Current Affairs

30 March, 2021

International

India Initiates 3rd phase of Indian Beamline Project in Japan

The third phase of the Indian beamline project was initiated in Japan with special focus on research based on Industrial Applications. In this phase Indian researchers will be trained with Advanced X-ray techniques used in Material research.
i.Indian Beamline is a multipurpose beamline that facilitates various categories of experiments based on X-ray sources located in Japan.
About Department of Science & Technology (DST):
Secretary – Ashutosh Sharma
Established – 1971
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Japan:
Emperor of Japan – Naruhito
Prime Minister – Yoshihide Suga
Capital – Tokyo
Currency – Yen

India & US Navies conduct ‘PASSEX’ in Bay of Bengal

The navies of India & United States conducted a 2-day Passage Exercise ‘PASSEX’ in Bay of Bengal (Eastern Indian Ocean Region) from March 28-29, 2021. For the 1st time, Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters also took part in the exercise. Indian Navy deployed its warship ‘Shivalik’ & Long-range maritime patrol aircraft P8I in the ‘PASSEX’ exercise. The US navy was represented by USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. The participation of Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters in the exercise, gave IAF an opportunity to practice air interception & air defence with the US Navy.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi

National

UP government organises ‘banana festival’

The Uttar Pradesh(UP) government has organized a ‘Banana Festival’ at Buddha Park in Kushinagar from March 22 to 25, 2021. The main goal of organizing this festival is to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan for a self-reliant India. Banana made products from Kushinagar are included in One District One Product (ODOP) scheme.

CBSE announces Competency based Assessment Framework for Classes 6 to 10

Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, launched a new assessment framework for Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) students of Class 6 to 10. This framework assesses students based on their competencies to solve day-to-day problems. The Framework was designed by British Council along with AlphaPlus as the UK knowledge partner as per the recommendations in the National Education Policy – 2020.
About Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE):
Chairperson – Manoj Ahuja
Formed – 1962
Headquarters – New Delhi

Harsh Vardhan addresses 7th Annual Summit of ‘NATHEALTH’ 2021

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually addressed the 7th Annual Summit of ‘NATHEALTH’ organized by NATHEALTH – Healthcare Federation of India which was held between March 25-26, 2021 in a virtual format. Theme of 2021 Annual Summit – ‘Indian Health System Expansion in Post-COVID Era’.
About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan (Constituency- Chandni Chowk, New Delhi)
Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Buxar, Bihar)

India, South Korea agree for Joint Production, Export of Military Hardware

India & South Korea agreed to go for Joint Production and export of military hardware, enhance intelligence sharing & boost cooperation in Cyber and space domains as part of overall expansion of defence and security ties.
About South Korea:
President – Moon Jae-in
Capital – Seoul
Currency – Korean Republic Won (KRW)

Overview of Minister of National Defence, South Korea, Suh Wook’s 3-day visit to India

South Korea’s (officially known as Republic of Korea) Minister of National Defence, Suh Wook visited India from March 25-27, 2021. The main objective of the visit is to boost Bilateral Defence and Military Cooperation. During the visit, Suh Wook held meetings with Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh; National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. Suh Wook & Rajnath Singh jointly inaugurated India’s First Indo-Korean Friendship Park at Delhi Cantonment.

President Ram Nath Kovind gives Assent to 3 Major Bills

President Ram Nath Kovind gave his Assent to 3 Major Bills passed by the Indian Parliament. They are National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill, 2021, The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021.

Supreme Court refuses to stay sale of New Set of ‘Electoral Bonds’

A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde refused to stay the sale of a new set of electoral bonds, the new set of electoral bonds are scheduled to come out for sale between April 1-10, 2021. NGO Association for Democratic Reforms had filed a petition seeking ‘Stay’ on the new set of Electoral Bonds due to upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, Pondicherry & West Bengal. The voting for State elections begin on March 27 & counting of votes will be held on May 2. The Electoral Bonds Scheme began in 2018 and continued in 2019 & 2020.
About Election Commission of India (ECI):
Chief Election Commissioner – Sunil Arora
Election Commissioner – Sushil Chandra, Rajiv Kumar
Head Office – New Delhi

Economy

FICCI and IFSCA Signed an MoU to develop GIFT City as a world-class FinTech Hub

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI) and International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for collaboration and co-operation for the development of Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (‘GIFT’) IFSC.
The MoU will lead to future collaborations and cooperation between IFSCA and FICCI for the development of a world-class FinTech Hub in GIFT IFSC. FICCI will also assist IFSCA in the development of FinTech Accelerator programmes in GIFT IFSC among the other cooperation areas.
About International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA)
Establishment – April 27, 2020, under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.
Headquarters – GIFT City, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Chairman – Injeti Srinivas

Union Bank of India along with HPCL launched ‘UNI-CARBON CARD’

Union Bank of India launched first of its kind ‘UNI-CARBON CARD’, a credit card that is co-branded by HPCL along with the Rupay platform of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to create an opportunity to create value for the Bank’s customers.
About Union Bank of India:
Establishment – November 11, 1919
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Shri Rajkiran Rai G.

RBI issued Guidelines on Merger/Amalgamation for Urban Cooperative Banks

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) issued RBI (Amalgamation of Urban Cooperative Banks) Directions, 2020, guidelines for merger/amalgamation to all Primary/Urban Co-operative Banks(UCBs) to place them in the public domain.
Objective: To provide an avenue for the non-disruptive weak UCB sector by consolidating them with the strong one in that sector.
About Co-operative Banks:
Co-operative banks in India are registered under the States Cooperative Societies Act and they are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and governed by
• Banking Regulations Act 1949 and,
• Banking Laws (Co-operative Societies) Act, 1955.

Restrictions on PMC Bank was Extended till 30 June 2021 by RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the restrictions on withdrawals and deposits in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC)Bank till 30 June 2021 due to the delay in finalizing a prospective investor for the bank. PMC is a multi-state cooperative bank in which they are regulated and supervised by the Central Registrar of Co-operative Societies (CRCS) and RBI.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1 April 1935
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Deputy Governors – 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeswar Rao)

Sports

Dhanalakshmi dethrones Dutee Chand to win 100m title at Fed Cup

Dhanalakshmi from Tamil Nadu has beaten Dutee chand and Hima Das to won the 100 metre women’s final at Federation Cup Athletics 2021 in Patiala, Punjab. She took 11:39seconds to clinch the gold metal while Dutee Chand was second with 11.58 seconds. Hima Das was disqualified for a false start.

India beats England in 3-match ODI series; Kohli 3rd captain to lead India in 200 International Matches

In the recently concluded 3-match One Day International (ODI) Series between India & England which was hosted by India, Indian Cricket team under the captaincy of Virat Kohli won the series in a thrilling 2-1 lead. England opener Jonny Bairstow was awarded the Player of the Series.
i.In this match, Virat Kohli became the 3rd Indian Captain to lead Indian side in 200 International matches. [MS Dhoni in 332 matches & Mohammad Azharuddin in 221 matches]
ii.Virat Kohli became India’s captain in all-formats in January 2017.
International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 Batsman – Rankings:
Virat Kohli – 4th position
Rohit Sharma – 14th position
Shikhar Dhawan – 15th position
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
Chairman – Greg Barclay
CEO – Manu Sawhney
Headquarters – Dubai, UAE

Miscellaneous

EIYP acquired 74% stake in Engie Group’s solar assets in India

Under a strategic partnership the Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus (EIYP), a fund managed by Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors Ltd (EAAA), acquired the controlling stake in French Utility major Engie Group’s solar energy assets in India. EIYP along with Sekura Energy Limited (Sekura Energy),investee company, has completed the first stage of acquisition of 74% stake in Engie Group, with 813 megawatts-peak (MWp) of operating capacity of solar assets in India.
Objective: To create a solar platform of substantial scale with an aim to add 2GW solar assets in India over a couple of years.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, Indian American Physician sworn in as US Surgeon General

Indian American Physician, Dr. Vivek Murthy,(43 years old) sworn in as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States of America. This is his 2nd time as Surgeon General of the US. Previously In 2013, nominated by Former President Obama he held the position as the 19th Surgeon General. He was the youngest ever to hold the office at the age of 37. He was sworn in by Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Service. As the surgeon general he will be advising President Biden on the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s leading voice on public health.

Soma Mondal Chairman of SAIL Elected as New Chairperson of SCOPE

Soma Mondal, Chairperson of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) was elected as the new Chairperson of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE). She has been elected for a 2 year term with effect from 1st April 2021.
Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) has been elected as the Vice Chairman of SCOPE.
The election results were announced by Atul Sobti, Director General of SCOPE and Returning Officer for the elections.

NTPC got the ‘Role Model’ Award at the 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21.

National Thermal Power Corporation Limited(NTPC), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Power has been conferred with the ‘Role Model’ Award at the 11th Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) National HR Excellence Award 2020-21.
i.NTPC is the only PSU to have received this prestigious award. The award was presented at the virtual conference “Learn from the Achievers”. It is the highest level of recognition in the field of Human Resources by CII. This is the second time when the award of Role Model has been conferred to any organization.

Mahinder Giri, Range Officer of RTR Became the Only Asian to Win International Ranger Award

i.Ranger Mahendra Giri of Rajaji Tiger Reserve(RTR) became the only ranger from Asia to win the prestigious New International Ranger Award for his efforts towards reducing the human-wildlife conflict in and around the RTR and his role in trigger translocation exercise from Corbett Tiger Reserve to RTR.
ii.The award was announced for 10 professionals across the globe by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
iii.The International Ranger Award was created by IUCN and WCPA in collaboration with International Ranger FEderation, Global Wildlife Conservation and Conservation allies in 2020.
About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
Director General– Dr Bruno Oberle
Headquarter– Gland, Switzerland

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