Current Affairs

28 April, 2021

International

India 3rd Highest Military Spender in 2020, US Tops: SIPRI Report

According to the report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2020’ released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India with a Military Expenditure of USD 72.9 Billion in 2020 (3.7% of Global Share) was ranked as the 3rd Highest Military Spender in 2020. The United States (US) was the World’s Highest Military Spender in 2020 with a spending of USD 778 Billion (39% of Global Share) followed by China which spent around USD 252 Billion (13% of Global Share). The Total Global Military Expenditure rose to USD 1981 Billion in 2020 (2.4% of Global GDP), which is an increase of 2.6% compared to 2019.
Rank Country Spending
3 India USD 72.9 Billion
1 US USD 778 Billion
2 China USD 252 Billion
About Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
Director – Dan Smith
Headquarters – Stockholm, Sweden

WHO Unveiled Global Immunization Strategy To Save 50 Million Lives By 2030

The World Health Organisation(WHO) unveiled the Global Immunization Strategy led by the United Nations(UN) to reach around 50 million children who missed their vaccination against measles, yellow fever and diphtheria. WHO along with the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) and the vaccine alliance Gavistates that the global immunization strategy has the potential to save around 50 million lives in less than 10 years.

National

Indian Army initiated the Ladakh Ignited Minds Project: A Centre of Excellence and Wellness in Ladakh

i.The Fire and Fury Corps of the Indian Army initiated the“Ladakh Ignited Minds Project: A Centre of Excellence and Wellness” in Ladakh, in association with the partner Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and executing agency National Integrity and Educational Development Organization (NIEDO), a Kanpur based NGO.
ii.Objective: To provide better training facilities to disadvantaged Ladakhi students and provide them with the opportunity to study in better educational institutes.
iii.Under this initiative, the Fire and Fury Corps of the Indian Army will provide complete training for the youths in Ladakh with the support of HPCL and NIEDO.
iv.On 26th April 2021, The Fire and Fury Corps on behalf of Indian Army signed a number of Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the HPCL and NIEDO in Leh.
About Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL):
About Chairman & Managing Director– Mukesh Kumar Surana
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

IIT Guwahati Signed MoU With NFR for Better Operation & Expansion of Railway Network

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, (IIT-G) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the North East Frontier Railway (NFR) to collaborate on research projects aiming at improving maintenance and operations of train running in the region and other fields.
About North East Frontier Railway (NFR):
The NFR is one of the 17 railway zones of the Indian Railways and is responsible for the operation and expansion of railway networks across Northeastern states and some districts of Bihar and West Bengal.
About IIT Guwahati:
Director:T.G.Sitharama
Location:Assam

Government targets 17 Million Tonnes of Mustard Production by 2025-26

Indian Government is planning to bring around 9 million hectares of land under Mustard Cultivation & raise Mustard production capacity to around 17 Million Tonnes (mt) by 2025-26 in India.
For 2021-22, the government has set a target of covering an area of 7.58 million hectares with a production of 12.24 mt.
The area under mustard cultivation will be increased by growing mustard in rice fallow areas, intercropping them with major crops & promoting mustard cultivation in non-traditional areas.
About Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala – Rajya Sabha (Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary – Barmer, Rajasthan

Economy

RBI Fixed the Bank’s MD&CEOs Tenure at 15 years; Upper age limit at 70 years

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through its circular – “Corporate Governance in Banks – Appointment of Directors and Constitution of Committees of the Board”, has fixed 15 years as the tenure for the Managing Director and Chief executive officers (MD & CEOs) or whole-time directors(WTDs) to hold their post in a bank. RBI’s instructions are meant for private sector banks, small finance banks (SFBs) and wholly-owned subsidiaries of foreign banks. Note – The instructions are not applicable for foreign banks operating as branches in India.

SBI Mutual Fund Launched its Second Index Fund – SBI Nifty Next 50 Index Fund

SBI Mutual Fund launched SBI Nifty Next 50 Index Fund an open-ended index scheme. It is the second index fund of SBI Mutual Fund as it already has the SBI Nifty Index Fund under the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) category.
Objective: To enable the investors to invest in all securities under Nifty Next 50 Index with lower costs. The scheme would allow for the investment in all the securities (around 95% to 100%) covered by the Nifty Next 50 Index.
About SBI Mutual Fund:
It is a joint venture between the State Bank of India, and Amundi, a European asset management company.
Establishment – 1987
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD&CEO -Mr. Vinay M. Tonse
Tagline – A Partner for Life

Paytm Launched India’s 1st Video-based Wealth Community

Paytm, the digital financial service company introduced India’s first video-based wealth community for the users to interact with subject-matter experts in live sessions on different wealth topics such as Initial public offering(IPO), Futures and Options(F&O), Exchange-traded funds(ETFs), mutual funds, stocks, gold, fixed income, and personal finance. The Paytm wealth community will be owned and operated by One97 Communications Limited (OCL Ltd) and the beta mode of the community was launched on the Paytm Money platform.
About Paytm:
Establishment – August 2010
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Founder & CEO -Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Sports

The government of India has appointed Ajay Seth, the Economic Affairs Secretary in the Ministry of Finance as the non-official director of the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India(RBI).He succeeds Tarun Bajaj, who was appointed as revenue secretary. Ajay Seth has assumed the charge of the Department of Economic Affairs in April 16,2021.

The Japanese sports brand ASICS has appointed Indian cricketer RavindraJadeja as its brand ambassador. He is the all-rounder of the Indian cricket team and Chennai Super Kings(CSK). ASICS focuses on the sporting gear for the running category. The partnership with RavindraJadeja and ASICS will strengthen its commitment and spread awareness about its wide range of offerings. This will also increase the reach of the brand during the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
About ASICS:
Chairman and CEO– Motoi Oyama
Headquarters– Kobe, Japan
Founded in– 1949

93rd Academy Awards – Oscar 2021: Chloé Zhao, Frances McDormand and Anthony Hopkins Won Top Awards

i.The 93rd Academy Awards, also known as the Oscar 2021 was presented at the ceremony held at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. The hostless ceremony was opened by Regina King.
ii.The nominations of the Oscar 2021 were announced by Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas in March 2021.
iii.The Academy Awards is annually presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
iv.Chloé Zhao is the 2nd woman to win the award Best Director since the award was instituted.
v.Welsh actor, director and film producer Sir Anthony Hopkins (83 years old) won the award for the Best Actor for his performance in the film “The Father”. The award was presented by Joaquin Phoenix.
vi.American actress and producer Frances McDormandwon the Best Actress award for her performance in the film “Nomadland”.
About Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
President– David Rubin
CEO– Dawn Hudson
Headquarters– California, United States
Founded in 1927

Miscellaneous

ULA Delta IV Henry launched Spy Satellite NROL-82 into space from California

The United States (US) spy satellite, NROL-82 launched into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The United Launch Alliance(ULA) Delta IV Heavy carried the NROL-82 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office(NRO). This launch of NROL-82, a classified national security mission, marks the first launch of 2021 for ULA. Delta IV Heavy is the most powerful rocket in the ULA fleet. This launch also marks the 13th flight of the Delta IV Henry rocket since its debut in 2004.

OneWeb launches 36 LEO satellites from Russia

The 36 satellites of OneWeb, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator were launched into orbit by a Arianespace Soyuz Rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. The launch of the 36 LEO satellites will enable OneWeb to offer Broadband services across the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic seas and Canada. It will take OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 182 satellites, which would form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet for providing high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. OneWeb is aiming to launch fast broadband services in India by June 2022. Recently, Nettle Infrastructure Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel acquired 100% stake (10, 000 shares) in OneWeb India Communications Pvt Ltd.

DRDO develops Single Crystal Blades Technology for helicopter engine application

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed Single Crystal blades technology for helicopter engine application. Using this technology, it has produced 60 blades and supplied them to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The technology will help in the production of blades that are capable of withstanding high temperatures of operation, which are vital for helicopters for their performance in extreme conditions. HAL will use the technology for its indigenous helicopter development program. Very few countries in the world such as the USA, UK, France and Russia have the capacity to design and manufacture such Single Crystal (SX) components.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Chairman – Dr G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
CMD – R Madhavan
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka

Govt Appointed Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth as a Director on the Central Board of RBI

The government of India has appointed Ajay Seth, the Economic Affairs Secretary in the Ministry of Finance as the non-official director of the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India(RBI).He succeeds Tarun Bajaj, who was appointed as revenue secretary. Ajay Seth has assumed the charge of the Department of Economic Affairs in April 16,2021.

Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul awarded Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by PACE

Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul was awarded a top European rights prize, the prestigious 8th Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe(PACE): She was awarded the 60,000-euro (~Rs.53.87lakh) prize in an online ceremony for “outstanding civil society action in defense of human rights.” This award was given in recognition of her fight for women’s rights in the kingdom, including her efforts to end a ban on women driving.

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