Current Affairs

4 January, 2021


India to co-chair Regional Forum to Conserve Wildlife Habitats: Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP)

i.India is all set to co-chair the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP), a regional forum to conserve wildlife habitats for three years. In this tenure, India will assist other Asian countries in managing their protected areas.
ii.India will replace South Korea which held this position for three years till November, 2020. Notably APAP is chaired by IUCN Asia and co-chaired by an APAP country member.
iii.India got this opportunity after successfully increasing the population of wild animals such as tigers, lions and leopards through protecting their habitats.
About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
IUCN Council President– Xinsheng Zhang
Headquarter– Gland, near Geneva, Switzerland


BEL signs contract with Indian Navy for supply of Indigenously developed Laser Dazzlers

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) signed a contract with Indian Navy in New Delhi to supply 20 Indigenously developedLight Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Dazzlers (Laser Dazzlers). The Laser Dazzlers have been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and will be manufactured by BEL, Pune Plant.
i.Laser Dazzler is a non lethal weapon for warning & stopping suspicious vehicles, boats, aircrafts, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
ii.The product has been designed & developedindigenously for the First Time for Armed Force.
iii.The Dazzler is capable of suppressing a person’s or optical sensor’s action through disability glare in case of non-compliance of orders. It will disorient or blind a person temporarily.
iv.The Laser Dazzler is portable, shoulder operated & is capable of withstanding rugged military use.
About Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL):
It is a Defence Public Sector Undertaking(PSU)
Chairman & Managing Director – M V Gowtama
Headquarters – Bangalore, Karnataka

Prime Minister lays foundation stone of 6 light house projects; PMAY (Urban) Awards-2019 Conferred

i.Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually laid the foundation of six Light House Projects (LHPs) in Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
ii.These will be developed as a part of the Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) initiative under which 1,000 houses at each location are to be constructed in a year (12 months), using six distinct technologies.
iii.GHTC-India aims to adopt innovative technologies in the housing construction sector.
iv.The PM gave away annual “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Awards-2019” for excellence in six categories for the implementation of PMAY-U.
About Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA):
Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) – Hardeep Singh Puri
List of Schemes under Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs – Smart Cities Mission, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Urban Transport, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

Tripura – Bangladesh ‘Maitre Setu’ will be Open Soon

i.The Rs 128.69 crores Maitre Setu, which connects South Tripura with Ramgarh of Bangladesh and provides access to the Chittagong seaport, is all set to be opened in a few months. Its construction was started in 2017 but it got delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic.1.9 Km long Feni Bridge is also known as Maitree Setu was built over River Feni.
ii.The bridge has been taken over by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), the project execution authority which will recheck the safety standard of the work.
iii.The bridge will be dedicated to the nation after the confirmation of schedule from the Prime Ministers (PM) of India and Bangladesh, Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hassina respectively.
About Tripura:
Chief Minister– Biplab Kumar Deb
Capital– Agartala
Governor– Ramesh Bais
About National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL):
Managing Director (MD)– Keshav Kumar Pathak
Headquarter– New Delhi
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Road Transport & Highways


IFSCA Becomes a Associate Member of International Organisation of Securities Commissions

i.The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) became an associate member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions(IOSCO), an international organisation which sets the global standards for securities markets regulation.
ii.The membership will support IFSCA with a platform to exchange information at global level and regional level in the fields of common interest.
iii.The IOSCO, an international organisation which unites the securities regulators across the globe, covers more than 95% of the world’s securities markets.
About IOSCO:
Chair of the IOSCO Board- Ashley Lan Alder
Secretary General– Paul P. Andrews
Headquarters– Madrid, Spain
About IFSCA:
IFSCA is a unified authority for regulating all the financial activities at IFSC’s in India.
Chairperson– Injeti Srinivas
Established in – April 2020 (established under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019)
Headquarters– Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

RuPay Partnered with RBL Bank to Launch ‘RuPay PoS’; Transforms Merchant Smartphones into PoS

i. International card payment service RuPay partnered with RBL Bank to launch an innovative payment solution for Indian merchants “RuPay PoS” in association with PayNearby. The announcement for the same was made by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
ii.This collaboration will transform smartphones into merchant Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for the retailers enabling the latter to accept contactless payments of up to Rs 5,000 through a simple tap and pay mechanism on his Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled mobile phones.
iii.The biggest benefit of this solution is that the tech-shy Indian Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) or local stores even in the remotest areas will now be able to process contactless payments on their smartphone.
About RBL Bank:
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Vishwavir Ahuja
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Apno Ka Bank
Chatbot– RBL Cares
About Nearby Technologies Pvt. Ltd.:
Establishment– 2016
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Anand Kumar Bajaj
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra


Goa’s 14-year old Leon Mendonca becomes India’s 67th Chess Grandmaster

14-year old Leon Mendonca from Goa became India’s 67th Chess Grandmaster (GM) after winning his third & Final norm at the Vergani Cup, Italy. Mendonca is only the 2nd GM from Goa.
i.He became the 29th Youngest GM in the world. Sergey Karjakin of Russia holds the record for the World’s Youngest ever GM having qualified for the title at the age of 12 years and 7 months (achieved the title in 2003).
ii.The 1st GM from Goa is Ivana Maria Furtado, she achieved it in 2011.
iii.GM is a title awarded by FIDE (International Chess Federation), It is the highest title a chess player can obtain apart from World Champion.
About International Chess Federation (FIDE):
President – Arkady Dvorkovich
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland


KVIC Unveiled 1st of its Kind Government E-commerce Portal “” to Promote Khadi and Village Industry Products

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME), Government of India unveiled the e-commerce portal – This is a first of its kind government online shopping platform to enhance rural economy and promote self reliance.
KVIO Ventures Private Limited, a special purpose company has been incorporated under public private partnership with KVIC to sell the products of Khadi and village Industries Institutions under the trademark “Khadi India”.
note: this is the first ever effort of the Ministry of MSME and KVIC in online and business-to-consumer (B2C) outreach
About KVIC:
Chairman– Vinai Kumar Saxena
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Formed under Act of Parliament; “Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956”.

GRSE Delivers 8th & Final Ship of MK IV class ‘IN LCU L-58’ to Indian Navy

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata, West Bengal delivered the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class vessel ‘IN LCU L-58’ (Yard 2099) to the Indian Navy (IN). The ship will serve in the Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), which is India’s 1st & only tri-service command. LCU L-58 is the final ship in the series of 8 LCUs being manufactured by GRSE for the Indian Navy.
i.The protocol of delivery and acceptance was signed between Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retired), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE & Lieutenant Commander Krishan Kumar Yadav.
ii.LCU L-58 is the 106th Warship built & delivered by GRSE, which is the highest number of warships delivered by any Indian Shipyard.
iii.LCU is a boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment & troops to the shore.
GRSE commences production of 1st of 8 anti-submarine ships:
On December 31, 2020 GRSE commenced production of the 1st of 8 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts for the Indian Navy (ASWSWC).
About Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE):
Chairman & Managing Director – Rear Admiral V K Saxena, IN (retired)
Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal

Mukesh Ambani Ranked 12th in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2021& Ranked 8th in Hurun Global Rich List 2020

India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries limited (RIL) dropped down to 12th spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2021 (as on 2nd January 2021). The net worth of Ambani dropped from 90 billion USD (around Rs. 6.62 lakh crore) (in early 2020) to 76.7 billion USD (around Rs. 5.6 lakh crore).
The drop in the net worth of Mukesh Ambani was due to the correction in the shares of RIL which has fallen to Rs.1995.50 on 30th December 2020, which is 16% from its all-time high of Rs.2369.35.
Top 3 in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index:
Rank Name Net Worth
1 Jeff Bezos 190 Billion USD
2 Elon R Musk 170 Billion USD
3 Bill Gates 132 Billion USD

Asia’s Richest person:
i.Zhong Shanshan, referred to as “Lone Wolf”, has replaced Ambani as Asia’s richest person, he is one of the fastest in the history to achieve the feat.
ii.Zhong Shanshan is chinese billionaire whose net worth is 78.2 billion USD, which is attributed to the listing of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprises Co and Nongu Spring Co, a bottled water firm.
Hurun Global Rich List 2020:
As Per Hurun Global Rich List 2020,India’s Mukesh Ambani dropped to the eighth position in the Hurun global rich list 2020.However he retained as Asia’s Richest Person.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped the charts with a net worth of $201 billion. Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk ($145 billion) moved into the second position. French multinational luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton SE group head Bernard Arnault ($120 billion) came in third, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($111 billion) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ($109 billion) in the fifth slot.
About Bloomberg Billionaires Index:
Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking.
CEO – Michael Bloomberg.

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