Current Affairs

25 March, 2021

International

MoS Communications, Shri Sanjay Dhotre Represented India at the WSIS Forum 2021

Minister of State(MOS) for Communications, Shri Sanjay Dhotre represented India at the ‘World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2021’which is one of the world’s largest annual gatherings of the ‘ICT for development’ communities.
About Ministry of Communication:
Union Minister – Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad (Constituency – Patna Sahib, Bihar)
Minister of State – Shri Sanjay Dhotre (Constituency – Akola, Maharashtra)

UN WWDR Report 2021 underlines decrease of Per Capita Reservoir Capacity of Water

According to the 2021 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (UN WWDR 2021) titled ‘Valuing Water’, Each person on the planet may have to live on less Water as per capita reservoir capacity is decreasing. The World population is set to increase to 9 Billion by 2040, but the projected reservoir volume is stabilising around 7, 000 billion cubic metre. The report is published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on behalf of UN-WATER. The production of the report is coordinated by UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme(WWAP).
Causes of Low Reservoir Expansion : Sedimentation was one of the main reasons for a decrease in the storage capacity of existing reservoirs.
About UN-Water:
Chair – Gilbert F. Houngbo
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

National

Manipur emerged as Champion State for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana

With active cooperation from the state government of Manipur, Van Dhan Vikas Yojana has been successfully implemented, turning Manipur into the Champion State for the scheme. Van Dhan Yojana was launched in October 2019 in Manipur, with the successful establishment of 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in the state. This constitutes 1500 self-help groups for marketing & providing value-addition to the tribal, minor forest produces. Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.

Applied Materials India inked R&D pact with IISc

Applied Materials India, the local subsidiary of US materials engineering company Applied Materials Inc., has signed a research and development (R&D) pact with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Karnataka. This pact is a part of the Industry Affiliate Program of the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE) IISc Bengaluru and Applied Materials India will work closely with CeNSE to explore new applications and solutions in the field of advanced materials.
Applied Materials India, Country President – Srinivas Satya
About Indian Institute of Science(IISc):
Establishment – 1909
Director – Prof. Govindan Rangarajan
Institute Location – Bengaluru, Karnataka

India plans to Conduct Airborne Radar Survey in Himalayan Glaciers

Indian govt. is planning to conduct airborne radar survey in the Himalayan region to estimate the thickness of Glaciers at Lahaul-Spiti basin of Himachal Pradesh. The pilot project will then be extended to Indus, Ganga & Brahmaputra sub-basins.
Technology used – Ground Penetration Radar (GPR), to assess the depth of Glacier.
Initiated by – National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Science.
Note- Currently, India is ranked as the 7th Most Vulnerable Country in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.
This move comes at the backdrop of the Glacier Outburst in February 2021, leading to flooding in Rishi Ganga river at Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) data estimates 33% of India’s thermal electricity and 52% of hydropower are dependent on Himalayan rivers.

Net-Zero emissions in India’s energy systems achievable by 2050: TERI & Shell report

According to the report by ‘India:Transforming to a net-zero emissions energy system’ released by TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) & Shell (otherwise known as Royal Dutch Shell plc), the Net Zero emissions in energy system in India is achievable by 2050. The report is one of the first assessments of the challenges that India would face if India were to move towards Net-zero emissions energy system.
Factors needed to achieve the target
Suitable Policy and innovation driven context for deploying clean energy technologies on a massive scale.
Development of new fuels, such as liquid biofuels and biogas, as well as hydrogen produced from Electrolysis.
Carbon Removals (Technology & nature-based solutions) will have a major role in moving towards zero emissions.
About The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI):
Director General – Dr Vibha Dhawan
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Shell:
Global CEO – Ben Van Beurden
Headquarters – The Hague, Netherlands

Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports extends Khelo India Scheme till 2025-26

Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has decided to extend the Khelo India scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The Ministry has furnished an Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) memorandum to the Ministry of Finance for the extension of the scheme. INR 8750 Crore has been estimated as financial implication of the new Khelo India Scheme in the EFC Memorandum. During the Union Budget of 2021-22, an amount of INR 657.71 Crore was allocated in the Budget Estimate (B.E.) for the year 2021-22 under the Khelo India Scheme.
About Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports:
Minister of State (IC) – Kiren Rijiju (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Arunachal West, Arunachal Pradesh)

Economy

Fitch Ratings raised India’s FY22 GDP growth estimate to 12.8% from 11%

Fitch Ratings, an American credit rating agency in its latest Global Economic Outlook(GEO)-March 2021 has revised India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth estimate to 12.8% for FY22 from 11% due to the stronger carryover effect, and better virus containment.
India’s growth forecast by Fitch: GDP of the fourth quarter in FY21 has surpassed its pre-pandemic level and the country is recovering faster from the COVID-19 induced recession in the second quarter of 2020 than expected. In manufacturing sector, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remained elevated and led to more gains in February 2021. It predicts that RBI will not cut its policy rate and forecasts a Short-term growth outlook with a more limited decline in inflation.
About Fitch Ratings:
President– Ian Linnell
Headquarter– New York, United States

SEBI Amended the Valuation Norms on Perpetual Bonds

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) amended the valuation rule of Perpetual Bonds (Additional Tier-1(AT-1) and Tier-2 Bonds), under the intervention of the Finance Ministry, to modify its recent framework on Perpetual Bonds. As per the amendments, the deemed residual maturity of Basel III additional tier-1(AT-1) bonds are to be 10 years until March 31, 2022, and would be increased to 20 and 30 years over the subsequent six-month period. On March 10, 2021, SEBI came out with a framework to modify Mutual Fund’s investment and perpetual bonds maturity.
About the Framework
It capped debt mutual fund exposure to perpetual bonds, which include AT-1 bonds and tier-2 bonds.
It had also said that the maturity of all perpetual bonds should be treated as 100 years from the date of issuance for valuation.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Regional offices – Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Delhi
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Sports

India’s Singhraj wins gold in Para Shooting World Cup 2021

Indian para-athlete Singhraj won the gold medal in the 2021 Para Shooting World Cup at Al Ain in the UAE. He defeated Uzbekistan’s Server Ibragimov to get the top honour in the P1 – Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 final.
Singhraj pipped Rio 2016 bronze medallist Ibragimov by a thin margin of 2.8 points. The final score read 236.8-234. Turkey’s former Paralympic champion Muharrem Korhan Yamaç took the bronze with 214.4 points. With this, India has moved to third place in the medals table. India has now two medals on its list – one gold and one bronze.

Shreyas Iyer Signs Up With Lancashire For Royal London Cup 2021

English county Lancashire has announced the overseas signing of India batsman Shreyas Iyer for the 2021 Royal London Cup. Iyer becomes 6th Indian to sign for Lancashire. Iyer will arrive at Old Trafford on July 15 ahead of the start of the 50-over tournament and will remain with Lancashire for the duration of the month-long group stage. The top-order batsman is regarded as one of the most attacking and fluent stroke players in Indian cricket and he has played in 21 ODIs and 29 T20 Internationals for his country.

Miscellaneous

ISRO demonstrates Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 Metres for the 1st Time

For the 1st time in India, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully demonstrated free-space Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 Metres. The free-space QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) was demonstrated at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It is a major milestone achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data communication using quantum technologies. Technology – QKD is the technology behind Quantum Communication Technology. Quantum Cryptography is based on the laws of Quantum Physics will be easier than conventional cryptosystems used for data-encryption rely on the complexity of mathematical algorithms.

POWERGRID Launches E-Tendering Portal “PRANIT”

E-Tendering Portal ‘PRANIT’ was launched by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a central PSU under the Ministry of Power. This e-portal was established to minimize the paperwork and ease of operation and expects the tendering process to become more transparent.
i.It has been certified by Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
ii. With this, POWERGRID becomes the only organization in India to have an eProcurement solution on SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), complying with all applicable requirements relating to security and transparency as specified by STQC.
iii. POWERGRID is making a number of innovative developments within the SAP SRM framework to continue digitization.
About PowerGrid:-
It is an Indian central public sector unit and a Maharatna company owned by the Ministry of Power , Government of India.POWERGRID also operates a telecom business under the name POWERTEL.
Chairman & Managing Director – Shri Kandikuppa Sreekant
Headquarters – Gurgaon , Haryana
Established in -1989

Adani Ports Acquired 58.1% in Gangavaram Port for Rs. 3,604 Crore

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ) Ltd, a subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group acquired a 58.1% stake in Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) belongs to DVS Raju & Family for around Rs 3,604 crore.
Background: On March 3, 2021, Adani port made an agreement to acquire 89.6% of GPL i.e. (31.5% from Warburg Pincus and 58.1% from DVS Raju & Family) As per the agreement it acquired the 31.5% stake from Warburg Pincus on March 17, 2021. GPL has a paid-up equity share capital of 51.7 Cr shares of which 58.1 % is owned by DVS Raju and Family (Promoter), 10.4 % by the Andhra Pradesh government, and 31.5% by Warburg Pincus.
About Ports in India: India has a coastline spanning 6 kilometres, forming one of the biggest peninsulas in the world. According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, around 95 per cent of India’s trading by volume and 70 per cent by value is done through maritime transport. It is serviced by 13 major ports (12 Government-owned and one private) and 187 notified minor and intermediate ports.

Center sets Empowerment Committee for Manufacturing in High-tech Sectors

Central Govt. of India has notified to set-up an Empowerment Committee to discuss and enhance manufacturing of products in High technology areas in India. The 10-member committee will be headed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry.The committee will be serviced by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Motive- To facilitate investments and promote manufacturing in technology-intensive sectors including semiconductors.
10 Members Committee: 4-members from Government side: Cabinet Secretary – Rajiv Gauba, National Security Advisor – Rajinder Khanna, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), additional secretary – Ministry of External Affairs.

Overview of 67th National Film Awards for the year 2019

The 67th edition of annual National Film Awards was announced, it bestows honours on films and artists for the year 2019. The National Film Awards are given out by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation which comes under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
i.The awards are categorised in three sections –
Feature Films, Non-Feature Films & Best Writing on Cinema.
ii.The awards were announced by Jury heads – N. Chandra, Chairman, Central Panel, Shri Arun Chaddha, Chairman, Non Feature Films Jury, Shaji N Karun, Chairman, Most Film Friendly State Jury & Saibal Chatterjee, Chairman Best Writing on Cinema Jury.
iii.Feature and Non-Feature Films certified by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between 1 January 2019, and 31 December 2019, were eligible for the film award categories.
About Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC):
Chairperson – Prasoon Joshi
Head Office – Mumbai, Maharashtra

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