Current Affairs

22 April, 2021


UN-ESCAP Report on Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Asia, Pacific Countries

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in its report ‘Beyond the pandemic: Building back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific’ analysed the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific countries.
About The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP)
Establishment – 1947 as the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE)
Executive Secretary – Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Headquarters – Bangkok, Thailand

India elected to 3 Bodies of UN Economic and Social Council

India has been elected by acclamation (a form of election that does not use a ballot) to 3 bodies of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It has been elected to the 3 bodies for a 3-year term beginning January 1, 2022. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) Executive Board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
About UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
President – Munir Akram
Headquarters – New York, USA

Singapore becomes 1st Country to ratify Free Trade Agreement RCEP

Singapore ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), with this it became the 1st Participating country to ratify the RCEP, which is the World’s Largest Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
RCEP is an initiative led by China, India had pulled out of the pact in 2019.
In November 2020, 15 Asia -Pacific countries including 10 members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and their 5 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia signed the RCEP. The agreement will enter into force after 6 ASEAN member states and 3 ASEAN FTA partners have ratified it. The participating countries are targeting entry into force on January 1, 2022.
About Singapore
Prime Minister (PM) – Lee Hsien Loong
Currency – Singapore Dollar (SGD)

UNFPA’s State of World Population 2021: My Body is My Own – Claiming the right to autonomy and self determination

United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, has launched its flagship report State of World population 2021 titled “My Body is My Own – Claiming the right to autonomy and self-determination”. This is the first report of the United Nations(UN) which focuses on bodily autonomy, the right of a person to govern what happens to their body without the influence or coercion from others.


IIT Kharagpur & NCDC Sign MoU To Promote Sustainable Developments

The IIT Kharagpur and the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote greater collaboration towards sustainable development in cooperatives, agriculture, and allied sectors.
About National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC):
Establishment – 1963 as a development finance statutory institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Managing Director– Sundeep Kumar Nayak
Head Office– New Delhi

Insurance Scheme for Healthcare Workers Fighting COVID-19 Under PMGKP Extended for 1 more year

The Central Government has extended the Insurance scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) for Health workers fighting COVID-19 for a period of one year. It was announced by the Government as part of its INR 1.7 Lakh Crore COVID-19 relief package. The insurance scheme provides an insurance cover of INR 50 Lakh to health workers fighting COVID-19 & for those who lost their lives on account of COVID-19 duty, it lapsed on March 24, 2021. The scheme is implemented by New India Assurance (NIA) Company Limited.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)
Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan (Lok Sabha MP from Chandni Chowk, NCT of Delhi)
Minister of State – Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Bihar)

Cabinet Approvals of MoUs with Foreign Countries on April 20, 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has granted approval to several key initiatives. They are
MoU between CCI & CADE, Brazil
Cabinet has approved the MoU between the Competition Commission of India (CCI) & the Administrative Council for Economic Defense of Brazil (CADE).
About Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
It is a statutory body established under Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. It functions under the Administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
President – Nihar N. Jambusaria
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
It is a statutory body that enforces The Competition Act, 2002.
It comes under the control of MCA
Chairperson – Ashok Kumar Gupta
Headquarters – New Delhi

Cabinet Approvals on April 20, 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded approval to several key initiatives.
Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase 2A & Phase 2B
The Union Cabinet approved the Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase 2A and Phase 2B of total length 58.19 Km. The total cost of the project is INR 14, 788.101 Crore.
Approval for Exclusive Subsidy Policy for Urea
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the formulation of an exclusive subsidy policy for Urea produced through Coal Gasification. The proposal was put forth by the Department of Fertilizers. The new subsidy policy costing INR 13, 277 Crore will be provided to Talcher Fertilizers Limited (TFL). It is expected to boost fertilizer production in India


ICRA Predicts India’s GDP forecast for FY22 to 10-10.5% down by 0.5%

The Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA) reduced India’s GDP growth forecast for FY22 by 0.5 per cent i.e. projected growth to a range of 10-10.5 per cent, against 10-11 per cent of its earlier estimation due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the localized restrictions. It also mitigated the GDP growth for Q1 FY22 (April-June 2021), from 27.5 per cent to 20-25 per cent
About Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA):
It is owned by Moody’s Corporation
Establishment – 1991
Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana
MD & Group CEO – Mr. N. Sivaraman

SBI MF becomes 1st mutual fund company to cross Rs.5 lakh crore AAUM

SBI Mutual Funds(MF) announced that its Average Assets Under Management(AAUM) has crossed Rs.5 lakh crore making it the first mutual fund company to cross this mark. Its AAUM has increased to Rs.5.04 lakh crore in 2020-21 from Rs.3.37 lakh crore in 2019-20 fiscal year. SBI MF has seen a growth of 35 percent during the financial year 2020-21.

Google pay creators partners with Federal bank to launch Neobank Fi for millennials

Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani , co-creators of Google Pay have announced the launch of Fi,a NeoBank for salaried millennials in partnership with Federal Bank. Fi’s android app will start operation from 21st April 2021 and its iOS app is still in processing and will be launched soon.
About Fi NeoBank:
Fi Neo Bank was founded in 2019 and has raised USD 13.5 million in its seed round led by Sequoia India and Ribbit Capital.
Co Founders: Sujith Narayanan,Sumit Gwalani
Headquarters: Bengaluru,Karnataka
About Federal Bank:
Incorporated : April 23,1931 as the Travancore federal bank limited,Kerala under the Travancore companies regulation ,1916
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Shyam Srinivasan
Headquarters: Aluva,Kerala
Tagline: Your Perfect Banking Partner

Bitex Became the First Cryptocurrency Exchange in India to Provide Investment Declaration Reports

Bitex, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based Cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its issuing of investment declaration reports for all its retail and institutional investors in compliance with the amendments made to the Companies Act 2013, by which it became the first Cryptocurrency exchange in India to provide such reports.
Background: In March 2021, The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) amended Schedule III of the Companies Act, 2013, and made it mandatory for Indian companies, unlisted and private to disclose their dealings in cryptocurrency or virtual currency they have traded or invested.
Purpose of the Report:
The report will contain information about what the investors have sold or bought, hence, it will act as proof of the exact money the investors made or lost while trading in cryptocurrencies to tax authorities. (Earlier these details were not provided to the investors)
About Bitex
Establishment – 2018
Headquarters – Dubai, UAE
Founder and CEO – Monark Modi


India’s Mirabai Chanu creates new world record & national record

Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu created a new world record on April 17, 2021 in Clean and Jerk after she lifted 119 kg at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent.

Mirabai also created a new national record as she lifted a total of 205 kg, including 86 kg snatch + 119 kg Clean and Jerk which also won her the bronze medal at the tournament.
The previous clean and jerk world record was 118 kg, which was set by Chinese weightlifter Jiang Huihua in 2019. The Chinese lifter finished second this time and won the silver medal by lifting 207kg (89kg+118kg).

Asian Wrestling Championships 2021: India clinches 14 medals including 5 Gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze

Asian Wrestling Championships 2021: India clinched 14 medals including 5 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2021 at Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Senior Wrestling Championships was held from April 13 to 18, 2021.

India with 14 medals finished third in the medal tally, behind Iran and Kazakhstan which topped the 34th edition of the Championship with 17 medals each.


India’s 40th Scientific Expedition to Antarctica returns to Capetown

The 40th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (40-ISEA) hosted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences successfully returned to Cape Town, South Africa on April 10, 2021, after completing a journey of 12,000 nautical miles in 94 days, including stopovers. The 40-ISEA was on board the MV Vasiliy Golovnin, a chartered ice-class vessel and began their journey from the Mormugao Port of Goa to Antarctica on 7 January, 2021. On the way to Antarctica, This team deployed four autonomous Ocean Observing DWS (Directional Wave Spectra) wave drifters between 35 degree and 50 degree south latitudes in collaboration with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. The expedition had a team of 20 personnel at Bharati led by Atul Suresh Kulkarni and 21 personnel at Maitri led by Ravindra Santosh.

Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno Named as the President of Chad

According to the Transition Charter, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, (37 years old) a four star general, has taken over as the President of Chad. The Military council has named Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno,as the transitional leader of Chad following the death of his fatherIdriss Deby Itno, President of Chad. He will assume the functions of the President of the Republic of Chad. He was also named as the Supreme head of the armed forces. A democratic election will be conducted after an 18 month transitional period.
About Chad:
Currency- Central African CFA franc
Capital- N’Djamena

Argentina, Brazil, Uganda, Vanuatu – The Global Winners of ICC Development Awards for 2020

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Argentina, Brazil, Uganda and Vanuatu as the global winners of the ICC Development Awards for 2020 for their contribution to cricket through different exceptional programmes in 2020.
ICC Development Award 2020:
Award Category Awardee Awardee’s Contribution to the game

ICC Development Initiative of the Year
Cricket Argentina Attracted local audiences in South America to cricket

100% Cricket Female Cricket Initiative of the Year
Cricket Brazil Developed women’s game in South America

ICC Digital Fan Engagement of the Year
Vanuatu Cricket Association Provided cricket to fans during the pandemic
Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year
Uganda Cricket Association Supported their players, volunteers and their families through a COVID-19 relief programme
About The International Cricket Council (ICC):
Establishment – 15 June 1909
Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Chairman – Greg Barclay
CEO – Manu Sawhney

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