Current Affairs

23 September, 2021


Iran became the 9th Full Member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

In September 2021, Iran was appointed as the 9th permanent member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the 21st Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Prior to getting the permanent membership of SCO, Iran was one of the Observer member states of SCO. Iran received observer status in 2005.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

i.It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation formed on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China). It is the successor of Shanghai Five, a mutual security agreement formed in 1996 between China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

ii.SCO strengthens mutual trust among the member states, promotes their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, education, transport, etc.
About Iran:
Capital – Tehran
President – EbrahimRaisi
Currency – Iranian rial

UNESCO’s MAB-ICC added 20 new Biosphere Reserves during its 33rd session in Abuja, Nigeria

i.The 33rd session of the International Co-ordinating Council of the UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) MAB (Man and the Biosphere) Programme (MAB-ICC) was held in a hybrid format on September 13-17, 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria.
ii.This was the first time that it was held in the African continent.
iii.During the programme, 20 new sites in 21 countries were added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (BRs).
iv.The sites from Lesotho (Matseng BR), Libya (Ashaafean BR) and Saudi Arabia (Juzur Farasan BR) are designated for the first time.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Establishment– 1945
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France


Kovalam, Eden beaches get Blue Flag tag

Two more new Indian beaches– Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry received Blue Flag Certification from Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE) in 2021.With this ,India received a Blue tag for 10 beaches. It also issued re-certification for 8 nominated beaches Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, which were awarded the Blue Flag certificate in 2020.

About Blue Flag Certificate
i.The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
ii.It is issued by Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE) and international jury comprising of members from IUCN, UNWTO, UNEP and UNESCO etc.
iii.It started in 1987 and in 2001 European Blue Flag became International Blue Flag .

MoE forms National Steering Committee to develop National Curriculum Frameworks; Headed by K Kasturirangan

i.The Ministry of Education (MoE) has formulated a 12-member National Steering Committee (SC) for the development of National Curriculum Frameworks in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
ii.It will be chaired by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, an scientist who headed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from 1994 to 2003.
iii.The tenure of the SC will be of 3 years w.e.f .September 21, 2021.
iv.The SC will be assisted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Director Prof. Sridhar Srivastava (Current).
Ministry of Education (MoE):
Union Minister– Dharmendra Pradhan (Constituency- Madhya Pradesh)
Ministers of State (MoS)– Annpurna Devi (Constituency- Kodarma, Jharkhand); Dr Subhas Sarkar (Constituency- Bankura, West Bengal); and Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Constituency- Inner Manipur, Manipur)


ADB cut India’s FY2021-22 GDP Growth Forecast to 10%; Inflation Rate Increased to 5.5%

As per the latest economic outlook of Asian Development Bank (ADB) titled ‘the Asian Development Outlook 2021 Update Transforming Agriculture in Asia’, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for FY2021-22 was reduced to 10 percent from its earlier projection of 11 percent (April 2021) due to the impact of COVID-19. The GDP growth forecast for FY2022-23 was increased from 7 percent to 7.5 percent. Inflation: The inflation forecast for FY2021-22 was increased to 5.5 percent from its earlier projection of 5.2 percent. The GDP growth forecast of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was unchanged at 8.1 percent in 2021 and 5.5 per cent in 2022. As per the report, India’s government spending and exports are expected to contribute more to FY21’s growth. ADB Trims Developing Asia Growth Outlook to 7.1% from 7.3% for FY2021-22 and increased the growth to 5.4% from 5.3% for FY 2022-23

Note – The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected India’s GDP growth for FY2021-22 at 9.5 percent.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Members Countries – 68

BLS International becomes National Business Correspondent of SBI

BLS International Services Ltd was selected as the National Business Correspondent (BC) for the State Bank of India (SBI) to deliver banking services in urban, semi-urban and rural areas across India.

Objective: To support the financial inclusion mission of the government by providing banking services to the underserved and unserved people of India.

About BLS International Services Ltd:
Headquarters – NewDelhi
Managing Director – Nikhil Gupta
About State Bank of India (SBI):
Establishment – 1st July 1955
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Dinesh Kumar Khara


Harmilan Kaur Sets National Record In 1500m National Open Athletics

Harmilan Kaur Bains from Punjab broke Sunita Rani's long-standing national record in the 1,500 meters.
Highlights: The 60th National Open Athletics Championships' happened on 19 September at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Hanamkonda in Telangana.

Howzat Fantasy Sports Platform Signed Cricketer Suresh Raina as Brand Ambassador

Howzat Fantasy Sports Platform, a product of Junglee Games has signed former Indian international cricketer Suresh Raina as its brand ambassador to promote its brand among sports lovers across India. With this partnership with Suresh Raina, Howzat aims to attract cricket fans to the platform and become the most rewarding fantasy sports app in India. The brand is already endorsed by former Indian international cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan.

Howzat fantasy sports platform launched in 2019 is owned and operated by Howzat Private Limited.
About Suresh Raina:
i.Suresh Kumar Raina from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh is known as the first Indian cricketer to score a hundred in all three formats of the game.
ii.He is the 3rd Indian batsman in the world and the first Indian to hit a century in T20.
iii.He has represented Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Lions(captain) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.


V R Chaudhari appointed as the next Chief of Air Staff

The Air Marshal, Vivek Ram (VR) Chaudhari has been appointed as the Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF). He will succeed the current Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria (RKS Bhadauria), who will retire on September 30, 2021.
About Vivek Ram (VR) Chaudhari
i.Currently, he is serving as the Vice Chief of Air Staff after the retirement of Air Marshal H S Arora. He has also served as Chief of the Western Air Command (WAC). The WAC is the largest air command of the IAF responsible for parts of both the borders with Pakistan and China. Now protecting Ladakh as well.

ii.He is an expert in major MiG-29 fighter aircraft and has experience of flying for more than 3800 hours on fighter and trainer aircraft, including missions flown during Operation Meghdoot, the Air Force’s support to capture the Siachen glacier in the 1980s, and Operation Safed Sagar (the support provided by the IAF during the Kargil conflict in 1999). He has served in several positions like Deputy Commandant, Air Force Academy, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers).

iv.Awards: V R Chaudhari is a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, and the Vayu Sena Medals.
About Indian Air force (IAF)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

Justin Trudeau Won a 3rd Term as Prime Minister of Canada

Canadian Prime Minister(PM) Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal party since 2013, won 3rd term as the PM of Canada by winning the 2021 Canadian federal election but failed to secure the absolute majority. The Liberal party won the election with 158 seats of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons. The Conservative Party, the main opposition party in Canada has won 119 of the 338 seats.

17 Indian origin Canadians including New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan have won the election.
About Justin Trudeau:
i.Justin Trudeau has been serving as the Prime minister of Canada since November 2015, he became the 2nd youngest PM in Canadian history after Joe Clark.
ii.As the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau became the first to be the child or other relative of a previous PM to hold the post.
iii.He was re-elected as the PM of Canada in 2019 and again in 2021.
Parliament of Canada:
i.The parliament of Canada, the federal legislature of Canada, located at Parliament Hill in Ottawa consists of 3 parts, the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Commons.
ii.The parliament consists of 443 seats which include 338 Members of Parliament(MP) elected by the people and 105 senators, appointed by the Governor-General to represent regions of the country.
About Canada:
Prime Minister– Justin Trudeau
Capital– Ottawa
Currency– Canadian Dollar

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina bags SDG Progress Award

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been conferred with ‘SDG Progress Award’, for Bangladesh’s steady progress in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), by the UN sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) at the 9th Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development held in New York in September 2021.
Sustainable Development Goals
To end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all.
Launched in 2012
President – Jeffrey Sachs
Headquarters: New York, United States
Objective: To mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About Bangladesh
President: Abdul Hamid
Capital: Dhaka
Currency: Bangladeshi taka

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