Current Affairs

GK and Current Affairs Updates

Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 22nd April 2021

NATIONAL

CAG GC Murmu has been chosen as an external auditor by OPCW

•Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, GC Murmu has been chosen as the external auditor by a prestigious intergovernmental organisation working for the elimination of chemical weapons.

•According to the External Affairs Ministry, the Hague-based Conference of State Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) selected the CAG as its external auditor for a three-year term starting 2021.

•The appointment was made through an election process at the OPCW conference yesterday where India received overwhelming support ahead of others.

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh launched Jagananna Vidya Deevena Scheme

•The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Yeduguri Sandinti Jagan Mohan Reddy released the first tranche of Rs 672 crores under the Jagananna Vidya Deevena Scheme for the year 2021-22. This reimbursed the fees for 10.88 lakh students. So far, a total of Rs 4, 879 crores have been disbursed under the Jagananna Vidya Deevena Scheme.

•The main objective of the Jagananna Vidya Deevena Scheme is to provide scholarships to all the students who are not able to pay their fees because of their financial burden.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is the first party to declare name of electoral bonds donor

•The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is the first party that has declared the name of the entity which made donations to it through electoral bonds. A declaration of a ₹1 crore donation was made in the party’s 2019-2020 contribution report. According to the contribution report of the ruling party in Jharkhand, the donation was made by aluminium and copper manufacturing company Hindalco.

•The association said the most common and popular source of income for national and regional political parties in 2019-20 were donations through electoral bonds. This raises the question as to whether political parties are aware of the identity of the donors who have contributions through electoral bonds, as can be seen in this case.

(WSAI) has been established by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at Tehri Dam

•Water Sports and Adventure Institute (WSAI) has been established by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand. The institute was inaugurated on by Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. ITBP’s Mountaineering and Skiing Institute at Auli will independently run this institution, which will impart training in aero, water and land-related sports and adventure activities.

•Training in kayaking, rowing, canoeing, water skiing, para-gliding, para-sailing, speed boating, kite surfing, jet skiing, etc, will also be provided at this institute. Apart from this, water rescue and life-saving courses will be conducted here. It has been targeted to train at least 200 youth in water sports at this institution every year.

Priyanka Mohite : first Indian woman to scale Mount Annapurna

•Priyanka Mohite from Satara in western Maharashtra has scaled Mount Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain peak in the world, became the first Indian woman climber to achieve the feat.

•Mount Annapurna is a massif in the Himalayas located in Nepal that includes one peak over 8,000 metres and is considered to be one of the toughest mountains to climb.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA successfully flew its tiny helicopter Ingenuity on Mars

•NASA successfully flew its tiny helicopter Ingenuity on Mars, the first powered flight on another planet and a feat a top engineer called “our Wright brothers’ moment.” Data and images from the autonomous flight were transmitted (278 million kilometres) back to Earth where they were received by NASA’s array of ground antennas and processed more than three hours later. Ingenuity was on autopilot for its entire flight, out of sight, direct control, or contact with the men and women on Earth who had ordered it aloft—because radio signals take too long to travel between the planets for any human operator to intervene.

OBITUARY

Qawwali singer Farid Sabri passed away on 58.

•Qawwali singer Farid Sabri of the renowned musical duo 'Sabri Brothers' from Rajasthan passed away on Wednesday morning at a hospital in Jaipur.

•He was reportedly admitted to the facility on Tuesday night due to sudden deterioration in his condition, as the singer was allegedly suffering from pneumonia for the past few days. Sabri was 58.

•His brother, singer Amin Sabri confirmed that Farid had not tested positive, but was suffering from lung infection and kidney ailments, besides being diabetic. Doctors have confirmed the same.

•The singer was cremated at the Miskin Shah Cemetery, after his body was taken to the Sabris' ancestral place of Mathura Walon ki Haveli in Jaipur.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Mother Earth Day observed globally on 22 April

•Earth Day (International Mother Earth Day) is observed globally on 22 April every year. The Day will be celebrated all over the world to spread awareness for Earth’s wellbeing and to encourage people to support environmental protection. World Earth Day 2021 will mark the 51st Anniversary of the day since it started being observed in 1970. Earth Day was renamed officially by the UN in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day.

•The theme of 2021 International Mother Earth Day is Restore Our Earth.

International Girls in ICT Day is observed on 22nd April 2021

•International Girls in ICT Day marked annually on the fourth Thursday of April. This year International Girls in ICT Day is observed on 22nd April 2021. International Girls in ICT Day aims to inspire a global movement to increase the representation of girls and women in technology. Today, let’s recommit to the goal of equal access for young women and girls to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

•The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in the world’s fastest-growing sector.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

GOI-Germany enter into an agreement to prevent plastic waste entering oceans

•The Government of India and Germany Government have signed an agreement for Technical Cooperation in enhancing practices to prevent plastic from entering the marine environment at a virtual ceremony in New Delhi India. The project titled ‘Cities Combating Plastic Entering the Marine Environment’ will be implemented for a period of 42 months.

•The outcome of the project is completely in line with the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban focusing on sustainable solid waste management and Prime Minister Modi’s vision to phase out single-use plastic by 2022.

•The agreement was signed between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

RANKING

World Press Freedom Index 2021, released: India at 142nd 

•India has been placed at 142nd position among 180 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index (WPFI)2021, released on April 20, 2021. India was at 142nd position in 2020 as well. Norway has retained its top spot for the fifth year running, followed by Finland and Denmark at second and third place respectively. Eritrea is at the bottom of the index at 180th place.

•The index is published every year by the international journalism not-for-profit body, “Reporters without Borders (RSF)”, to evaluate the press freedom situation in 180 countries and territories.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 21st April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel has been officially sworn in as the ‘First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’

•Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel has been sworn as the ‘First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’, following the resignation of Raul Castro. The Secretary of the Communist Party is the most powerful position in one party ruling Cuba. Díaz-Canel now holds Cuba’s two most important positions, head of the party and president of the state.

•Raúl Castro announced that he would step down from the key position of the party and hand over the leadership to a younger generation. Díaz-Canel is almost thirty years younger than his predecessor and will now hold Cuba’s two most important positions, head of the party and president of the state. Castro had been in the post since 2011 when he took over from his older brother, Fidel Castro.

NATIONAL

Punjab Planned to ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State by 2022

•Punjab State reiterated the commitment of the State to achieve the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target by 2022 as planned. Punjab has 34.73 lakh rural household, out of which 25.88 lakh (74.5%) have tap water supply. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide 8.87 lakh tap connections, thereby providing tap connection to every rural household. So far, 4-districts, 29 blocks, 5,715 panchayats and 6,003 villages in Punjab have been declared ‘Har Ghar Jal’, which means every rural household has access to water through the tap.

•To ensure transparency and accountability, Punjab has set up a well-equipped digital 24×7 call centre with Interactive Voice Responsive System. This analog grievance redressal system was upgraded in December 2020. Last year, the redressal rate was 97.76%. The pending complaints daily monitoring is done by sending reminders to the Executive Engineer via SMS, What’s App messages, e-mail and over the phone.

OBITUARY

American politician Walter Mondale Passed Away

•Former American politician, diplomat, and lawyer Walter Mondale, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States, has passed away recently.

•He served as Vice President from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1993 to 1996 under Bill Clinton.

Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Maidavolu Narasimham passed away

•The former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Maidavolu Narasimham, has passed away recently. He was famously known as the “Father of Indian Banking Reforms”.

•He was the 13th Governor of RBI and served from May 2, 1977, to November 30, 1977.  He was known for being the chair of two high-powered committees on banking and financial sector reforms.

Senior BJP leader Bachi Singh Rawat Passed Away

•The senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Bachi Singh Rawat has passed away. He was a four-time MP from the Almora-Pithoragarh constituency in Uttarakhand.

•He had served as the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed globally on: 21 April

•World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed on 21 April every year. This day is celebrated to raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem-solving with respect to advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals, also known as the “global goals”.

•The main objective of the day is to encourage people to use new ideas, make new decisions, and do creative thinking. Creativity is what makes the world go ‘round.

National Civil Services Day is celebrated on April 21 every year:

•In India, ‘Civil Services Day is celebrated on April 21 every year. It is a day to appreciate the tremendous work done by officers engaged in public administration, in various departments of the central and state governments.

•The Government of India chose April 21 as the National Civil Service Day as on this day the country’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel addressed the newly appointed Administrative Services Officers in 1947. The historic occasion took place at the Metcalf House in Delhi. In his address, he called Civil Servants, the ‘Steel Frame of India’.

SPORTS

Stefanos Tsitsipas has won his first ATP Masters 1000 series

•Stefanos Tsitsipas has won his first ATP Masters 1000 series after a flawless performance against Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo. The Greek star had lost his previous two finals at this level, with Rafael Nadal denying him in Toronto and Novak Djokovic beating him in Madrid.

•Rublev beat 11-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal in the quarter-finals. Rublev knocked out Roberto Bautista Agut, Rafael Nadal and Dan Evans en route to the final but could not find a way past Tsitsipas.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

The new Book of JK Rowling “The Christmas Pig” released in October

•JK Rowling has a new book coming this autumn, a festive children’s story with all new characters. The story is about a boy named Jack and his toy Dur Pig, who goes missing on Christmas Eve.

•The book is set to be released worldwide on October 12. “The Christmas Pig” is Rowling’s first children’s novel since Harry Potter.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

LIC has appointed homegrown payments player Paytm to facilitate its digital payments

•State-run Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has appointed homegrown payments player Paytm to facilitate its digital payments. Following a tie-up with another payment gateway earlier, the country’s largest life insurer has sought a new deal as the majority of its payments have moved to digital modes.

•LIC has witnessed an upsurge in e-payments following the C-19 pandemic. The PSU insurer collects premiums worth Rs 60,000 crore via digital mode, which doesn’t comprise payments made through banks.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 20th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Italy launched first ever mega food park in Gujarat

• Italy has launched its first-ever mega food park project in India, at Fanidhar in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. The project aims to create synergy between agriculture and industry of the two countries and focuses on the research and development of new and more efficient technologies in the sector.

• With this Italy also aims to explore the great opportunities offered by the Indian market. This is the first Italian-Indian food park project, an initiative in the food-processing field, which serves as a pillar of the partnership between India and Italy.

NATIONAL

Gender Samvaad event launched by Ministry of Rural Development

• The Ministry of Rural Development recently launched the Gender Samvaad Event. It is a joint initiative between DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE.

• The main objective of the Gender Samvaad event was to create awareness of gender-related interventions under the DAY-NRLM. DAY-NRLM is Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission. IWWAGE is Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy.

SPORTS

Max Verstappen Wins Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix 2021

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) won the Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix 2021, in Imola, Italy. This win is his first victory of the season. The race was the second round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

• The seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) finished second, following a crash and sustaining damage involving Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Lando Norris (McLaren – Great Britain) took third place.

OBITUARY

Veteran Tamil actor and comedian Vivek passed away

• Renowned Tamil actor and comedian Vivek has passed away. He was launched by legendary filmmaker K Balachander in the late 1980s. He went on to become one of the most sought after comedy actors of Tamil cinema in the 1990s and retained a stronghold in the industry.

• The actor was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009 for his excellent work in Tamil cinema. He acted in over 200 movies. He was last seen in Dharala Prabhu, which was the Tamil remake of the Hindi film Vicky Donor.

Marathi filmmaker Sumitra Bhave passed away

• Acclaimed Marathi filmmaker, Sumitra Bhave has passed away. Sumitra Bhave was popular as a duo with filmmaker Sunil Sukthankar in Marathi cinema and Marathi theatre. She was known for her out-of-the-box content and also for the way she handled social issues in her films.

• The duo of Sumitra and Sunil together directed several popular films like Doghi, Dahavi Fa, Vastupurush, Devrai, Badha, Ek Cup Chya, Samhita, Astu, Kaasav, among others. They have won National Film Awards in Best Non-Feature Film on Family Welfare, Best Educational / Motivational / Instructional Film, Best Film on Other Social Issues, Best Feature Film categories.

Kannada writer Ganjam Venkatasubbiah passed away

• Veteran Kannada writer Ganjam Venkatasubbiah, who also was a grammarian, editor, lexicographer and literary critic, has passed away. He was 107. He was commonly known as a walking encyclopedia of Kannada language and culture, in his literary circles.

• Professor G Venkatasubbaiah had compiled 12 dictionaries and had authored around 60 books. He received the Padma Shri in 2017 for his proficiency in Kannada literature, poetry, essays and translations. Apart from this, we were also a recipient of the Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award and the Pampa Award among others.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Murali Natarajan re-appointed as DCB Bank MD and CEO

• Private sector lender, DCB Bank has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India for the re-appointment of Murali M. Natrajan as the Managing Director & CEO, for a further period of one year from April 29, 2021.

• He was appointed as MD and CEO of DCB Bank in May 2009. Prior to joining DCB, Natrajan has worked with foreign banks Standard Chartered & Citibank.

IMPORTANT DAYS

UN Chinese Language Day observed on 20 April

• UN Chinese Language Day is observed globally on April 20 every year. The day has been chosen to pay tribute to Cangjie, who is a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago.

• The 1st Chinese Language Day was celebrated in 2010 on the 12th of November, but since 2011 the date has been on the 20th of April. The day celebrates multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.

RANKING

Henley Passport Index 2021 released India stands at number 84

• Amid the rising COVID-19 cases and subsequent restrictions on travel overseas, when many countries are banning individuals from worst-hit nations, the Henley Passport Index on April 17 released its list of the most powerful passports.

• India stands at number 84 on the list, as the Indian citizens can visit Visa-Free or Visa-on-Arrival in over 58 places. Japan, Singapore and Germany, South Korea stand in Top 3 respectively.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI sets up committee to review working of Asset Reconstruction Companies

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a six-member panel to carry out a comprehensive review of the working of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) in the financial sector ecosystem.

• The panel will be headed by former Executive Director of RBI, Sudarshan Sen.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 19th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Microsoft buys AI speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion

• Microsoft has made its second-biggest acquisition after LinkedIn. The tech giant has bought AI speech tech firm Nuance for $19.7 billion. The move will help Microsoft’s prowess in voice recognition and will give it a boost in the health care market. Nuance is known for its Dragon software which helps to transcribe speech using deep learning. In 2016, Microsoft had purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion.

• The acquisition will combine solutions and expertise to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries, and represent the latest step in Microsoft’s industry-specific cloud strategy.

• Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI.

• Nuance’s products include multiple clinical speech recognition software as a service (SaaS) offerings built on Microsoft Azure. The firm’s solutions work with core healthcare systems, and are currently used in 77% of U.S. hospitals.

NATIONAL

DRDO to reopen its C-19 Hospital

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will reopen its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt today. The facility was shut in the first week of February after daily Covid-19 cases came down. The 1,000-bed DRDO medical facility got 250 additional ICU beds last November to provide treatment to patients.

• This took the total number of ICU beds at the hospital to 500. The hospital was built by DRDO in record time of 12 days with assistance from the armed forces, ministry of home affairs, ministry of health and family welfare and Tata Trust. The facility became operational in July last year. 

RT-PCR test mandatory for kumbh returnees: State Government

• The Odisha government has made the RT-PCR test mandatory for people who had travelled to Haridwar for the Kumbh Mela earlier this month. It also said that all Kumbh Mela returnees will have to follow a 14-day quarantine period.

• Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena has shared the list of persons who had registered with the Uttarakhand government to participate in the event, with all district collectors and municipal commissioners and asked them to contact all these persons and find out their location and travel plans.

First ever online exhibition on Ramayana

• Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has inaugurated the first-ever online exhibition on Ramayana. The weblink for the online exhibition is www.nmvirtual.in/Virtual_Tour/Ramayan. Mr Patel addressed a webinar 'India's Heritage: Powering Tourism' on the occasion of World Heritage Day 2021 yesterday.

• The online exhibition showcases forty nine miniature paintings collections of National Museum, New Delhi from different art schools of India.

Railway to run "Oxygen Express" trains

• The Railways will run ‘Oxygen Express’ trains over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.

• Amid spiralling coronavirus cases in the country, the demand for medical oxygen in the country has gone through the roof.

• Empty tankers will begin their journey from Kalamboli and Boisar railway stations in and near Mumbai on Monday to load liquid medical oxygen from Vizag, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro.

SPORTS

Asian Weightlifting Championships: India's Mirabai chanu creates world record

• India's Mirabai Chanu set a new World Record in the women's 49kg Clean and Jerk with an impressive 119 kg lift at Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent yesterday. The 26-year-old lifted 86kg in snatch and a world record of 119kg in clean and jerk for a total of 205kg which also won her the bronze medal at the event.

• The gold medal went to Hou Zhihui of China who created a new world record in snatch and total weight with an effort of 213kg while her compatriot Jiang Huihua clinched the silver, lifting 207kg  in the gold level Olympic qualifier.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA Awards $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX

• The United States space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has picked Elon Musk’s SpaceX for its Artemis programme, to develop the first commercial lander and take the next two US astronauts to the moon. The total value of this contract is $2.89 billion.

• SpaceX will develop a spacecraft ‘SpaceX Starship’ to land next to two US astronauts, including a women astronaut at the lunar south pole region, by 2024.

• NASA also aims to bring the first person of colour to the moon’s surface as part of the Artemis programme.

• Between 1969 and 1972, the US brought 12 astronauts to the moon.

OBITUARY

Former Indian Footballer Ahmed Hussain Passes Away

• Former India’s International Football defender, Ahmed Hussain Lala has passed away due to C-19. He represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where India finished fourth. Besides, he was also part of the Indian team that won the gold medal in the 1951 Asian Games.

• Ahmed also took part in the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan, in which India finished fourth. In Club Football, Ahmed played for Hyderabad City Police, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting Club. In his career, he had won two Santosh Trophy, three Durand Cups and six Rovers Cups.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Liver Day observed every year on 19 April

• World Liver day is observed on the 19 April every year to spread awareness about the second largest organ in the body. The liver is the second largest and the most complex organ in the body, with the exception of the brain.

• Liver diseases can be caused by hepatitis A, B, C, alcohol and drugs. Viral Hepatitis occurs due to consumption of contaminated food and water, unsafe sexual practices and drug abuse.

World Heritage Day observed every year on 18 April

• World Heritage Day observed globally on 18 April every year. The day is observed to raise awareness about the cultural heritage that we see around us. It is also aimed at promoting historical monuments and sites through which we can actually preserve the cultural integrity of a community as well.

• This year’s theme “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” reflects on the need to acknowledge global calls for greater inclusion and recognition of diversity.

• The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1982 announced, 18 April as the World Heritage Day. This was approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with an aim of enhancing awareness about the importance of cultural heritage, monuments and conserving them.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Rating Agencies downgrade India’s GDP forecasts for financial year 2022

• With the resurgence of C-19 cases posing risks to economic recovery, the leading brokerages have downgraded India’s GDP growth projections for the current fiscal year 2021-22. Current fiscal year to as low as 10 per cent on local lockdowns threatening fragile recovery.

• In the C-19 ravaged 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021), the economy is projected to have contracted by up to 8 per cent. The low base of FY’21 was seen aiding a double-digit growth rate in the current fiscal before moderating to 6.8 per cent in FY’23.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 18th April 2021

NATIONAL

Tap water connection by 2022 in Madhya Pradesh

• Madhya Pradesh presented their Annual Action Plan (AAP)under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)today via video conferencing setting out the State’s action plan to provide tap water connections to rural households in 2021-22 as well as the saturation plan, so that every rural home of the State gets tap water supply in a time-bound manner. Madhya Pradesh is likely to get about Rs 3,000 Crore Central fund in 2021-22. Considering this quantum jump of allocation of almost 2.5 times of previous year, the State has to make provision for matching State share and prepare a realistic expenditure plan for effective utilization funds.

• A month-long planning exerciseis currently underway which involves two States/ UTs presenting their AAP dailyto a committee chaired by Secretary, Department of drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shaktiand members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog. The committee jointly reviews the proposed Annual Action Plan (AAP) before finalizing the same. Thereafter, fund is released in tranches throughout the year and regular field visits, review meetings are held to ensure implementation of the AAP to achieve the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission.

• Madhya Pradesh has 1.23 Crore rural households, out of which 37.69 lakh (31%) have tap water supply in their homes. In 2020-21, Madhya Pradesh has provided 19.89 lakh tap water connections and has been one of the top performers in the country under Jal Jeevan Mission. In 2021-22, the State has planned for saturation of 7 districts and 22 lakh new tap water connections.

Manipur presented its annual Action Plan

• State of Manipur presented its Annual Action Plan under Jal Jeevan Mission today via video conferencing before the committee of the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, with members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog.

• Manipur has around 4.51 lakh rural households, out of which 2.27 lakh households have tap water supply, as on 31st March 2021. 1.96 lakh new tap water connections were provided in 2020-21 despite Covid- 19 pandemic. The State has planned for 100% saturation by 2021-22 under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) by providing tap water connections to remaining 2.25 lakh households.

8th Indo-Kyrgyz Special Forces Exercise ‘Khanjar’ Flags off

• The 8th Indo-Kyrgyz Joint Special Forces Exercise “Khanjar” was inaugurated at the Special Forces Brigade of National Guards of the Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek, the capital of the host Kyrgyzstan. Initiated first in 2011, the two-week-long special operations exercise focusses on high-altitude warfare, mountain warfare and counter-extremism exercises.

• The Indian contingent for the exercise and felicitated their role as a bridge in promoting the shared mountain and nomadic heritage of both nations. A ceremonial parade graced the occasion along with a display of equipment’s and weapons and a visit to the training arena and barracks.

SPORTS

BCCI agrees to issue visas to Pakistan team

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has got the approval for visas for the Pakistan cricket team as well as the touring media for the upcoming T20 World Cup that is scheduled to begin in India in October this year. It was announced at BCCI's Apex Council meeting yesterday.

• The BCCI has informed the apex council that the Indian government has agreed to issue visas to the Pakistan cricketers and the touring media for the T20 World Cup.

• While the details are still being worked out, the apex council members were informed that the Board has received a nod from the government over the visas, even though a call on the fans will be taken by the ministry in due course. However, this wouldn't yet break the deadlock between the Indian and Pakistan cricket boards.

• The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had earlier said that they are looking for visas for not just the players and the media but also for their fans. A failure on that count from the Indian board will push them into asking the International Cricket Council (ICC) to host the tournament in UAE.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA to launch SpaceX Crew 2 on April 22

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on World Earth Day (April 22). NASA is to launch the mission along with SpaceX. It is the second crewed operational flight of Crew Dragon Spacecraft.

• The mission will transport four scientists to the International Space Station. The astronauts to travel to the International Space Station are from NASA, JAXA and ESA. JAXA is the Japanese Space Agency and ESA is European Space Agency.

• Crew Dragon was the first space vehicle to launch humans from American soil in nine years. It was first launched in May 2020.

• It was funded through NASA’s Commercial Crew Programme. It evolved from an earlier design called Dragon 1.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Lifetime Achievement Award received by Director Roberto Benigni

• Director Roberto Benigni will be receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, which runs from September 1 to 11. The organisers confirmed the news about the two-time Oscar-winning actor-director.

• The filmmaker had starred in and directed the holocaust comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful (1997), for which he received the Academy Awards for Best Actor (the first for a non-English speaking male performance) and Best International Feature Film. He was last seen in Matteo Garrone’s live-action Pinocchio, for which he won a David di Donatello Award.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Modi Ji released 4 books related to Babasaheb Ambedkar

• PM Narendra Modi has paid tribute to India’s first law minister and the architect of the Indian Constitution Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar on his birth anniversary and released four books based on his life. PM Modi has addressed the 95th Annual Meet and National Seminar of Vice-Chancellors of the Association of Indian Universities via video conferencing and launched four books related to Dr BR Ambedkar, written by Kishor Makwana.

Suresh Raina’s memoir ‘Believe’ to release in May 2021

• A book titled ‘Believe – What Life and Cricket Taught Me’, the much-awaited Suresh Raina autobiography is set to hit the bookstands in May 2021. The book is Co-authored by Raina and sports author Bharat Sundaresan, the biography will be published by the prestigious publishing house, Penguin India.

• The book expected to follow Raina’s lightning-fast rise in the Indian cricket team and the hardships that he encountered on the way to becoming a record-breaking batsman. The book should also help unwind the story of Raina’s early days as a budding cricketer in UP.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBL Bank and Mastercard have announced their partnership

• RBL Bank and Mastercard have announced their partnership to launch a mobile-based consumer-friendly payment solution ‘Pay by Bank App’, a first-of-its-kind payment functionality in India. RBL Bank account holders can now enjoy contactless transactions across the world through their mobile banking application both in-store and online. This functionality will be available at all Mastercard accepting merchants, worldwide that accept contactless and online payments.

• To provide enhanced security, ‘Pay by Bank App’ ensures that Bank customer’s payment credentials are never exposed to the merchant, making the transaction completely secure.

• Customers will continue to receive the Mastercard consumer protection benefits that they currently enjoy on their debit cards.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 17th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

US President Biden announced complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September

• US President Joe Biden has announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year, thus bringing to end the country’s longest war. US troops, as well as forces deployed by our NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Allies and operational partners, will be out of Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of that heinous attack on September 11 (2001).

• Biden and his team are refining national strategy to monitor and disrupt significant terrorist threats not only in Afghanistan, but anywhere they may arise — Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

• Before making the announcement, Biden had spoken with former US presidents Barack Obama and George Bush.

• The US and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020, to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America’s longest war.

NATIONAL

‘Aahaar Kranti’ mission launched by Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan

• Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched Aahaar Kranti, a mission dedicated to spreading awareness about nutrition. It is designed to address the peculiar problem of hunger and diseases in abundance, being faced by India and the world. Studies show that India produces as much as two times the amount of calories it consumes.

• However, many in the country are still malnourished. The root cause of this strange phenomenon is a lack of nutritional awareness. Keeping this in mind, Aahaar Kranti has been launched with the motto of Uttam Aahaar- Uttam Vichaar or Good Diet-Good Cognition.

• The movement proposes to address the problem by working to rouse the people to the values and richness of India’s traditional diet, to the healing powers of local fruits and vegetables and to the miracles of a balanced diet. Vijnana Bharati, Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats Forum, Vigyan Prasar, and Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark have come together to launch this mission.

OBITUARY

Former election commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy passed away

• Former election commissioner, GVG Krishnamurty passed away due to age-related ailments.

• An Indian Legal Service officer, Krishnamurty became the election commissioner in October 1993 to September 1996.

Former CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha passed away

• Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ranjit Sinha has passed away. He was a 1974-batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, who served as CBI Director from 3 December 2012 to 2 December 2014.

• Prior to being appointed as CBI Director, Sinha had headed Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, the Railway Protection Force and several other senior positions in the CBI in Patna and Delhi.

Renowned Radiologist Dr. Kakarla Subba Rao Passed Away

• Renowned radiologist, Dr Kakarla Subba Rao, who served as the first director of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, has passed away.

• Rao was conferred Padma Shri in 2000, by the Government of India for his contributions to the field of medicine. He was the founder president of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), an umbrella organisation for Telugu speaking people in the United States.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Hemophilia Day observed globally: 17 April

• World Hemophilia Day observed globally on 17 April every year. This day is observed to raise awareness for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. The date was chosen in honour of the World Federation of Hemophilia founder Frank Schnabel birthday. This year is the 30th edition of World Haemophilia Day.

• The theme for 2021 World Hemophilia Day is “Adapting to Change: Sustaining care in a new world”. The day is being held since 1989, which marks the birthday of Frank Schnabel, founder of the World Federation of Hemophilia.

• It is a rare disorder in which your blood doesn’t clot normally because it lacks sufficient blood-clotting proteins /factors. If you have hemophilia, you may bleed for a longer time after an injury than you would if your blood clotted normally.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Marathi film “Puglya” wins Best Foreign Feature at Moscow International Film Festival 2021

• The Marathi film “Puglya” has won the Best Foreign Language Feature award at Moscow International Film Festival, 2021. The film Puglya has been directed and produced by Vinod Sam Peter under the banner Abraham Films.

• So far, this film has won over 45 awards and recognitions at various international film festivals. The film is yet to be released in India. The film revolves around a pug and two boys, who are around 10 years old.

Wisden Almanack’s 2021 edition announced

• To perpetuate the 50th anniversary of the first One-Day International, five ODI cricketers of the decade have been listed in Wisden Almanack’s 2021 edition. One cricketer has been selected from each decade between 1971 and 2021, with the Indian captain been granted the award for the 2010s.

• India captain Virat Kohli Wisden Almanack’s ODI player of the 2010s.

• Sachin Tendulkar is the ODI Cricketer of the 1990s.

• Kapil Dev was named as the ODI Cricketer for the 1980s.

• England all-rounder Ben Stokes is ‘Leading Cricketer of the Year’.

• Australia’s Beth Mooney is ‘Leading Women’s Cricketer in the World’.

• West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard was adjudged the ‘Leading T20 Cricketer in the World’.

• Meanwhile, Jason Holder, Mohammed Rizwan, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, and Darren Stevens have been awarded the Wisden Cricketers of the Year 2021.

RANKING

Inclusive Internet Index 2021: India has been ranked at 49th spot globally

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in partnership with Facebook, has released the Inclusive Internet Index 2021. India has been ranked at 49th spot globally. It shares its rank with Thailand. This index measures the extent to which the internet is available and affordable by region, and highlights additional insight into how people around the world are using the web.

Top 5 Countries:

1. Sweden

2. United States

3. Spain

4. Australia

5. Hong Kong

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Punjab National Bank launched digital initiative PNB@Ease

• Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a digital initiative “PNB@Ease” under which every transaction undertaken by a bank branch will be initiated and authorised by customers themselves. This facility will enable the customers to avail all banking services under one roof.

• On its 127th foundation day, PNB announced other digital initiatives such as the instant opening of online saving accounts via video-KYC, insta pre-approved loan, insta Demat account and insurance facility through internet and mobile banking services. PNB’s 127th Foundation Day celebrated on Apr 12, 2021.

• This facility will enable the customers to avail all banking services under one roof, he said, adding, PNB@Ease outlets would boost the bank’s distribution capability and lower the cost of customer acquisition.

• The service can range from savings accounts opening to availing various loans and more, without visiting a branch or help from the bank employees.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 16th April 2021

NATIONAL

Government to set up oxygen plant under PM-CARES

• With hundreds of C-19 patients gasping for breath due to shortage of medical oxygen at hospitals across states, the central government on Thursday formulated a plan under which the PM-Cares Fund would be used to set up medical oxygen manufacturing units at 100 hospitals so that they become self-reliant.

• Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of C-19 patients.

• The decision was taken at a meeting of the central 'Empowered Group-2' on C-19. During the meeting, the group took three key decisions to create short and long-term availability of medical oxygen in the country.

First woman mayor of Bathinda municipal corporation

• Raman Goyal was unanimously appointed as mayor of Bathinda city, Thursday. She is the first woman mayor to head the Bathinda Municipal Corporation. While Ashok Pradhan was appointed senior deputy mayor, Master Harmandar Singh Sidhu’s name was unanimously agreed to for the post of deputy mayor of Bathinda city.

• Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said that new development projects would be undertaken for Bathinda city in coming days under the leadership of Raman Goyal.

• In the recently held civic polls, Congress had won 43 out of 50 wards in Bathinda Municipal Corporation.

“Online Grievance Management Portal” launched

• Union Minister for Communication & IT and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the “Online Grievance Management Portal of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)”.

• NCSC Grievance Management portal would make it easier for Scheduled Castes population of our country to register their complaint from any part of the country.

• The portal shall enable them to file their application and other atrocity and services related grievances online and to get them addressed in a time bound manner.

• NCSC aims to streamline the grievance redressal specially of the Scheduled Caste population through this portal.

• The portal designed in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N), a Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India will facilitate an end-to-end e-filing of complaints and grievances and their tracking.

• Finally, it is intended to make the hearing process work on similar lines as e-courts.

• This portal is linked to the Commission’s website and one can file one’s complaint upon registering on it.

• The facility to upload documents and audio/video files is also available. This would supplement the physical submission of complaints and grievances.

Mental-Health Digital Platform MANAS Launched

• The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups.

• MANAS stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System.

• MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizens.

• The App integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces developed/researched by various national bodies and research institutions.

• It was initiated by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

• It was jointly executed by NIMHANS Bengaluru, AFMC Pune and C-DAC Bengaluru.

• The app must be integrated with the public health schemes like the National Health Mission, Poshan Abhiyan, e-Sanjeevani and others so that it is used widely.

• Catering to the overall wellbeing of people of all age groups, the initial version of MANAS focuses on promoting positive mental health in the age group of 15-35 years.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Launched “e-SANTA”, an Electronic Marketplace For Aqua Farmers

• Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal has inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace, to provide a platform for connecting aqua farmers and buyers. e-SANTA aims to raise income, lifestyle, self-reliance, quality levels, traceability, of aqua farmers.

• e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade-in Aquaculture.

• Here, the term National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority.

• It will act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen.

• The platform will help the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers and enhancing traceability.

• e-SANTA Portal can be accessed through the following link: https://esanta.gov.in/

NITI Aayog launched ‘Poshan Gyan’, a digital repository on health, nutrition

• NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University launched called “Poshan Gyan”, a national digital repository on health and nutrition. The website can be accessed through eh following link: https://poshangyan.niti.gov.in/

• The unique feature of the repository is that it has a crowdsourcing feature that allows anyone to submit communication material for inclusion on the website, followed by a review by a designated committee.

• Poshan Gyan repository enables the search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse languages, media types, target audiences and sources.

• Content for the repository has been sourced from the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Women and Child Development and developmental organizations.

• The website provides an intuitive interface that means multi-parametric search, multiple downloads at a point in time, easy sharing of materials via social media and easy viewing on any type of smartphone.

• The portal will have a dedicated “Theme of the Month” in line with MoHFW and MoWCD guidelines to promote key topics.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Indian space agency, ISRO has signed an agreement

• The Indian space agency, ISRO has signed an agreement with the space agency of France CNES for cooperation in its first human space mission, Gaganyaan. CNES will train Indian flight physicians and CAPCOM mission control teams at French facilities. The Gaganyaan orbital spacecraft project was kicked off in August 2018. It originally intended to send astronauts from Indian soil to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

• CNES will provide equipment developed by it, tested and still operating aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to Indian crews.

• It will also supply fireproof carry bags made in France to shield equipment from shocks and radiation.

• The agreement provides for the CNES to support the implementation of a scientific experiment plan on validation missions, exchange information on food packaging and the nutrition programme, and above all the use by Indian astronauts of French equipment, consumables and medical instruments.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Amazon launched $250-million Venture Fund for Digitizing SMEs in India

• The e-commerce giant Amazon has launched a $250 million (Rs 1,873 crore) venture fund called “Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund”, to invest in Indian startups and entrepreneurs, with a focus on digitizing SMEs. The launch of the Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund aims to attract the best ideas and empower entrepreneurs in the country to partner in this vision.

• Digitisation of small and medium businesses (SME) in India

• Drive innovation in Agri-tech innovations to empower farmer productivity and reach

• Drive innovation in Health-tech to provide universal and quality health care

• As a part of its first investment through the ‘Smbhav’ fund, Amazon invested in Gurugram-based M1xchange which connects SMEs with banks and financiers.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be set up a new Regulations Review Authority

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be set up a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0) from May 1, 2021, to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems and compliance procedures of the central bank for streamlining them and making them more effective. The RRA will be set up for a period of one year unless the timeline is extended by the RBI.

• M Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor, RBI will be the head of the Regulations Review Authority.

• RRA will be tasked with making regulatory and supervisory instructions more effective by removing redundancies and duplications if any.

• It must be noted that prior to this, a similar RRA was set up by RBI on April 1, 1999, for a period of one year to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems, based on the feedback from the public, banks, and financial institutions.

Ashok Leyland incorporates new unit for freight business

• Commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland on Thursday said it along with Hinduja Leyland Finance has incorporated a company to take care of the freight mobility business.

• The company and its subsidiary Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd have jointly incorporated a firm in the name of 'Gro Digital Platforms Limited' on April 14, 2021, Ashok Leyland said in a regulatory filing.

• "'Gro Digital Platforms Ltd (GDPL) is incorporated to carry on the business of freight mobility and associated services relating to fleet-owners," it added.

• The firm, with its registered office in Chennai, is yet to commence operations, Ashok Leyland added.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 15th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

3400-year-old ‘Lost golden city of Luxor’ discovered by archaeologists in Egypt

• ‘Lost golden city of Luxor’ discovered by archaeologists in Egypt. The 3400-year-old royal city was built by Amenhotep III, abandoned by his heretic son, Akhenaten, and contains stunningly preserved remains.

• Egyptologist Betsy Bryan has called the discovery ‘the second most important one since the tomb of Tutankhamun’. Akhenaten, who left the ‘golden city’ for a new capital at Amarna, encouraged a startlingly different style of Egyptian art. Here he is shown with his wife, Nefertiti, and three daughters.

NATIONAL

Defence Minister inaugurated IAF Commanders’ Conference 2021 in New Delhi

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the First bi-annual Indian Air Force, IAF Commanders’ Conference 2021 at Air Headquarters Vayu Bhawan in New Delhi. The conference is attended by the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of all Commands of IAF, all Principal Staff Officers and all Director Generals posted at Air Headquarters.

• The conference of apex level leadership is aimed at addressing the issues of IAF’s operational capabilities in the times to come.

• A series of discussions would be conducted over a period of three days to address strategies and policies related to capabilities that would give IAF a significant edge over its adversaries.

• Various welfare and Human Resource measures to improve HR and administrative efficiency will also be discussed. The Conference provides a forum to the senior leadership of the IAF to discuss critical issues pertaining to Operations, Maintenance and Administration.

“To Honour” BR Ambedkar, Indian-American Congressman Introduces Resolution

• In the US House of Representatives, an Indian-American Congressman has introduced a resolution for a second consecutive year to honour Bhimrao Ambedkar, the architect of India’s Constitution on his 130th birth anniversary.

• Indian-American Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna said “Today, I’m reintroducing my resolution to honour B R Ambedkar, in the hopes that young leaders around the world will read his work and be inspired by his vision for equalitu.”

Maharashtra gets India’s first Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU)

• First Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) of India has arrived at H-Energy’s Jaigarh Terminal in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, on the west coast of India. FSRU based LNG Terminals aim at providing the ability to enhance the pace of natural gas import capability in an environment-friendly and efficient manner”. The port is the first deepwater, 24×7 operational private port in Maharashtra.

• Höegh Giant will deliver regasified LNG to the 56-km long Jaigarh-Dabhol natural gas pipeline, connecting the LNG terminal to the national gas grid. The facility will also deliver LNG through truck loading facilities for onshore distribution, the facility is also capable to reload LNG onto small-scale LNG vessels for bunkering services.

SPORTS

Babar Azam becames No. 1 ODI batsman

• Pakistan captain Babar Azam is now the No.1-ranked ODI batsman, ending India captain Virat Kohli's long reign at the top of the charts. Babar's match-winning 82-ball 94 in the third ODI against South Africa helped him gain 13 rating points to reach career-best 865 points.

• Azam made a total of 228 runs in Pakistan's famous series win against South Africa, including a century in the first match in Centurion. That helped him move ahead of Kohli - who has been No. 1 since displacing AB de Villiers in October 2017 - by a point, but he dropped to 852 after his score of 31 in the second ODI and remained at No. 2 by the time of the last weekly rankings update.

Kane Williamson awarded Sir Richard Hadlee medal

• New Zealand star cricketer Kane Williamson was recently awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee medal. It was his 4th Sir Richard Hadlee award in 6 years. He had a great test season. He scored 251 against West Indies followed by a century on the boxing day. Williamson’s staggering performance against Pakistan helped New Zealand book a place in the ICC World Test Championship final. He captained the team to 17 wins out of 20 resulting in victory in all 7 series.

• On the other hand, the Women’s team all-rounder Amelia Kerr was also honoured along with the upcoming star Devon Conway at the New Zealand Cricket Awards for the 2020-21 season. Meanwhile, Devon Conway was awarded the Men’s Player of the year award in both ODIs and T20s.

• Whereas the 21-year old Fin Allen was honoured with the Super Smash player of the year award for his staggering strike rate of 193.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has won the ICC Player of the Month award

• India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has won the ICC Player of the Month award for his superlative show in the recent limited over series against England in March. Bhuvneshwar became the third successive Indian recipient of the award since its inception early this year.

• The 31-year-old Indian took six wickets with an economy rate of 4.65 in the three ODIs while capturing four wickets with a fantastic economy rate of 6.38 in the five T20Is to emerge as the standout bowler on either side in the white ball series.

OBITUARY

Eminent Historian Yogesh Praveen passed away

• Eminent Historian and an expert on Awadh especially Lucknow Yogesh Praveen. Through his books and articles, he enabled the public to know about the rich heritage and culture of Avadh.

• He was awarded Padma Shri in 2019. The titles of his books like ‘Dastan-e-Avadh’, ‘Tajdare-Avadh’, ‘Bahar-e-Avadh’, ‘Gulistan-e-Avadh’, ‘Doobta Avadh’, ‘Dastan-e-Luknow’ and ‘Aapka Lucknow’ tell a long-lasting affair he had with the city.

Hockey Player Balbir Singh Junior passed away

• Balbir Singh Junior, who was a member of the silver medal-winning 1958 Asian Games Indian hockey team passed away.

• In 1962, he joined the Army as an emergency commissioned officer. He played for the Services hockey team in the national tournaments at Delhi. Singh retired as a Major in 1984 and later settled in Chandigarh.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Siddharth Longjam take over as the National Anti-Doping Agency’s Director-General

• IAS officer, Siddharth Singh Longjam will take over as the National Anti-Doping Agency’s Director-General. Longjam is currently serving as joint secretary in the sports ministry and is also the CEO of the currently suspended National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL).

• He will replace Navin Agarwal who listed the creation of Athletes Biological Passport (ABP) for around 60 elite Indian sportspersons as one of the highlights of his tenure.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Spanish city of Seville will host the 22nd Laureus World Sports Awards in a virtual ceremony

• The Spanish city of Seville will host the 22nd Laureus World Sports Awards in a virtual ceremony owing to the raging C-19 pandemic. The awards show, featuring presentations and related news stories will be available to the world’s media and broadcast extensively on Laureus social media platforms. The winners of Laureus World Sports Awards are selected by a jury comprising 69 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. The last was in Barcelona in 2007, which is a long time.

• Among the many big names who have had a year to remember and who will be in contention for the awards are Rafael Nadal, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James, Robert Lewandowski (Sportsman), Naomi Osaka, Federica Brignone (Sportswoman).

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 14th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Sanskrit learning app ‘Little Guru’ has launched in Bangladesh

• A Sanskrit learning app ‘Little Guru’ has launched in Bangladesh by the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre of the High Commission of India. The Sanskrit learning app is part of the campaign being run by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations to promote the Sanskrit language among students, religious scholars, Indologists and historians across the world.

• The Sanskrit learning app ‘Little Guru’ is based on an interactive platform that will make Sanskrit learning easy, entertaining and fun.

• This app will help people who are already learning Sanskrit or those who are desirous to learn Sanskrit to do so in an easy manner based on games, competition, rewards, peer to peer interactions, etc.

• This App combines education with entertainment, said a press release issued by the High Commission of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 2021 “Raisina Dialogue”

• Prime Minister Modi has inaugurated the 2021 “Raisina Dialogue”, through video-conferencing. The Raisina Dialogue 2021 is the sixth edition of the annual dialogue, organised from April 13 to 16, 2021, in full digital form for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Raisina Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics, organised annually since 2016.

• The theme for the 2021 conference is “#ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.

• The four-day dialogue is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the think-tank Observer Research Foundation.

• President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen joined the Inaugural Session as Chief Guests.

• The event will have a total of 50 sessions. Around 150 speakers from 50 countries and multilateral organizations are participating in the dialogue.

• The Raisina Dialogue is one of the leading global conferences on international affairs. It brings together leading minds from the global strategic and policy-making community to discuss broader foreign policy and strategic issues facing the world.

NATIONAL

Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam issues India’s first municipal green bonds

• Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam has announced successfully raising and listing India’s first Green Municipal bond issue. GNN raised ₹150 crores at a cost of 8.1 per cent.

• Money will be used to clean up dirty water by setting up a tertiary water treatment plant and supply piped water through water meters to places like Sahibabad. Ghaziabad is debt-free and has maintained a revenue surplus position in the last few years, according to India Ratings.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Poonam Gupta the new director-general of NCAER

• Poonam Gupta will be the new director-general of the policy think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). Gupta will succeed the current head of the think tank, Shekhar Shah, to become the first woman to hold the post. Currently, Gupta is the lead economist at the World Bank in Washington DC.

• Prior to joining the World Bank in 2013, she was the Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and a professor of macroeconomics at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Chagas Disease Day is observed on 14 April Every year

• The World Chagas Disease Day is observed on 14 April to raise public awareness and visibility among people about Chagas Disease (also called American trypanosomiasis or silent or silenced disease) and the resources needed for the prevention, control or elimination of the disease. The World Health Organization approved the designation of Chagas Disease Day on May 24, 2019, at the 72nd World Health Assembly. It is one of 11 official global public health campaigns marked by WHO.

• The first World Chagas Disease Day was observed on 14 April 2020. The day has been named after Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, the Brazilian doctor who diagnosed the first case on 14 April 1909.

Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti is observed on 14 April Every year

• Ambedkar Jayanti (or Bhim Jayanti) is an annual festival observed on 14 April to commemorate the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar who was born on 14 April 1891. The Day has been observed as an official public holiday throughout India since 2015. In 2021, we are marking the 130th birth anniversary of Babasaheb.

• Dr Ambedkar is known as the Father (chief architect) of the Indian Constitution. He was the first Law and Justice Minister of the country after the independence. Dr Bhim has been bestowed with the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in 1990 posthumously.

International Turban Day is observed on 13 April Every year

• International Turban Day is celebrated every year on April 13 since 2004 to bring awareness of the strict requirement on Sikhs to put the turban as a mandatory part of their religion.

• The 2021 Turban Day marks the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and the festival of Baisakhi. The turban, also known as “dastar” or “pagri” or “pag” refer to the garment worn by both men and some women to cover their heads.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards, 2020 in New Delhi

• The Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank recently presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards, 2020 in New Delhi. The awards were presented based on the theme “Women Empowerment”. The winners were selected by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) in six sub-themes.

• SWEAT (Sona Women Entrepreneurship and Training) from Sona College of Technology, Tamil Nadu won the award under the ‘Women Entrepreneurship’ sub theme.

• Another college from Tamil Nadu, Paritrana from St. Joseph’s College of Engineering won the award for the ‘Self Defense’ sub theme.

• Under the ‘Literacy’ sub theme, Bharatiya Vidyapeeth of the Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Development Pune won the award.

• The Lilavati Award under the “Women’s Health” sub theme was won by the WIT Women Health Coalition from Walchand Institute of Technology, Maharashtra.

• Radiant Seetha from Thiagarajar Polytechnic College won the contest in the ‘Legal Awareness’ sub theme.

• Under the ‘Sanitation & Hygiene’ sub-theme, Smt. Kishoritai Bhoyar College of Pharmacy, Nagpur, Maharashtra won the award.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Axis Bank became co-promoter of Max Life Insurance Company Limited

• Axis Bank Ltd informed it has become co-promoters of Max Life Insurance Company Limited, after completion of the acquisition of 12.99% stake collectively by the Axis Entities in the company. Axis Bank and its two subsidiaries Axis Capital Limited and Axis Securities Limited will collectively own a 12.99% stake in Max Life after the consummation of the deal.

• The Axis Entities have a right to acquire an additional stake of up to 7% in Max Life, in one or more tranches, subject to regulatory approvals. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India gave its formal approval in February of 2021.

Bharti AXA Life and Fincare Small Finance Bank join hands for bancassurance partnership

• Bharti Axa Life and Fincare Small Finance Bank have joined hands for a bancassurance partnership under which the bank will sell insurance policies to its customers. This alliance will make life insurance solutions reachable to over 26.5 lakhs customers of Fincare Small Finance Bank and provide financial security to them.

• Under the partnership, Bharti AXA Life Insurance will offer its comprehensive suite of life insurance products, including protection, savings and investment plans, to the customers of Fincare Small Finance Bank across its 747 branches and digital network presence across the country.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 13th April 2021

NATIONAL

Odisha Chief Minister has launched a 14-day “Mask Abhiyan”

• Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a 14-day “Mask Abhiyan” as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in view of rising cases and urged people to strictly follow the safety guidelines. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought their cooperation in turning the use of mask into a habit to tackle the current resurgence of the virus. Bringing an amendment to the Odisha Covid-19 Regulations under the Epidemic Diseases Act-1897.

• In order to ensure that the 14 days mask Abhiyan gives results, the state government yesterday enhanced the fines for the violators from 1,000 rupees to 2000 rupees. Meanwhile, the state’s covid-19 active caseload mounted further to about 6000 with the detection of 1282 fresh cases yesterday, even as the state surpassed a milestone in administering more than 40 lakh vaccine doses as of date.

OBITUARY

Legendary actor Satish Kaul passes away

• Legendary actor Satish Kaul, who had 300 Punjabi and Hindi films to his credit and played the role of Lord Indra in the TV show Mahabharat, passed away.

• The actor began his career in the early ’70s, juggling between Hindi and Punjabi films. While his popular Bollywood films include Ram Lakhan, Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha and Aunty No 1 etc.

Renowned shooting coach Sanjay Chakravarty Passes away

• Legendary shooting coach Sanjay Chakravarty passed away due to C-19.

• The Dronacharya awardee had trained some of the finest Indian shooters including Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur, Deepali Deshpande, Anuja Jung and Ayonika Paul.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Punjab appoints Sonu Sood as state’s C-19 vaccination ambassador

• Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has been made the brand ambassador for Punjab’s anti-coronavirus vaccination programme. During the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year, the actor had helped migrants reach their home states.

• Sood catapulted to the national spotlight for feeding thousands of underprivileged people amid the C-19 pandemic. During his meeting with Punjab Chief Minister, the actor presented his book ‘I am no Messiah’, which he said captures the experiences of his journey from Moga to Mumbai.

Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra named as next CEC of India

• The incumbent Election Commissioner (EC) Sushil Chandra has been named to become the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He will assume charge with effect from April 13, 2021. He will replace incumbent CEC, Sunil Arora, who will retire on April 12, 2021.

• The Election Commission of India consists of three members, namely Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The two ECs are Rajiv Kumar and Sushil Chandra.

IMPORTANT DAYS

102 years of Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar Massacre

• The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919. This year we commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the terror that shook the entire country to a standstill. The Jallianwalabagh garden has been converted into a memorial. And thousands of people on this day come to pay their respects to the martyred men, women, who were killed on that fateful day for the nation.

• Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered troops of the British Indian Army to fire their rifles into a crowd of unarmed Indian civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. General Dyer, the British India army officer, felt the people gathering for such a cause was anti-national. He ordered the 50 of his troops consisting of Sikh, Gurkha, Baluchi, and Rajput to open fire on the unarmed men and women. The resulting figures would make you go numb as 379 men and women were killed for no fault of theirs and 1100 injured.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Filmmaker Guneet Monga conferred with Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters honour

• Acclaimed filmmaker, Guneet Monga to be conferred with honour of the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). It is the second-highest civilian French honour and has earlier been awarded to big Hollywood names like Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bruce Willis.

• As a producer, Guneet has several critically acclaimed films to her credit. The list includes Masaan, Lunchbox, Haraamkhor, Peddlers; Oscar-winning short film documentary — Period, End of Sentence, among others.

• Earlier, Indian celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin, among others, have been felicitated with the honour.

Indian Business Tycoon Yusuffali MA Gets Top Civilian Award In UAE

• Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has honoured Indian-origin businessman Yusuffali MA and 11 other individuals with Abu Dhabi’s top civilian award for their noble and charitable contributions to the community. The prestigious award was given to Mr Yusuffali, who was born in Kerala, for his outstanding contribution to Abu Dhabi’s business, industry and support to various philanthropic initiatives.

• Mr Yusuffali, the Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group which operates hypermarkets and retail companies in many countries, was honoured on Friday by the Crown Prince.

• The individuals were honoured for a wide range of contributions, including efforts in the healthcare field, community service and volunteering, humanitarian work, as well as culture, heritage and environmental preservation. The awards, which were given at the 10th edition of the Abu Dhabi Awards held at Qasr Al Hosn, a historical landmark and the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi, celebrate compassionate individuals who have selflessly devoted their time and effort to spreading goodness and serving the community.

RANKING

Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020 published and released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy

• The 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc Bangalore) has secured the top position among the best higher education institutes in India, while Calcutta University became the best varsity in the country, as per the published Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU 2020).

• The Indian institutes are not even in the top 100 list, the best higher education institute, (IISc Bangalore) is in the category of 501- 600.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Nomura has revised India’s GDP forecast to 12.6% in FY22

• The Japanese brokerage company Nomura has revised the GDP forecast of India in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) to 12.6 per cent from the previous estimate of 13.5 per cent, amid rising coronavirus cases and higher inflation.

• Nomura has pegged the calendar year GDP growth at 11.5 per cent, a decline from 12.4 per cent estimated earlier.

Read More
Read Less