Current Affairs

27 March, 2021


NIO launches project for mapping genetic diversity in Indian ocean

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Goa, has initiated a project for mapping the genetic diversity of organisms & the effect of micronutrients and trace metals on them in the Indian Ocean supported by the CSIR, under one of its flagship projects TraceBioMe. TraceBioMe envisages extensive sampling of water, sediments, planktons and various organisms in different areas.

Maldives inaugurates ‘Fiyavathi Home for Vulnerable Children’ funded by India

Maldives Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services inaugurated the renovated ‘Fiyavathi Home for Vulnerable Children’ in Hulhumale. A Cash grant of ~ 1.9 Million Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) was allocated for the completion of this project. The main aim of the project is to create a conducive home environment for children to grow and develop. The ‘Fiyavathi’ home in Hulhumale houses over 110 kids.
About Maldives
President– Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Capital– Male
Currency– Maldivian Rufiyaa


Supreme Court rules out Extension of 6-month Moratorium, waives Compound Interest

Supreme Court (SC) Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah rejected the further extension of six-months Loan Moratorium Period (March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020) offered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to traders, Corporate bodies & Big Borrowers. SC also added that no Interest on Interest (Compound Interest) will be charged on borrowers during the Moratorium period irrespective of the Loan Amount. Any amount collected will be refunded. According to estimates, the refunds are likely to be in the range of INR 7000-8000 Crore.
About Supreme Court of India:
Chief Justice – Sharad Arvind Bobde (47th CJI of India)
Location – Delhi

TBWES signed an agreement with Steinmüller Babcock Environment, Germany for Waste to Energy Technology

Thermax Babcock & Wilcox Energy Solutions Private Limited (TBWES), a wholly owned subsidiary of Thermax signed a know-how transfer and license agreement with Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH (SBE) Industrial Equipment supplier based in Germany, for waste to energy technology.
Pravin Karve, CEO of TBWES and Thomas Feilenreiter, Managing Director of SBE signed the agreement for the respective organisation.
About Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH(SBE):
Steinmüller Babcock is a part of the Japanese company Nippon Steel Engineering Co. Ltd.
Managing Director– Thomas Feilenreiter
Headquarters– Gummersbach, Germany

Indus Waters Treaty: India, Pakistan hold 116th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission

India & Pakistan held the 116th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at New Delhi from March 23-24, 2021. The Indian side was led by Pradeep Kumar Saxena, India’s commissioner for IWT & advisors from Central Water Commission, the Central Electricity Authority and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation. The Pakistan side was led by Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah, Pakistan’s commissioner for IWT. The last meeting between the two sides under IWT took place in Lahore in August, 2018. The meeting coincided with the Pakistan Day (Pakistan Resolution Day or Republic Day) being celebrated on March 23, 2021.
About Pakistan:
Prime Minister – Imran Khan
Capital – Islamabad
Currency – Pakistani Rupee (PKR)


S&P Raised India’s GDP forecast for FY 22 to 11% from 10%

S&P Global Ratings, the US credit rating agency, raised India’s GDP growth forecast for the financial year 2021-22(FY22) to 11% from 10% with 0.4% growth in the third quarter (Q3) of FY21 after a contraction in the consecutive quarters Q1 and Q2.
About S&P Global Ratings:
Headquarters– New York, U.S.
President– John Berisford
Parent– S&P Global

YES Bank & SHEROES Launched ‘YES Essence Plus’ an Accelerator to Support Women Entrepreneurs

i. Yes Bank in partnership with SHEROES, a women led social network launched “YES Essence Plus” a unique accelerator program to support the women entrepreneurs and women led startups.
ii.Over a period of 10 weeks the startups will be provided a customised training through virtual workshops conducted by experts.
iii.This will focus on developing skills like financial management, legal, fundraising, marketing and effective leadership.
About YES Bank:
MD & CEO– Prashant Kumar
Incepted in– 2004
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience our Expertise

JICA signs 10 Billion Yen Loan agreement with TCCL for funding Clean Energy Projects

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Loan agreement for a maximum amount of 10 Billion Japanese Yen (~ INR 660 Crore) with Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd (TCCL), a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) for offering loans to Indian firms focussing on Clean Energy Projects.
About Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA):
President – Shinichi Kitaoka
Headquarters – Tokyo, Japan
About Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd (TCCL):
Managing Director – Manish Chourasia
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

SEBI’s review over IGP framework & other issues

The Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) decided to introduce many relaxations to the framework of Innovators Growth Platform (IGP) to help start-up and made some amendments to SEBI regulations such as Delisting of Equity Shares and Alternative Investment Funds.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Niyo partners with Equitas SFB to launch NiyoX for millennials

Niyo, a Digital banking fintech, in partnership with Equitas Small Finance Bank and Visa launched NiyoX, a mobile banking solution for millennials. NiyoX is offering 3.5% interest on the account balance up to Rs 1 lakh and 7% on incremental amounts above 1 lakh which is more than rates offered by the State Bank of India(SBI).
About Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited(ESFBL):
MD and CEO– Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan (P N)
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Tagline– It’s Fun Banking


India Finishes 3rd in 2021 Para Shooting World Cup with 7 Medals

India bagged 7 medals (2 Gold, 1 Silver & 4 Bronze) and finished at 3rd Position in the 2021 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup held at Al Ain, UAE from March 15-25, 2021. Ukraine topped the table with 11 Medals (5 Gold, 5 Silver, 1 Bronze), while UAE finished Second with 5 medals (3 Gold, 2 Silver). They are organized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). India’s Singhraj won the Gold Medal in the P1 Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1. India’s Manish Narwal clinched Gold Medal in the P4 mixed 50m Pistol SH1. He set a new World Record (WR) by finishing with 229.1 points, breaking the previous WR of Serbia’s Rastko Jokic (228.6).
India’s Medals Tally
Winner Event Position
Singhraj P1 – Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1* Gold
Manish Narwal P4 – Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 Gold
Avani Lekhara R2 – Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 Silver
Rahul Jakhar P3 – Mixed 25m Pistol SH1 Bronze
Singhraj P4 – Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 Bronze
Sriharsha DEVARADDI RAMAKRISHNA R4 – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2* Bronze
Sidhartha BABU R6 – Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 Bronze
* – SH1 events include pistols & rifles, while SH2 events are rifles only.
About International Paralympic Committee (IPC):
President – Andrew Parsons
Headquarters – Bonn, Germany


Nirmala Sitharaman launches 2 Tech initiatives of MCA – ‘Central Scrutiny Centre’ & IEPFA Mobile App

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman virtually launched 2 Tech-enabled initiatives of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) – Central Scrutiny Centre (CSC) & Mobile app of IEPFA (Investor Education & Protection Fund Authority). They aim to strengthen the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digitally Empowered India’.
About Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA):
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Rajya Sabha MP representing Karnataka)
Minister of State – Anurag Singh Thakur (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)

AYUSH Ministry Set Up Interdisciplinary Team chaired by H R Nagendra To Explore Potential Of Yoga

i.The ministry of AYUSH has set up an interdisciplinary team of experts to explore the potential of Yoga as a productivity enhancing tool for the population. The Committee is Chaired by HR Nagendra, Chancellor of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana.
ii.On 24th March 2021, the inception meeting of the committee was held over a virtual platform.
iii.Members of the committee include the representatives from AIIMS, New Delhi ; IIM Bangalore ; IIT Bombay ; and other leading Yoga institutions, the corporate sector and the Ministry of AYUSH.
iv.The expert committee will submit the preliminary recommendation by May 2021.

Legendary singer Asha Bhosle conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan Award

A committee chaired by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray announced singer Asha Bhosle has been selected for the Maharashtra Bhushan award for the year 2020, Maharashtra State highest civilian award for outstanding individual achievements in their field, The award, instituted in 1996 carries a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.

ESAF SFB Awarded with ‘Great Place to Work’ by Great Place to Work Institute

ESAF Small Finance Bank (SFB), was awarded with ‘Great Place to Work’ by Great Place to Work Institute. The Award was presented after conducting a survey with the employees by the third-party global authority.The Survey recognises the high-trust and performance culture at workplaces. It shows the bank’s commitment and credibility amongst its employees.
ESAF SFB:MD & CEO – K Paul Thomas ; Headquarter – Thrissur,Kerala

Hindi Writer Prof. Sharad Pagare Honoured with Vyas Samman 2020

i.Established Hindi writer Professor Sharad Pagare from Madhya Pradesh has been chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Vyas Samman 2020 for his historic novel titled “Patliputru ki Samragi”.
ii.The 2020 Vyas Samman is the 30th Vyas Samman presented by KK Birla Foundation.
iii.The novel – “Patliputru ki Samragi” was printed in the year 2010.
About Vyas Samman:
Vyas Samman is an annual award initiated by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991.
The award honours the outstanding work in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen published during the past 10 years.
The award consists of Rs.4 lakh cash award along with citation and a plaque.

HDFC Bank has adjudged the ‘India’s Best Bank for SMEs’ at the Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2021

HDFC Bank, was adjudged the ‘India’s Best Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs)’ at the Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2021 of Asiamoney for the transformation of its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) business.
HDFC Bank’s Contribution towards MSMEs: HDFC’s advances to MSMEs as of December 31, 2020, is about Rs2.02 trillion ($28 billion) which is 38% higher than in 2019. It has a compound annual growth rate of 23% for the past six years, making it India’s second-largest bank for MSME lending. The bank’s MSME-related non-performing asset (NPA) ratio was 0.7% in December 2020, which is down from 1.33% in March 2020 and 1.16% in March 2019.
About HDFC Bank:
MD & CEO – Sashidhar Jagdishan
Establishment – 1994
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– We understand your world

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