India at International level in 2017.
About DevduttPadikkal:
DevduttPadikkal(20 years old) from Edappal, Kerala, is an Indian cricketer who represents Karnataka and India under 19s.
Other brand ambassadors of Puma:
ViratKohli; KL Rahul; SushmaVerma; Yuvraj Singh; Sara Ali Khan; MC Mary Kom; Dutee Chand; Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sunil Chhetri are some of the brand ambassadors of Puma.

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