Current Affairs

23 April, 2021


THE Impact Ranking 2021: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham only Indian University in World Top 100 for Sustainability

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Tamil Nadu became the only Indian University to make it to the list of World’s Top 100 Educational Institutions for sustainability. It was ranked 81st (overall ranking) in the 3rd edition of Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021. Apart from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, two Indian Universities namely Karnataka-based JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research and Punjab-based Lovely Professional University were ranked in the list with a place in the 100-200 grouping.
University Name Country Overall Rank
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham India 81
University of Manchester United Kingdom 1
University of Sydney Australia 2
RMIT University Australia 3
India’s Impactful Universities
University Rank
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Tamil Nadu 81
JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Karnataka Band 101-200
Lovely Professional University, Punjab Band 101-200
About Times Higher Education (THE):
CEO – Paul Howarth
Headquarters – London, UK

India ranked 87th in Global Energy Transition Index 2021 of WEF; Sweden Tops

India with a score of 53 has been ranked 87th (out of 115 countries) in the Global Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2021 released by World Economic Forum (WEF) in its report ‘Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2021’ edition. The index was topped by Sweden, Norway & Denmark. ETI benchmarks countries on the performance of their energy system, as well as their readiness for transition to a secure, sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy future. The report has been prepared by WEF in partnership with Accenture.
Rank Country Score
87 India 53
1 Sweden 79
2 Norway 77
3 Denmark 76
About World Economic Forum (WEF)
Founder and Executive Chairman – Klaus Schwab
Headquarters – Cologny, Switzerland
About Accenture
CEO – Julie Sweet
Headquarters – Dublin, Ireland

India retains 142nd Rank, Norway Tops in World Press Freedom Index 2021

India with a score of 46.56 retained 142nd Rank (out of 180 countries) in the World Press Freedom Index 2021 released by international journalism not-for-profit body, Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) (also known as Reporters Without Borders). The index was topped by Norway (for the 5th time), followed by Finland & Sweden. India has been classified as a country with a ‘bad’ environment for Press Freedom, it shared the classification with Brazil, Mexico & Russia. India was ranked 142nd in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index rankings.
World Press Freedom Index:- The World Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking, which ranks countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It has been releasing reports since 2002.
Rank Country Global Score *
142 India 46.56
1 Norway 6.72
2 Finland 6.99
3 Sweden 7.24
About Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF)
Secretary-General – Christophe Deloire
Headquarters – Paris, France


Indian Air Force Commanders’ Conference 2021 concludes in New Delhi

The Indian Air Force Commanders Conference 2021 took place in New Delhi from April 14-16, 2021. The conference saw detailed discussions on ways and means to enhance operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The theme of the conference was – ‘Reorienting for the Future’. Other subjects of discussions were identifying challenges across all threat domains, incorporation of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence & 5G into the service.

Arvind Kejriwal Will Represent India at World Cities Cultural Forum 2021

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi will be representing Delhi and India at the World Cities Cultural Forum (WCCF) 2021. The Forum comprises 40 world cities including London, Tokyo and New York.The WCCF 2021 Forum was hosted by London. The WCCF is an annual summit attended by the deputy mayors for culture and heads of culture from the member cities & it will be hosted by each member City annually. The theme of WCCF 2021 is “The Future of Culture”.

ITCN programme launched by NIUA in partnership with BvLF

The Infant Toddler and Caregiver-friendly Neighbourhoods (ITCN) Training and Capacity Building Programme was launched virtually by National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in partnership with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF). This programme is aimed to enhance the capacities of city officials and young professionals for developing young children and family-friendly neighbourhoods within cities in India. The programme also provides certified training and capacity building modules

Indian Railways develops 1st of its kind ‘Form-based codes’ for the development of Railway land

The Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) has developed 1st of its kind ‘Form-based codes’ for commercial development of railway lands. The initiative aims to transform railway lands or railway station areas into Railopolis. The form based approach has been developed by IRSDC with support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. The code-based approach has been adopted by IRSDC as per the guidebook issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). IRSDC is the nodal agency for redevelopment of railway stations, it is also the main Project Development Agency (PDA) of Indian Railways.
About Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC)
MD & CEO – S K Lohia
Chairman (of Board of Directors) – Mr Pradeep Kumar
Head Office – New Delhi

Harsh Vardhan Addressed the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccine Virtually

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) addressed the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines virtually from 20th April to 22nd April 2021.
The forum is convened by Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New Vaccines in association with International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) & TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI).
About Global Forum on TB Vaccines:
Co-Chairs– David Lewinsohn; Mark Feinberg; Nick Drager
About Stop TB Partnership:
Executive Director-DrLucicaDitiu
Founded in 2001
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland


Tata Steel and HSBC Executed Global First Blockchain-enabled, Paperless Trade Transaction in Steel Industry

Tata Steel Ltd and HSBC, a banking and financial services organisation, executed the global first blockchain-enabled paperless transaction in steel industry. Under the transaction, Tata Steel exported steel to Universal Tube & Plastic Industries, UAE through the Contour and essDOCS blockchain platforms.
About Tata Steel Ltd:
Headquarters – Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
CEO & MD – Mr T V Narendran

IOB appoints Ernst & Young as its Digital Consultant

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) appointed Ernst & Young Global Limited, a multinational professional services network as its digital consultant. This partnership is a part of IOB’s growth strategy to transform its banking services into Digital format.
Aim: To increase IOB’s digital share in the market and to attract millennial customers.
About Indian Overseas Bank (IOB):
MD & CEO– Partha Pratim Sengupta
Founded on – 10th February 1937
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Tagline– Good people to grow with

First Neobank in Kerala – Launched by Aceware Fintech

Aceware FinTech Services, a Kerala-based fintech services company, launched Kerala’s first neobank called Ace Money Neobank, in partnership with YES Bank and ICICI Bank.
Services under Ace Money Neobank: Under Ace Money, the start-ups, merchants, and enterprise entities can open present accounts, in line with the corporate. Note – The services of Ace Money are available at all the panchayats in Kerala
About Aceware FinTech Services:
Headquarters – Cochin, Kerala
CEO – Jimmin James Kurichiyil

South Africa’s second largest bank, FirstRand Bank to exit India

FirstRand Bank , the second largest bank in South Africa has decided to withdraw its banking services from India just within a week of Citi banks exit.The Asset value is $118 billion.
i.FirstRand had started its banking service in India in late 2009 but it started lending to individual customers and small and medium enterprises only in 2012.
ii.The bank has its only office in Mumbai and acts as a branch of FirstRand Bank South Africa.
iii.As per its annual report(2019-20),there were Rs.318 crore deposits in the bank and its advances stood at Rs.420 crore at the end of March 2020.
About FirstRand Bank:
Chief Executive Officer: Alan Patrick Pullinger
Headquarters: Johannesburg,SouthAfrica

Co-lending Partnership between HDFC & Indiabulls HFL

Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Ltd and Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited (Indiabulls HFL) entered into a strategic co-lending partnership to offer housing loans to homebuyers. The loans under the program will be in the funding ratio of 80:20 in which 80% of the loan is with HDFC’s books and 20% with Indiabulls HFL’s books. Indiabulls will service the loan account throughout the life cycle of the loan and it holds 20% of the credit risk by way of direct exposure.
About RBI’s Framework over Co-lending:
In the case of co-lending between NBFC’s and Banks, in September 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated to share a minimum of 20% of the credit risk by way of direct exposure on NBFC’s books till maturity and the balance on the bank’s books.


Haryana to Host 4th Khelo India Youth Games 2021 from 21st Nov to 5th Dec 2021

Haryana is set to host the 4th edition of theKhelo India Youth Games 2021, which will be held from 21st November 2021 to 5th December 2021 at Panchkula, Ambala, Shahabad, Delhi and Chandigarh. The decision was taken during the 1st meeting of the Executive Committee of the Khelo India Youth Games 2021 chaired by VijaiVardhan, Chief Secretary of Haryana at Chandigarh. This will be the first time that the Khelo India Youth games are held away from the January window and in multiple cities.
4th Khelo India Youth Games:
i.Around 25 types of sports, including 5 traditional sports like Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-ta, Mallakhamba and Yogasana for the under-18 category will be organised at the 4th Khelo India Youth Games.
ii.Some of the (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – BRICS) BRICS Games 2021 will also be organised during Khelo India Games.
iii.Around 8500 players across India and other countries will be participating in the games.
iv.A Sports Expo will also be organised during the Khelo India games 2021.

TN’s Arjun Kalyan becomes India’s 68th Chess GrandMaster

18-year old Arjun Kalyan from TamilNadu(TN) became India’s 68th Chess GrandMaster(GM) after winning against Dragan Kosic of Montenegro in the 5th round of the ongoing GM Round Robin “Rujna Zora-3” in Serbia.
About International Chess Federation(FIDE):
President: Arkady Dvorkovich
Headquarters: Lausanne,Switzerland.


Students Discovered New ‘Super-Earth’ Orbiting a Red Dwarf Star, GJ 740

A student of the Canary Islands’ Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias discovered a new ‘Super Earth‘ orbiting GJ 740, red dwarf star.The Super Earth is located at 36 light-years from Earth.Super Earth takes 2 days, 9 hours, and 30 minutes to round around its star. (Where as, Earth takes 365.24 days)
Super-Earth: It is a class of planets that are twice the size of Earth yet lighter than Neptune and Uranus; can be made of gas, rock, or a combination of both.
Red dwarfs Stars: They are the common type of star in the Milky Way (due to low luminosity they are not visible to the naked eye). Thus 20 out of the 30 stars near Earth are red dwarfs. Proxima Centauri (closest star to the sun), is a red dwarf. Its atmosphere would lead to life under the right conditions.

Government to sell 20% stake in NFL & 10% Stake in RCFL

The Government is set to divest 20% stake (paid-up equity capital) in National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) and 10% of its holding in Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCFL) through the Offer For Sale (OFS) route.
About Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)
It comes under the Ministry of Finance
Director/Deputy Secretary – Ritu Sharma
Head Office – New Delhi

DCB Bank Acquired 9% Stake in Techfino Capital

DCB Bank Limited acquired a minority stake of around 9 per cent equity stake in Techfino Capital Private Limited (TCPL), a non-banking financial company (NBFC). TCPL provides customized consumer loans in the education and healthcare sectors and is present in key metros and tier-II cities across India The funds raised by TCPL will be used in the enhancement of its current Tech Stack, apart from on-lending to customers.
About Techfino Capital Private Limited (TCPL):
Establishment – 2018
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka
Founder – Jayaprakash Patra, Ratikanta Satapathy, Rajesh Panda
About DCB Bank:
Establishment – 1930
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD and CEO – Murali Natrajan
Tagline – We Value You

India’s CAG G C Murmu Appointed External Auditor of OPCW

India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Girish Chandra Murmu has been appointed as External Auditor of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for a three-year term starting 2021. The appointment was made during an election process held at the OPCW Conference of State Parties held on April 21, 2021. India was also selected as a member of the Executive council of the OPCW representing the Asia group for another 2-year term.
About Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
Director-General – Mr Fernando Arias
Headquarters – Hague, Netherlands

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