Current Affairs

31 March, 2021

International

India, United States to revamp strategic energy cooperation

India and the United States on March 29, 2021, agreed to revamp the strategic energy partnership. The decision has been taken to reflect the new priorities of US President Joe Biden and PM Modi with a focus on promoting clean energy with low-carbon pathways and accelerating green energy cooperation.

During a virtual meeting, the US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reviewed the energy strategic cooperation between India and the United States. The news was shared by Pradhan via series of tweets.

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban – An autobiography of Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban is an autobiographical book by Malala Yousafzai about herself. It was co-written by Christina Lamb and published on 8 October 2013, by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK and Little, Brown and Company in the US.

National

Kempegowda Airport becomes 1st in South India to have operational Parallel runways

Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport became the 1st Airport in South India to have a fully operational parallel runways. This comes as a result of the Airports northern runway coming to operation which was closed for renovation and upgrades in June 2020. While the Southern runway is equipped with a CAT III B System that provides precision landing facility by improving runway visibility. Due to reduced passenger traffic caused by the pandemic, it was decided not to implement the CAT III B system in the Northern runway.

10 tonnes Unexploded Ordnance Safely disposed under “Operation Thiruvallur”

Indian Army’s Southern Command Troops, Pune launched “Operation Thiruvallur” in Tamil Nadu(TN) to safely dispose of around 10 tonnes of unexploded ordnance collected by factories. The Ministry of Defence has directed the Indian Army for conducting the operation under the aegis of “Aid to Civil Authorities”.
i.The ordnance was collected from the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) Industrial Estate in Gummidipoondi, Thiruvallur district, TN.
ii.Operation Thiruvallur was initiated by the Ministry of Defence on the request of Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
iii.Unexploded ordnance from a metal scrap dump were successfully neutralised by the Army Bomb Disposal Team.
About Indian Army:
Chief of the Army Staff– Manoj Mukund Naravane
Headquarters– New Delhi

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security & Yamuna International Airport sign LoA for civil aviation security at Jewar Airport

A Letter of Agreement (LoA) was signed between the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) & Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL) in New Delhi. Under this LoA Bureau of Civil Aviation Security will take up security responsibilities of Jewar Airport, Uttar Pradesh. All security responsibilities as per National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP) will be taken up by BCAS.
Signatories: Ankit Garg, Deputy Director General, BCAS, and Christoph Schnellmann, CEO, YIAPL.

Tourism Ministry launches ‘MICE Roadshow – Meet in India’ & Inaugurates Chhatrasal Convention Centre at Khajuraho

Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel, and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh jointly inaugurated the ‘Chhatrasal Convention Centre’ at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. The Tourism Ministry also launched the “MICE Roadshow Meet in India” at the Chhatrasal Convention Centre at Khajuraho.
About the Ministry of Tourism:
Minister of State – Prahlad Singh Patel (Damoh, Madhya Pradesh)
About Madhya Pradesh:
Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport – Indore, Madhya Pradesh

HMEL became the first Indian buyer of Guyanese oil

HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL) a joint venture between state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp and steel tycoon L.N. Mittal, became India’s first company to buy cargo from the oil producers of Guyana.
About HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL):
Establishment – 2007
Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director – Prabh Das
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Bihar set to become India’s 1st State to have 2 Green Energy Efficient Towns

Bihar is set to become India’s 1st State to have 2 Green Energy Efficient towns, the 2 towns are Rajgir & BodhGaya. They will start getting Solar Energy through 1st of its kind Renewable energy project from 2023. The green energy supply required for running the towns will be developed and supplied by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). To implement the project, the state government of Bihar will construct 500 MW solar energy plants at Lakhisarai & Bhagalpur.
About Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI):
Chairman & Managing Director – Jatindra Nath Swain
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Bihar:
Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
Governor – Phagu Chauhan

Economy

BPCL sells 61.5% stake in Numaligarh Refinery for Rs.9876 crore

i.The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) sold its entire stake (61.5%) in Numaligarh Refinery limited(NRL), Assam to consortium of Oil India Ltd(OIL) and Engineers India Limited(EIL) and Government of Assam for Rs 9,876 crore.
ii.The sale purchase agreement was signed on 25th March 2021 between BPCL and the consortium of OIL, EIL for sale of 43.05 crore equity shares in NRL to the consortium for Rs. 9375.96 crore.
iii.The remaining 2.29 crore equity was transferred to the Government of Assam for Rs.499.99 crore.
About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL):
Chairman and Managing Director(CMD)– K. Padmakar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Harsh Vardhan Launches Tribal TB Initiative to achieve ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ by 2025

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ as a step towards the goal of ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ by 2025.
i.During the event, he also released
A Guidance Note on Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination
A Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB. ALEKH is a quarterly e-newsletter of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of the tribal communities. A Document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative.
About Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA):
Union Minister– Arjun Munda (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Khunti, Jharkhand)
Minister of State– Renuka Singh Saruta (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Surguja, Chhattisgarh)

ICM, Think Tank of MEA and IOM to collaborate for joint Study on Migration

The India Centre for Migration (ICM), a research think tank of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), entered into collaboration with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for the joint study on “Strengthening data-informed and migrant-centred migration management frameworks in India”. The project was launched by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA) and Chairman of ICM.
About the joint study:
i.Examine the impacts of changes in technology, economic environment and the Covid-19 situation.
ii.Explore the possibilities for skilling and for conducting bilateral and multilateral agreements
iii.Analyse the evidence based approach for safe, legal, smart and sustainable migration.
iv.This will facilitate the implementation of various migrant centric and evidence based policies of the Government to address the interests of migrants and to enhance labour market opportunities in both traditional and new destinations.
About The India Centre for Migration (ICM):
Chairman– Sanjay Bhattacharyya
Headquarters– New Delhi

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix of Formula One

Mercedes Driver Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) won the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix (officially known as Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021) held at Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain on March 28, 2021. Red Bull Racing’s driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands) finished 2nd in the race, while Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (Finland) finished 3rd in the race. The victory was Hamilton’s 96th Formula One Victory. The Bahrain Grand Prix is the inaugural GP of the 2021 Formula One World Championship. The Formula One World Championships are organized by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France

Miscellaneous

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh from March 26-27, 2021 at the invitation of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. During the meeting, PM Narendra Modi participated in major events such as Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Independence of Bangladesh. PM Modi was the Guest of Honour at the event. ‘Mujib Barsho’ – Celebrations of Birth Centenary of the Father of Bangladesh – Bangabandhu ‘Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’. Event for celebrating 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India & Bangladesh. About Bangladesh: Capital– Dhaka Currency– Bangladeshi Taka

Anish Shah was appointed as the Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd(M&M) with effect from 2nd April 2021. He takes over from Pawan Goenka who will retire as the MD and CEO, and member of the Board of Directors of M&M on 2nd April 2021. Anish Shah is currently serving as the deputy managing director and Chief Financial Officer(CFO) of the company. He will oversee the operations of all the companies under the Mahindra Group along with the automobile and tractor manufacturing businesses.
Note: When Anand Mahindra transitions to the position of Non-Executive Chairman, Anish Shah will become the First Professional MD and CEO of Mahindra Group to complete oversight of and responsibility for Mahindra Group.

Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2-day visit to Bangladesh

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh from March 26-27, 2021 at the invitation of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. During the meeting, PM Narendra Modi participated in major events such as Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Independence of Bangladesh. PM Modi was the Guest of Honour at the event. ‘Mujib Barsho’ – Celebrations of Birth Centenary of the Father of Bangladesh – Bangabandhu ‘Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’. Event for celebrating 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India & Bangladesh.
About Bangladesh:
Capital– Dhaka
Currency– Bangladeshi Taka

India may miss its 2022 Renewable Energy Capacity Targets: GWEC Report 2021

According to ‘Global Wind Report 2021’ released by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), India may miss its 2022 Renewable Energy Capacity Targets (175 GW RE by 2022 – 100 GW Solar, 60 GW Wind, 10 GW Bio-Energy, 5 GW Small Hydro) due to several constraints. The constraints range from things like Land Allocation, grid availability, the recurring financial instability of DISCOMs (Power Distribution Companies), tender design & PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) Sanctity and others.
About Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC):
CEO – Ben Backwell
Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium

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