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SM Current Affairs MARCH 2021 Set 02

Diksha Sharma 15 MINUTES

PREFACE

It gives us great pleasure to release the monthly edition of the PRAVAHINI - Monthly e-Compendium & Weekly e-Periodicals of Current Affairs. The magazine’s members have shown considerable cooperation as well as devotion. We at successmantra.in work tirelessly to create this magazine and bring it to you with a great sense of gratitude.

The PRAVAHINI March-2021 eBook covers the current events that happened in the month of October. Current Affairs is a crucial component of any competitive exams including CLAT, AILET, DU-LLB, HM, CAT, IAS, PCS, SSC, Banking, MBA and various other competitive examinations.

Current Affairs play the bigger role in many competitive and government exams. It holds the power of making or breaking your chance of success. Therefore, the candidates should cover the Current Affairs thoroughly and smartly.

The PRAVAHINI March-2020 eBook is divided into different sections keeping in mind the need of various exams. The sections covered namely International, National, Economy, Ecology and Environment, Science & Technology, Legal Affairs, Sports, States News Makers and few others.

We would also be pleased to receive any suggestion that could assist us with the upcoming editions.

Success Mantra (GTB Nagar, Delhi)

Website: www.successmantra.in

Mail Id: [email protected]

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. National Affairs
  2. International Affairs
  3. Economic Affairs
  4. Appointments
  5. Awards And Honors
  6. Important Dates & Sports
  7. Reports And Indexes
  8. Science & Technology
  9. Miscellaneous

 

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

PRADHAN MANTRI SWASTHYA SURAKSHA NIDHI (PMSSN)

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN), as a single non-lapsable reserve fund.
  • This has been approved for the share of Health from proceeds of Health and Education Cess which is levied under the Section 136-b of Finance Act, 2007. This is a non-lapsable reserve fund for the Health in the Public Account. This fund will comprise of the proceeds from the share of health in the Health and Education Cess.
  • This revenue in the fund will be used for the flagship schemes of the Health Ministry including the National Health Mission, Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and for the emergency & disaster preparedness and responses in cases of health emergencies.

DELHI GOVT. PRESENTED 'DESHBHAKTI' BUDGET

  • The Delhi government presented a Rs 69,000-crore budget themed on ‘patriotism’ or ‘Deshbhakti’ for the financial year 2021-22.
  • The budget was presented by the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia. While presenting the budget, he announced that the government has decided to celebrate the 75th Independence Day of India.
  • The Delhi government will hold programmes from March 12, 2021, which will last for 75 weeks. It announced free Covid-19 vaccination to all in its hospitals in the coming phases of the ongoing inoculation drive.
  • The budget highlights that the government seeks to increase the per capita income of Delhi in order to reach the level of Singapore by the year 2047.

INDIA-UZBEKISTAN MILITARY EXERCISE DUSTLIK II

  • The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise DUSTLIK II has commenced in Foreign Training Node Chaubatia, Ranikhet in Uttarakhand.
  • This is the Second Edition of the annual bilateral joint exercise of both armies. It will continue till the 19th of this month. The first edition of the exercise was held in Uzbekistan in November 2019. 45 Soldiers each from Uzbekistan and the Indian Army are participating in the exercise.
  • The joint exercise will definitely provide impetus to the ever-growing military and diplomatic ties between the two nations and also reflects the strong resolve of both nations to counter-terrorism.

LAUNCH OF ATMANIRBHAR NIVESHAK MITRA PORTAL

  • The commerce and industry ministry has stated that the central government is working to develop a portal called “Atmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra Portal” for information dissemination, hand-holding, and facilitation of domestic investors.
  • The portal Atmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra is currently is in the testing phase. It will be launched by May 1, 2021. The ministry is also working on a webpage which will be available in regional languages and mobile app.
  • This portal is being developed in order to strengthen efforts to promote domestic investments. It is being developed by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • The portal will help in providing daily updates on several things including the policies and new initiatives by the central and state governments, information regarding the approvals, licenses, clearances several schemes & incentives

 J&K APPROVES RATLE HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER CORP.

  • The Jammu and Kashmir administration has approved the incorporation of a joint venture company (JVC) under the name “Ratle Hydro-electric Power Corporation”.
  • To implement the 850 MW Ratle Hydro-Electric Project (HEP) on river Chenab in the Kishtwar district of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).
  • The JV company has been incorporated between the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and J&K State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDC). The equity contributions of NHPC will be 51 per cent and for JKSPDC will be 49 per cent.
  • The proposed JVC will have an authorised capital of Rs 1,600 crore with initial paid-up capital of Rs 100 crore. The 850 MW Ratle HEP will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 5,281.94 crore.

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

PM MODI ATTENDED VIRTUAL QUAD SUMMIT 2021

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga come together for the first QUAD Summit.
  • The meeting was held virtually during which the four participants will exchange views on different areas of cooperation like maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, COVID-19, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change.
  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue nations are planning to counter China by cooperating and pool their resources to fund new production technologies and development projects.

CHINA APPROVED 14TH FIVE YEAR PLAN

  • China officially approved the 14th Five-Year Plan for 2021-2025 on March 11, 2021. The draft outline has been adopted by the National People's Congress.
  • The new five-year plan highlights some key strategic projects that the country will prioritize.
  • The project also includes: Build Tibet's first hydroelectric dam on the Yarlung Zangbo River or the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River.
  • This part refers to a river in Tibet before entering India. Construct the Sichuan-Tibet railway line near the border with India. The plan also promotes self-sufficiency in emerging industries including artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The plan also emphasizes the opening of access to major border highways, including the G219 national highway, which extends along the entire length of the India-China border in Xinjiang and Tibet.

ITALY SIGNED FRAMEWORK OF ISA WITH INDIA

  • Italy has signed the amended Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) with India.
  • The framework agreement was signed by the Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca. ISA is an alliance of over 121 nations that have been initiated by India.
  • The European country signed the ISA framework agreement after an amendment to the Framework Agreement of the ISA entered into force on January 08, 2021, opening its membership to all member states of the UN.
  • The amendments of the ISA framework agreement allows all the member states of the United Nations to join the ISA grouping, including those lying beyond the tropics.
  • The International Solar Alliance was launched jointly by the Indian Prime Minister and the French President during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, in Paris.
  • It aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy.

 

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

INDIA'S FOREX RESERVES 4TH LARGEST IN THE WORLD

  • India’s foreign-exchange reserves surpassed Russia’s to become the world’s fourth-largest reserve. The foreign currency holdings of India stood at $580.3 billion as of March 5, as per the data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • The reserve of Russia was $580.1 billion. Overall, China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan and Switzerland, as on the International Monetary Fund table. Reserves for both countries have mostly flattened out this year after months of rapid increase. India pulled ahead as Russian holdings declined at a faster rate in recent weeks.
  • India’s reserves, enough to cover roughly 18 months of imports, have been bolstered by a rare current-account surplus, rising inflows into the local stock market and foreign direct investment.

US AS INDIA'S SECOND LARGEST OIL SUPPLIER

  • The United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India's second largest oil supplier. This shift came after refineries increased their purchases of cheaper U.S. crude oil to record levels to offset OPEC+ production cuts.
  • India’s oil imports from the United States, the world’s largest oil producer, increased to 48%, reaching a record 545,300 barrels per day (barrels\/day) in February 2021, accounting for 14% of India’s total imports in February.
  • As a result, Saudi Arabia, which has always been one of India’s two largest oil suppliers, fell to fourth place for the first time since 2006.
  • India is the world's third largest oil importer and consumer. The country has repeatedly called on major oil producers to ease supply constraints and help the global economy recover. India also pointed to Saudi Arabia's voluntary cuts to promote the rise of global oil prices.
  • According to data, Iraq is still India's largest oil seller. Even though oil purchases fell by 23% from a five-month low to 867,500 bpd, they maintained their highest position. Iraq has also cut its annual oil supply to Indian refineries by 20% in 2021 to fulfill its obligations under the OPEC production agreement.

UNCTAD PROJECTS INDIA'S GDP TO GROW AT 5%

  • The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has projected India’s economy to contract by 6.9 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, is forecast to record a “stronger recovery” in 2021 and grow by 5 per cent. Further, the UNCTAD estimates the global economy to grow by 4.7 per cent in 2021.
  • The report noted that the deeper than expected downturn in 2020 explains in part the stronger recovery now projected for 2021 for India.
  • According to a UN report which said the country’s current fiscal year budget points to a shift towards the demand-side stimulus, with an uptick in public investment.

 

APPOINTMENTS

DEEPAK MISHRA APPOINTED AS DIRECTOR OF ICRIER

  • Deepak Mishra, Practice Manager in the World Bank’s Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Global Practice, has been appointed as the next director and chief executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
  • He will take the charge of Rajat Kathuria who has been the director and chief executive of ICRIER since 1st September 2012.
  • Mishra has held various positions at the World Bank, including co-director of the World Development Report 2016 (Digital Dividends), country economist for Ethiopia, Pakistan, Sudan, and Vietnam.

DR. AJAY MATHUR ASSUMED CHAIRMANSHIP OF ISA

  • Dr Ajay Mathur has assumed office as the Director-General of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) with effect from March 15, 2021.
  • He has been appointed for a period of four years which can be renewed for an additional term. Dr Ajay Mathur has replaced Upendra Tripathy, who completed his term on March 15, after serving as the Director-General since 2017.
  • Mathur brings a wealth of leadership and expertise across all key areas of the energy transition, from policy, research, and technology commercialisation to financing, international cooperation and institutional development.
  • He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on climate change.He had also served as the Director-General of TERI and also a key Indian climate-change negotiator. He was also the spokesperson for India during the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

AMITABH BACHCHAN AWARDED WITH FIAF 2021

  • Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with an award by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).
  • The veteran actor will be the first Indian cinema personality to be bestowed with the FIAF Award for his dedication and contribution to the preservation of the world’s film heritage.
  • Amitabh Bachchan was nominated for the award by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation which is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur a filmmaker & archivist.
  • This foundation is dedicated to preserve, restore, document, exhibit and study the film heritage of India. The FIAF is a worldwide organisation, comprising film archives and museums from across the world.

PRESIDENT PRESENT BATON OF HONOR TO K. BEDI

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has presented a baton of honour and a letter of appreciation to former Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The former Puducherry lieutenant governor received a Baton of Honor decorated with the emblem of the Indian Republic and the appreciation letter recognizing her service in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
  • Kiran Bedi was removed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on February 16 by the President of India and Tamilisai Soundararajan took additional charge as the Lieutenant Governor on February 18.

63RD EDITION OF ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

  • The 63rd edition of the annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021.
  • The award is presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the American music industry. Beyonce received the most nominations with nine, as well as the most awards with four.

List of winners of Grammy Awards 2021:

  • Album Of The Year --- “Folklore” by Taylor Swift
  • Record Of The Year --- “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
  • Best New Artist --- Megan Thee Stallion
  • Best Rap Album ---- “King’s Disease” by Nas
  • Best R&B Album Winner --- “Bigger Love” by John Legend
  • Best Rap Song ---- “Savage” by Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany
  • Best Country Album ---- “Wildcard” — Miranda Lambert
  • Song Of The Year ---- “I Can’t Breathe” by Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

 

SPORTS

FIRST INDIAN WOMAN CRICKETER TO SCORE 10K RUNS

  • The veteran Indian women’s cricketer Mithali Raj has become the first Indian woman cricketer that has completed 10,000 international runs in all the cricket formats.
  • She also becomes the second woman cricketer at the international level to complete 10000 runs. She achieved the milestone of 10,000 after she hit a boundary off the Anne Bosch in 28th over of Indian innings in the ongoing third ODI match against South Africa.
  • She won the Arjuna Award in the year 2003 and Padma Shri in the year 2015. She is the only female cricketer who has captained in more than one ICC ODI World Cup Final that is in the year 2005 and 2017.
  • She also becomes the first woman to complete 20 years in International cricket in the year 2019.

BAJRANG PUNIA REGAINED NO.1 RANKING IN THE WORLD

  • Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has regained the 1 ranking in the world. He won the ranking after winning the gold medal for the second time in a row in the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series.
  • In the freestyle final held in Rome on March 7, 2021, the wrestler defeated Mongolia’s Tulga Tumur Ochir 2-2 in 65kg. He scored in the last 30 seconds.
  • Wrestler Bajrang Punia was ranked second in the world before the start of the Matteo Pellicone rankings. His victory in the competition helped him regain the top spot in the 65 kg weight class.

1ST INDIAN FENCER TO QUALIFY FOR OLYMPICS

  • Bhavani Devi became the first-ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics. The sabre fencer secured an Olympic spot due to events in the ongoing Fencing World Cup.
  • Hosts Hungary lost in the quarterfinals of the team event, allowing Korea to progress to the semis.
  • Therefore, Bhavani Devi qualifies through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method. Currently, she is ranked 45th in the world. In 2017 she won India’s 1st international gold medal in fencing.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

WORLD KIDNEY DAY OBSERVED ON 11TH MARCH

  • World Kidney Day is observed globally on the second Thursday of March every year. This year World Kidney Day is observed on 11th March 2021.
  • The theme of the 2021 World Kidney day is “Living Well with Kidney Disease”. World Kidney Day is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys.
  • World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
  • Raise awareness about our “amazing kidneys” Highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY: 15TH MARCH

  • It is celebrated on 15 March across the world annually to spread awareness about the rights of consumers and their needs.
  • The history behind the World Consumer Rights Day is that the first consumer movement was observed in 1983 and since then every year it is observed to mobilize an action on important issues and campaigns.
  • The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2021 is ‘Tackling Plastic Pollution’. It will raise awareness and engage consumers globally to adopt and promote more sustainable practices.

NATIONAL VACCINATION DAY: MARCH 16TH

  • The National Vaccination Day, (also called the National Immunization Day), is celebrated every year on March 16 in India, to convey the importance of vaccination to the entire nation.
  • The prime purpose behind the celebration of National Vaccination Day is to make all people aware of arming against polio and eradicating it completely from the world.
  • The day was first observed in the year 1995. It was in 1995 that India started the Pulse Polio Programme and the first dose of Oral Polio Vaccine was given. According to the World Health Organization, immunization is a process through which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against foreign harm causing agent.

GLOBAL RECYCLING DAY OBSERVED ON MARCH 18

  • Global Recycling Day is observed every year on March 18 to create awareness among the masses about the rapid pace at which our natural resources are being used.
  • The day also promotes the concept and practice of recycling. Every year, events are organized by environmentalist and activists to promote the cause.
  • In 2021, the theme of Global Recycling Day is “Recycling Heroes”. Its main aim is to recognize the people, places and activities that showcase the importance of recycling in preserving natural resources.
  • Recycling has helped in reducing carbon emissions by over 700 million tonnes every year. Notably, over 1.6 million people are employed around the world in the recycling industry. In this decade, the yearly contribution of recycling will increase up to $400 billion.

 

REPORTS AND INDEXES

DEEPIKA PADUKONE IN WEF YOUNG GLOBAL LEADERS

  • Actor Deepika Padukone has joined the list of the Young Global Leaders (YGLs) compiled by the World Economic Forum.
  • The list also includes several Indian citizens and India-origin persons. They join a group of Nobel Prize recipients, Pulitzer winners, heads of state and chief executive officers committed to improving the state of the world.
  • Announcing its 2021 class of YGLs, the WEF said these are the world’s most promising 112 tomorrow’s leaders under the age of 40 and are involved in activities ranging from advocating public healthcare to campaigning for inclusivity in medical research.
  • The Forum of Young Global Leaders was founded in 2005 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, to create a world where leaders take responsibility for a sustainable future while meeting increasingly complex and interrelated challenges.

HURUN INDIA WEALTH REPORT, 2020

  • The Hurun India Wealth Report, 2020 was released on March 16, 2020. The report identifies a novel household category in India called the ‘New Middle Class’ which accounts for an average savings of Rs 20-lakh per annum.
  • The report highlights that these households have a major allocation towards physical assets like primary residential property and automobiles. As per the report, the total number of such cumulative households in India stands at 633,000.
  • The report further states that there are around 4,12,000 dollar-millionaire households or affluent households across India which are having a net worth of Rs 7 crore. As per the report, the Hurun Rich Listers comprise a wealth of Rs 1,000 crore. This category of the report comprises 3000 number of cumulative households in India.
  • The ‘Indian middle class’ has earnings of over Rs 2.5-lakh per annum while they have a net worth of less than Rs 7 crore. The ‘Indian Middle Class’ category accounts for 56400,000 families in India.

INDIA'S ARMS IMPORT FELL BY 33%: SIPRI

  • India’s arms imports fell 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
  • The report on international arms transfers attributed the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes. Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46%.
  • India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report.
  • According to Sipri, India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20, making the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms. This represents an increase of 228% over India’s export share of 0.1 % during the previous five-year period of 2011-15.

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

CHINA & RUSSIA TO BUILD LUNAR SPACE STATION

  • The space agencies of China and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of their national governments, to jointly construct a lunar space station that will be open to all countries.
  • The MoU was officially signed between the Chinese space agency, China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, on March 09, 2021.
  • Dubbed as the “International Scientific Lunar Station (ISLS)”, the centre will be a “complex of experimental and research facilities” created on the moon’s surface and/or in orbit of the moon.
  • The goal of setting up ISLS is strengthening research cooperation and promoting the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of all mankind.

ISRO LAUNCHED SOUNDING ROCKET RH-560

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched a sounding rocket named RH-560 on March 12, 2021. The purpose of launching the rocket is to study the "vertical changes" in the dynamics of neutral wind and plasma.
  • The RH-560 rocket was launched from the Sriharikota Range (SHAR) of the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC).
  • ISRO emphasized that the sounding rocket is a one-stage or two-stage solid propellant rocket. These rockets are used to probe the upper atmosphere and conduct space research. Beginning in 1965, ISRO began to launch locally-made sounding rockets. The satellite named GISAT-1 will be launched by the "GSLV-F10 rocket" of the Sriharikota spaceport.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

WORLD MOST POWERFUL SUPERCOMPUTER: FUGAKU

  • The Japanese scientific research institute called RIKEN and Fujitsu started developing the “Fugaku” six years ago. It is the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
  • Fugaku has been named after an alternative name for Mount Fuji. Now, this supercomputer is fully ready and developed in Japan and is now available for research use.
  • This supercomputer has been developed with the aim of making the device core of the computing infrastructure of Japan. Then the supercomputer was tested for the particular projects in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.
  • Now the Fugaku is fully open and available for shared use. The Research Organization for the Information Science and Technology (RIST) of Japan has selected some 74 projects which will use this supercomputer in the financial year 2021.
  • RIST has also proposed for the development of the new projects in several categories and has invited the researchers who are interested to apply for the same.
  • The computer comprises 100 times the application performance of the K supercomputer. It has been developed to implement high-resolution, large-scale and long-duration simulation.

WHO DECLARED EL SALVADOR AS MALARIA FREE

  • El Salvador is the first country in Central America to be certified malaria-free by the World Health Organization.
  • WHO grants a certification of malaria elimination when a country proves “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there has been no indigenous transmission of the disease nationwide for the previous three consecutive years.
  • El Salvador hasn’t had a malaria outbreak since 1996 and has reported no indigenous cases since 2017. In 1990, the country had 9,000 cases per year, a figure that declined to 26 by 2010.
  • WHO credited El Salvador’s sustained domestic funding for malaria prevention, detection, and treatment for the success.