Current Affairs

24 March, 2021


More than 450 Million Children reside in areas of Extremely High Water Vulnerability: UNICEF report

According to the report ‘Reimagining WASH:Water Security For All’ released by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), globally more than 1.42 Billion people, including 450 million children live in areas of high, or extremely high, water vulnerability. It essentially means that globally, 1 in 5 children worldwide do not have enough water to meet their everyday needs. Eastern and Southern Africa regions have the highest proportion of children (58%) living in areas with extremely high water vulnerability. It is followed by West & Central Africa (31%), South Asia (25%), and the Middle East (23%) South Asia is home to the largest number of children living in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability – more than 155 Million children. The report is part of UNICEF’s ‘Water Security for All’ initiative.
About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) :
Executive Director– Henrietta Holsman Fore
Headquarter– New York, USA


UNOPS & Denmark partners to provide Technical Support for Jal Jeevan Mission in UP

The World Water Day, Government of Denmark and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) entered into a partnership to provide strategic technical support for implementing Jal Jeevan Mission in Uttar Pradesh. 11 water-scarce districts of Bundelkhand & Vindhya regions of Uttar Pradesh will be assisted with scalable delivery models by UNOPS.
About Denmark:
Prime Minister – Mette Frederiksen
Capital – Copenhagen
About United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS):
Formed – December, 1973
Headquarters – Copenhagen, Denmark
Capital – Copenhagen
About United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS):
Formed – December, 1973
Headquarters – Copenhagen, Denmark

Bihar Becomes 1st State in India to implement ‘Ethanol Production Promotion Policy 2021’

Bihar Cabinet has approved the state’s own Ethanol policy called ‘Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021’. The approval has made Bihar as the 1st State in India to implement Ethanol Promotion Policy under the National Policy of Biofuels, 2018. Objective – To make Bihar an ethanol hub & as investors’ coveted destination. The policy allows Bihar to directly make ethanol from Maize, Molasses, broken rice & rotten grains.
About Bihar
Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
Capital – Patna

MoD signs contract with MDSL for supply of 1, 300 Armored Light Specialist Vehicles to Indian Army

Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract worth INR 1, 056 Crore with Mahindra Defence Systems Ltd (MDSL) for supply of 1, 300 Armored Light Specialist Vehicles (ALSV) to Indian Army. The Light Specialist Vehicle will be indigenously designed and developed by MDSL. The induction of 1, 300 ALSV is expected to be completed in 4 years. The contract is a flagship project to showcase the indigenous manufacturing capabilities of the Indian Defence Industry. It will be along the lines of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ & ‘Make in India’ initiative of India. It is the 1st major contract for an ALSV that was designed and developed completely by private sector in India with Intellectual Property Rights within India.
About Mahindra Group:
Mahindra Defence Systems Ltd (MDSL) is the defence business venture of Mahindra Group
Chairman – Anand Mahindra
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Labour & Employment Minister, Santosh Kumar Gangwar Released ‘Compendium on CPI for Industrial Workers’

Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Labour and Employment Released Compendium on Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers(CPI-IW) (Volume I-IV, 1945 to 2020) which will be helpful for Researchers, Policy makers and Students. This Compendium is a first of its kind publication.It is Compiled by Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour and Employment. It was released while Labour Bureau is celebrating the centenary year.

Government forms 11 Committees to drive India to a Circular Economy

NITI Aayog has stated that in order to expedite the Transition of India from a Linear Economy to a Circular Economy, Government has formed 11 Committees for 11 focus areas. The committees will be led by the concerned Line ministry and will comprise officials from MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) & NITI Aayog, domain experts, academics and industry representatives. The committees will prepare action plans for Transition to Circular Economy in respective focus areas.
Focus Area Concerned Line Ministry
Municipal Solid Waste and Liquid Waste Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)
Scrap Metal (Ferrous and Non-Ferrous) Ministry of Steel
Electronic Waste Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Batteries NITI Aayog
Solar Panels Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
Gypsum Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)
Toxic and Hazardous Industrial Waste Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Used Oil Waste Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG)
Agriculture Waste Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW)
Tyre and Rubber Recycling Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade
End-of-life Vehicles (ELVs) Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Union Minister – Prakash Javadekar (Rajya Sabha MP representing Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Babul Supriyo (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Asansol, West Bengal)

KBLP – India 1st Project under National Perspective Plan for Interlinking of rivers

KBLP is the 1st Project under the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers. Under this project, water from the Ken river (in Madhya Pradesh) will be transferred to the Betwa river (in Uttar Pradesh). Both rivers are tributaries of river Yamuna.
To implement the Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP), Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti(Presently – Gajendra Singh Shekhawat) and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh (Currently- Shivraj Singh Chouhan) and Uttar Pradesh (Currently- Yogi Adityanath) was signed.

PM Modi launches ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’; MoA signed for implementation of Ken Betwa Link Project

On Occasion of the World Water Day (March 22, 2021), Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi launched/witnessed two key events Launch of ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’ campaign to undertake water conservation at grass-root level through people’s participation.
‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’: It is an initiative of the Ministry of Jal Shakti under National Water Mission (NWM). Theme – ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’. Objective – To create rainwater harvesting structure suitable to climatic conditions & ensuring proper storage of rainwater. It will be undertaken in both rural and urban areas from 22nd March, 2021 – 30th November, 2021.


RBI set up a 5-member External Advisory Committee headed by Shyamala Gopinath to Evaluate Banking Applications

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) set up a five-member Standing External Advisory Committee (SEAC) which is headed by former RBI Deputy Governor Shyamala Gopinath, for evaluating applications for universal banks and small finance banks(SFBs).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI): Other than the Government of India(GoI), the RBI is the sole body authorised to issue banknotes in India.
Facilities used by RBI for the printing of notes: The Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a wholly-owned company of the GoI, has printing presses at Nashik, Maharashtra and Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL), owned by the RBI, has printing facilities in Mysore, Karnataka and Salboni, West Bengal.

Danish Red Cross Launched the World’s First Volcano Cat Bond

The Danish Red Cross, Denmark’s branch of the Red Cross has sponsored and launched the world’s first Catastrophe Bond (cat bond) for Volcano-related disasters with the support of several financial firms.
About the Danish Red Cross:
President – Sven BAK-JENSEN
Headquarters – Copenhagen, Denmark


‘Girl Gang’ announced official song of ICC Women’s World Cup 2022

A song ‘Girl Gang’ by New Zealand singer Gin Wigmore, has been announced as the official song of the 12th edition of 2022 International Cricket Council(ICC) Women’s World Cup at Mt Maunganui Beach, New Zealand. The tournament is set to be hosted in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3, 2022.The song is from Wigmore’s fourth album Ivory released in 2017.


CA Rover Holdings sells 4% stake in SBI Cards for Rs 3728 crore

In March 2021, CA Rover Holdings, an US based private equity funds sold 4% of its current stake holdings in SBI Cards & Payment Services worth Rs 3728 crore. CA Rovers Holdings previously held 15.86% stake in SBI Cards, even after the sale it holds 11% stake, currently valued at Rs 10,574 crore. The sale comes after 4 years of profiting nearly 970% returns.

Govt fully exited TCL by selling its outstanding 26.12% stake in it for Rs 8,846 crore

The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) reported that the government has fully exited from Tata Communications Ltd (TCL), a part of the Tata Group, through the sale of its outstanding 26.12% stake in it for ₹8,846 crores. The exit from TCL helps the government to get closer to the revised disinvestment target for FY21. Disinvestment Targets for FY22 is about ₹1.75 trillion.
Disinvestment target of the Government: The Union finance ministry had slashed its disinvestment target for FY21, from ₹2.1 trillion to ₹32,000 crores because of the disruptions caused by COVID-19. With the addition of Rs 8,846 crore from the sale of its stake in TCL, the government has gathered ₹31,006 crores so far. In order to achieve the ambitious disinvestment target for FY22, the government is under the process of privatizing Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Air India, and the initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation of India.
About Tata Communications Ltd (TCL):
Former Name – Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), established in 1986
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Amur Swaminathan Lakshminarayanan (Lakshmi)

NITI Aayog sets up 2 Task Forces to achieve Policy Certainty in Contract Enforcement, Dispute Resolution

NITI Aayog has constituted 2 Task Forces for recommending policy framework for enforcement of contracts & effective conciliation mechanism.
i.The Task Force for Enforcement of contracts will be headed by Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog.
ii.The Task Force for Effective conciliation mechanism will be headed by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
Task Force on Head Purpose
Enforcement of Contracts Rajiv Kumar,
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman • To address risk perception in investment & achieve policy certainty.
• Examination of relevant provisions of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 on its jurisdiction over different categories of cases.
Effective Conciliation mechanism Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog • To suggest facilitation of speedy resolution of contractual disputes between private entities & the government.
• It will also examine the relevant provisions of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

About NITI Aayog
Chairman–Prime Minister (Narendra Damodardas Modi)
Headquarter– New Delhi

Govt conferred Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 to Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and for 2019 to Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

The Union government conferred Gandhi Peace Prize to the Late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman for the year 2019 and to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for the year 2020. The Jury of Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
About Gandhi Peace Prize: The Government of India (GoI) launched the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Gandhi. The award is open to all people regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.

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