26 February, 2021
US officially rejoined Paris Climate Agreement
The United States of America(USA) formally rejoined the Paris Climate agreement which was adopted by 196 countries in 2015. The new government of America under Joe Biden aims to strengthen the US’s 2030 emission reduction pledge under the pact by 22nd April 2021, Earth day.
Gina McCarthy has been named as the head of a new National Climate Task Force
The US is the biggest historical polluter and 2nd biggest current emitter after China.
European Union nations and India are in 3rd and 4th position.
MCA & CBIC Signed MoU for Exchange of Data to Enhance Ease of Doing Business in India
i.The Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA) and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for data exchange between the two organisations.
ii.The MoU was signed by Manoj Pandey, Joint Secretary, MCA, and B. B. Gupta, ADG, CBIC.
iii.The MoU will ease the sharing of data and information between MCA and CBIC on an automatic and regular basis for enhancing the ease of doing business in India.
iv.This will also enable the sharing of specific information like details of Bill of Entry (Imports), Shipping Bill (Exports) Summary from CBIC and financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares.
About Ministry of Corporate Affairs:
Union Minister– Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of State– Anurag Singh Thakur
About Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC):
Chairman- M. Ajit Kumar
Headquarters– New Delhi
India hosts First Meeting of BRICS Finance and Central Bank Deputies under its 2021 Chairship
i.India hosted the meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) finance and central bank deputies. Notably it was the first meeting on the BRICS Financial Cooperation under India Chairship in 2021.
ii.It was co-chaired by Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj and RBI Deputy Governor Michael Patra along with the participation of BRICS countries’ finance and central bank deputies.
iii.Notably, India assumed the chairship in the year of 15th anniversary of BRICS i.e. 2021.
Cabinet approvals on Feb 24, 2021
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the following proposals: The Union Cabinet approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme with an outlay of Rs 15,000 crore for the pharmaceuticals and with Rs 7,350 crore for IT (Information Technology) hardware. The Union Cabinet also approved the proposal of the Home Ministry to dissolve the Puducherry Assembly and impose President’s rule in the Union Territory. This decision has been taken as no party claimed to form a government following the resignation of the Chief Minister, Velu Narayanasamy.
Governor– Telangana Governor Tamilsai Soundararajan has been given additional charge after Kiran Bedi removed as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry
Social Alpha and SIDBI Partnered to Set up 1st of its Kind Swavalamban Divyangjan ATMA Fund
i.Social Alpha, a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform has partnered with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to set up the Swavalamban Divyangjan Assistive Tech Market Access (ATMA) fund, a Social Impact fund.
ii.It is a first of its kind inclusion fund that offers financial grants to Social Alpha-incubated startups that work in the Assistive Technology(AT) sector.
iii.Purpose: To promote innovation and reduce the expenses for persons with disabilities to procure new technologies
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
HeadOffice– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Deputy Managing Director– V Satya Venkata Rao
Set up– 2nd April 1990 under an Act of Indian Parliament
About Social Alpha:
Co-Founder, CEO– Manoj Kumar
Headquarters– Bangalore, Karnataka
ICICI Bank in Partnership with GCC and CSCL Launched ‘Namma Chennai Smart Card’
i.ICICI Bank in partnership with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL) launched ‘Namma Chennai Smart Card’, a Common Payment Card System (CPCS).
ii.The Rupay powered co-branded, contactless prepaid card was unveiled by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister(CM) Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
iii.Aim: To enable residents of Chennai, Tamil Nadu to make seamless payments for various services within the city
About Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL):
Chairman and Director– G.Prakash, I.A.S.
CEO– Raj Cherubal
Headquarters– Chennai, TamilNadu
About ICICI Bank:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Sandeep Bakhshi
Tagline– Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka
SEBI to introduce Pre-Expiry Margins to Curb Negative Price Scenarios
i.In order to strengthen the risk management framework, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will introduce pre-expiry margins on cash settled contracts with effect from April 1, 2021. Under this underlying commodities are deemed to be susceptible to possible near zero or negative prices.
ii.These margins will be levied during the last five trading days prior to expiry date, wherein they will increase by 5% every day.
iii.These will be applicable on certain commodities under the Alternate Risk Management Framework (ARMF).
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairman– Ajay Tyagi
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Madhavi S Mahadevan’s New Book Titled ‘Bride of the Forest: The Untold Story of Yayati’s Daughter’
Madhavi S Mahadevan has authored her latest and 2nd Novel titled ‘Bride of the Forest: The Untold Story of Yayati’s Daughter’, a story about the sacrifice and nobility of Drishadvati, a little known character from mythology.
The book is published by Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited.
Other books of Madhavi Mahadevan:
i.Madhavi Mahadevan has authored 2 collections of short stories, Paltan Tales and Doppelganger.
ii.She has also authored an e-novella, Swansong.
iii.Her debut novel was the Kaunteyas,
Dushyant Chautala, Deputy CM of Haryana Re-elected as President of TTFI
Dushyant Chautala, the Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, was re-elected as the President of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI). He was unanimously elected during the 84th Annual meeting of TTFI at Panchkula, Haryana. He will hold the post for a period of 4 years. He is the youngest president of any National sports federations in India. He would venture to provide opportunities to the youngsters to represent India and their respective states in international and national events.
Russian Supermodel Natalia Vodianova Becomes New Goodwill Ambassador of UNFPA
The United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA), the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, has appointed Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova as its new Goodwill Ambassador to tackle stigma and advance women’s health
She will empower women and girls by promoting sexual and rights of them and tackling the stigma and taboos that surround their bodies and health, including menstruation that lead to discrimination and exclusion.
Mohamed Bazoum Won the Presidential Run-off of Niger
Mohamed Bazoum, 61 years old, of Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigérien pour la Démocratie et le SocialismeTarayya, PNDS Tarayya), the ruling party of Niger was declared as the winner of the parliamentary run off held on 21st February 2021.
He won the election with 55.75% of the vote cast against the former President Mahamane Ousmane who secured 44.25%. He is set to succeed the outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou who is voluntarily stepping down after two 5 year terms.
About Mohamed Bazoum:
i.Mohamed Bazoum has been serving as the president of PNDS-Tarayya since 2011.
ii.He has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1996 and 2011 to 2015.
iii.He has also served as the Minister of State at the Presidency from 2015 to 2016.
iv.He was the minister of State for the Interior since 2016.
Currency– West African CFA franc
Niger ranks last among the 189 countries in the 2020 Human Development Index of United Nations Development Programme.