Current Affairs

29 May, 2021

International

Bashar Al-Assad Re-Elected for 4th Term as the President of Syria

Bashar al-Assad(55-year-old) was re-elected for a 4th seven-year term as the President of Syria. He received around 95.1% of the votes cast and won the election against former state minister Abdallah Salloum Abdallah and Mahmud Merhi.
About Bashar Al-Assad:
i.Bashar Al-Assad became the president of Syria at the age of 34, succeeding his father
Hafez al-Assad.
ii.He was also appointed as the commander of the armed forces and secretary-general of the Baath Party.
iii.He won his second term as the President of Syria in 2007.
About Syria:
President– Bashar al-Assad
Capital– Damascus
Currency– Syrian pound

The 4th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Working Group Meeting 2021 took place virtually from May 25-26, 2021. It was sponsored by the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), China and organized by the China National Center for Biotechnology Development. Area of discussion – Emerging issues in the field of Biotechnology and The Indian side was led by Dr Sanjeev Kumar Varshney, Advisor & Head, International Cooperation Division, Department of Science & Technology (DST). Researchers, academicians, Scientific Institutions and government officials from all 5 BRICS countries participated in the meeting. The meeting was part of the BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Calendar of Activities 2020-21. About BRICS Members – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa 2021 Chair – India

The Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partner organisation YuWaah,Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) with the support of over 950 coalition partners, has launched a pan-India campaign called #YoungWarrior to collectively engage five million young people to combat the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Overview of 4th BRICS Working Group Meeting 2021 hosted by China

The 4th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Working Group Meeting 2021 took place virtually from May 25-26, 2021. It was sponsored by the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), China and organized by the China National Center for Biotechnology Development.
Area of discussion – Emerging issues in the field of Biotechnology and The Indian side was led by Dr Sanjeev Kumar Varshney, Advisor & Head, International Cooperation Division, Department of Science & Technology (DST). Researchers, academicians, Scientific Institutions and government officials from all 5 BRICS countries participated in the meeting. The meeting was part of the BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Calendar of Activities 2020-21.
About BRICS
Members – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
2021 Chair – India

National

India’s 1st City-wide Environmental Surveillance Platform for COVID-19 launched in Bengaluru

Karnataka Government has launched India’s 1st City-wide Environmental Surveillance Platform named ‘Precision Health Platform’ in Bengaluru. It is a city-wide sewage surveillance system which will help officials track COVID-19 at an early stage and make preparations to face it. The platform is also the 1st of its kind in Asia.Sewage from both sewered and non-sewered waste-water will be tested to identify clusters of new infections (even among asymptomatic individuals) and measure antimicrobial resistance in the population. Based on the analysis of the test results, a technical expert group will provide inputs for policy makers for targeted COVID-19 prevention, care and management services.
Partners – United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Skoll Foundation-supported COVID Action Collaborative (CAC – COVIDAction Collab) will partner with the Karnataka Government for the initiative. The Precision Public Health Surveillance approach has been developed by COVIDActionCollab, which is an India-wide collaborative of over 300 organizations Bengaluru joins countries like the Netherlands, Finland, and Israel which have such surveillance systems in place.
About United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Administrator – Samantha Power
Headquarters – Washington D.C, USA

INR 74 Crore under Nirbhaya Fund

i.WCD Ministry also announced a fund of INR 74 Crore under the Nirbhaya Fund to provide shelter, food and transportation to rape survivors (minors) who are abandoned by their families. Nirbhaya Fund is a non-lapsable corpus fund set up in 2013 for funding schemes related to the safety and security of women.
About Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD)
Union Minister – Smriti Irani (Lok Sabha – Amethi, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Debasree Chaudhuri (Lok Sabha – Raiganj, West Bengal)

WCD Ministry to set up Sakhi-One Stop Centres to support Indian Overseas Women

‘Sakhi-One Stop Centres (OSC)’ is a scheme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to support women affected by violence in public and private space. The WCD Ministry in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has decided to set up 10 OSCs to support Indian Overseas Women in 9 countries – Australia, Canada, Singapore, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The Centres will assist Indian women, who are survivors of gender-based violence, victims of violence or struck due to particular situations. Legal aid, medical support and counselling for the women will be provided in the centre. The countries have been identified by MEA based on the Indian diaspora population. They will be run by MEA and funded by the WCD Ministry. The Sakhi-One Stop Centre (OSC) scheme was set up in 2015 by the Ministry of WCD. It is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme funded through Nirbhaya Fund.

Economy

Mooofarm’s Co-Founders In The 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List

Gurugram based startup MoooFarm’s Co-founders Jitesh Arora, Abhijeet Mittal, and Aashna Singh have been placed in the most esteemed, recently announced 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list. They have been placed in the Industry,Manufacturing and Energy category.
About MoooFarm:
i.MoooFarm is a cattle trading platform that allows farmers to sell or purchase cattle without any hassle.
ii.Through this online farmer community,dairy farmers can get access to knowledge content, peer support and receive tips from experts.
Shubham Sharma,Founder of Nyaykarta in the 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Asia Social Impact list
The Jaipur based startup Nyaykarta’s Founder,Shubham Sharma has also been placed in the 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list under the Social Impact category. Nyaykarta is a social tech and legal services startup,which is India’s first Alternative Public Grievance Redressal Platform to help people get quick, easy, and affordable justice.
About Forbes:
Forbes is a American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family. It is published eight times a year.
Editor-in-chief: Steve Forbes
First issue: September 15, 1917
Headquarters: Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A

Highlights of RBI Annual Report 2020-21; Fall in Bank Fraud, Rise in Forex Earning, Increased Surplus

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its Annual Report for 2020-21, a statutory report of its Central Board of Directors, which covers the working and functions of the RBI for the transition period of 9 months (July 2020 – March 2021).
Note – The accounting year of RBI was changed from July – June to April – March.
Growth – Due to the onset of the second wave of COVID-19, RBI has stated a raft of revisions to growth projections of FY22 towards the RBI’s earlier projection of 10.5 percent (26.2 percent in Q1, 8.3 percent in Q2, 5.4 percent in Q3 and 6.2 per cent in Q4)
FY20 July 2020-March 2021
Income(Decreased by 10.96 percent) Rs 149,672 crore Rs 133,272 crore
Total Expenditure (Decreased by 63.10 percent) Rs 92,540.93 crore Rs 34,146.75 crore
Surplus transferred to government Rs 57,127.53 crore Rs 99,122.00 crore
Bank Fraud in 2020-21 Fell by 25%:
i.In 2020-21, Bank Fraud in terms of value (Rs 1 lakh and more) decreased by 25 percent to Rs 1.38 trillion and fraud in terms of numbers decreased by 15 percent.
ii.Public sector banks (PSBs) share of fraud in 2020-21 was decreased from FY20, it contributed about 59 percent (₹81,901 crores) of total fraud (FY20 – PSBs share is 80%), whereas the Private Sector Banks share increased from FY20.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Established – 1st April 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Sports

India’s Tejaswini Shankar Wins Consecutive High Jump Titles In USA

India’s Tejaswini Shankar won back-to-back men’s high jump titles in the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Manhattan, USA. The Delhi-based national record in men’s high jump is studying business administration at Kansas State University, USA. He cleared the bar at 2.28m to win high jump gold, but his efforts fell short of the Tokyo Olympic Games qualification standard of 2.33m. Shankar had also won the men’s high jump title in the 2019 edition

Phil Mickelson won 2021 PGA Championship

A 50-year old World Golf Hall of Fame member, American Golfer Phil Mickelson won the 2021 PGA Championship, who surpassed Julius Boros( 48) to become the oldest major championship winner in the history of golf after capturing his sixth major. This was the 45 titles since 1991 and became the first player in PGA Tour history to win tournaments 30 years apart.

Miscellaneous

DRDO develops Isothermal Forging Technology for Aero Engines

Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Indigenous Isothermal Forging Technology for manufacturing critical components like discs, shafts and blisks etc of Adour engine (which powers Jaguar Attack Aircraft) & Kaveri engine. With this, India joins a league of limited global engine developers which have the manufacturing capability of such critical aero engine components. It is a crucial technology for establishing self-reliance in aeroengine technology. The technology is generic in nature and can be tuned to develop other similar aeroengine components as well. Using the DMRL’s 2000 MegaTon (MT) Isothermal forge press all 5 stages of High-Pressure Compressors (HPC) discs can be built out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy. For the development of the technology, DMRL partnered with agencies like MIDHANI, CEMILAC (Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification) & DGAQA (Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance).
About Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL)
It is a lab of DRDO
Director – Dr G Madhusudhan Reddy
Location – Hyderabad, Telangana

AYUSH Ministry: Kiren Rijiju Launches ACCR Portal and 3rd Version of Sanjivani App

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy) Kiren Rijiju virtually launched the ‘Ayush Clinical Case Repository (ACCR)’ Portal (https://accr.ayush.gov.in/) and 3rd version of Sanjivani App.
i.The ACCR Portal will help in collecting information on how Ayush practitioners responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ii.The 3rd version of the Ayush Sanjivani App will facilitate the study and document the effectiveness of selected Ayush interventions in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
iii.The portal and app are part of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM).
Note – Kiren Rijiju has been given the portfolio of the AYUSH Ministry temporarily.
About Ministry of AYUSH
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Shripad Yesso Naik (Lok Sabha – North Goa, Goa)

CCI Approved Intra-group Reorganisation of Motherson Group

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the intra-group reorganisation of the Motherson Group under the green channel route which was proposed by Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL), Samvardhana Motherson International Limited (SAMIL), and Sumitomo Wiring Systems Limited (SWS).
Proposed group restructuring:
i.Under the proposal, MSSL will demerge its entire domestic wiring harness undertaking (DWH Undertaking) into a newly incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary of MSSL i.e. Motherson Sumi Wiring India Limited (MSWIL)
ii.SAMIL will be amalgamated by absorption into MSSL, being the resultant company.
iii.MSSL will be renamed as Samvardhana Motherson International Limited (New SAMIL).
About Motherson Group:
Group Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman – Vivek Chaand Sehgal

Tenure of RAW chief Samant Kumar Goel, IB head Arvind Kumar Extended by 1 year

The Union Government has extended the tenure of Research and Analysis Wing(RAW)’s secretary, Samant Kumar Goel and Intelligence Bureau (IB)’s head Arvind Kumar by one year (The current year tenure of both ends on June 30, 2021.
i.Samant Kumar Goel is the 1984-batch IPS officer from Punjab cadre. He is the 23rd secretary of RAW.
ii.Arvind Kumar, is an IPS officer of Assam and Meghalaya cadre. He was appointed on June 26, 2019, as the 27th Director of Intelligence Bureau succeeding Rajiv Jain.
iii.The extensions were cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet. The three major intelligence agencies of India are IB, RAW, and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)
About The Intelligence Bureau (IB):
Establishment – 1887, It is India’s domestic intelligence, internal security and counter-intelligence agency. It is the oldest such organization in the world.
About Research and Analysis Wing(RAW):
It is the foreign intelligence agency of India. The agency’s primary function is gathering foreign intelligence, counter-terrorism, proliferation, advising Indian policymakers, and advancing India’s foreign strategic interests. It is also involved in the security of India’s nuclear programme.

Suresh Mukund Became the 1st Indian to Win Annual ‘World Choreography Award 2020′

Emmy Award-nominated choreographer Suresh Mukund became the 1st Indian to receive Annual World Choreography Award, he won the 10th Annual World Choreography Award 2020.
i.The World Choreography Awards is an annual live show that celebrates creativity and innovation by recognizing excellence in the art of media choreography. It takes place once a year in Los Angeles, California.

Bharat Ratna Prof CNR Rao Won the Energy Frontier Award 2020: 13th Eni Award

i.Bharat Ratna Professor Chintamani Nages Ramachandra Rao (C.N.R. Rao) has received the Energy Frontier Award 2020 for research into renewable energy sources and energy storage. The Energy Frontier Award 2020 is also known as the International Eni Awards 2020. It will be presented on 14th October 2021 at the official ceremony which will be held at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy. The 2020 International Eni Awards mark the 13th edition of the Eni Awards. The award is considered the Nobel Prize in Energy Research.
ii.CNR Rao received the award for his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes and other materials and a 2-dimensional systems like graphene, boron-nitrogen-carbon hybrid materials, and molybdenum sulfide (Molybdenite – MoS2) for energy applications and green hydrogen production.
About Eni:
CEO- Claudio Descalzi
Head Office– Rome, Italy

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