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SM Current Affairs MARCH 2021 Set 03

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

GOVT. OF INDIA LAUNCHED GRAM UJALA SCHEME

  • The government of India has launched the “Gram Ujala Scheme” to provide the cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas
  • The scheme was launched by the Union power and new and renewable energy Minister, Raj Kumar Singh. In the first phase, the scheme was launched from Arrah district in Bihar.
  • In this phase, around 15 million LED bulbs will be distributed in the villages of Arrah (Bihar), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and western Gujarat.
  • The Gram Ujala Scheme is an ambitious scheme that offers the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas. This is the first such scheme in India.

PASSEX EXERCISE CONDUCTED B/W INDIA & BAHRAIN

  • Indian Navy on 18th March undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Bahrain Naval Force Corvette Al Muharraq in the Persian Gulf under Operation Sankalp.
  • PASSEXs are conducted regularly by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea.
  • The exercises are aimed at fostering interoperability and reflecting the commitments of both, India and Bahrain, to build cooperative partnerships in meeting emergent maritime challenges.

HARSH VARDHAN LAUNCHED 'TRIBAL TB INITIATIVE'

  • Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched the ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ in pursuit of TB Mukt Bharat.
  • The government accords top priority to ensuring Universal Access to free treatment and care for TB across the country.
  • A Guidance Note on Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination, a Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB, and a document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative was also released at the event.
  • Over ten crore tribal population is living with a huge diversity in their population dynamics. He said the government has already increased the Budget allocation for TB in India four-fold in the last five years.

KEN-BETWA LINK PROJECT SIGNED B/W MP & UP

  • On the occasion of World Water Day, the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh signed an agreement with the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti to implement the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project.
  • The main purpose of this project is to carry water from surplus regions to drought-prone and water-scarce regions through the interlinking of rivers.
  • The surplus water will be transferred from the Ken river in Panna district in Madhya Pradesh to the Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Ken-Betwa Link Project will provide annual irrigation of 2.51 lakh hectares, 1,700 million cubic meters (mcm) of water to Uttar Pradesh and drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower.

'ICGS VAJRA' COMMISSIONED INTO INDIAN COAST GUARD

  • L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vajra was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, at Chennai.
  • ICGS Vajra is the sixth vessel in the series of seven OPVs being built by L&T under a Ministry of Defence contract signed in the year 2015. Like the five OPVs in the series, ICGS Vajra was also delivered ahead of the contractual schedule.
  • OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.

INDO-US JOINT FORCES EXERCISE 'VAJRA PRAHAR'

  • The 11th edition of Indo-US joint Special Forces exercises Vajra Prahar 2021 was conducted at Special Forces training school located at Bakloh, in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ is aimed at sharing best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics.
  • The exercise was aimed at improving interoperability between the special forces of the two countries.
  • The armies of participating nations jointly train, plan and execute a series of operations for neutralisation of threats of varied nature with a common aim of countering threats of international terrorism through mutual training and jointness.

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

NEW ZEALAND'S MISCARRIAGES BEREAVEMENT LEAVE LAW

  • New Zealand’s parliament has passed legislation giving mothers and their partners the right to paid leave following a miscarriage or stillbirth, becoming only the second country in the world to do so. India is the only other country with similar legislation.
  • The leave provisions apply to mothers, their partners as well as parents planning to have a child through adoption or surrogacy. One in four New Zealand women has had a miscarriage. The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave.
  • Because their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. New Zealand was the first country in the world to give voting rights to women and has been a pioneer on issues around woman’s rights.

RUSSIA & CHINA LOOK TO DEEPEN TIES

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is paying an important visit to China. The visit was conducted shortly after the China-US relations conversations took place in Alaska.
  • Following the first summit of leaders of the Group of Quad (India, Australia, Japan and the United States). He asserted that the relationship between Russia and China is currently the best in history.
  • He believes that, unfortunately, the formation of a truly multi-polar democratic world is hindered by Western countries, especially the United States, because they seek to continue to dominate the global economy and politics at all costs, and combine their will and the requirements are imposed on other countries.
  • In this regard, Russia and China are promoting a constructive and unified agenda, and hope that the international governance system will be fair and democratic, run smoothly, and build on the basis of extensive interaction between countries and their integration initiatives.

JOE BIDEN INVITATION TO PM NARENDRA MODI

  • President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to a US-hosted virtual summit on climate next month to underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.
  • Biden will host a two-day climate summit of world leaders starting on Earth Day, April 22, in which he will outline the US goal for reductions of carbon emissions by 2030, known as the nationally determined contribution under the historic Paris accord.
  • The White House said a total of 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were invited to the conference, which will be live-streamed to the public.
  • Other leaders invited for the summit include Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering are the other two leaders from South Asia to be invited for the mega-conference.

RUSSIA LAUNCHED 38 SATELLITES FROM 18 COUNTRIES

  • Russian space agency ‘Roscosmos’ successfully launched 38 foreign satellites into orbit, onboard Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
  • The 38 satellites belonged to 18 countries including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and Brazil.
  • One of these satellites named ‘Challenge-1’ was the first-ever satellite made completely in Tunisia, which was created by the Telnet telecommunications group.
  • In 2018, a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut failed mid-flight, forcing the crew to carry out an emergency landing. Both survived without injuries.

PABBI ANTI-TERROR JOINT EXERCISE 2021

  • The eight-member bloc said that the decision to hold the joint exercise ‘Pabbi-Anti-Terror 2021’ was announced during the 36th meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, including India, Pakistan and China, will hold a joint anti-terrorism exercise this year.
  • “Decisions have been made to improve cooperation between the competent authorities of the SCO member states in identifying and suppressing channels that finance terrorist activities.
  • Delegations of the competent authorities of India, Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the RATS Executive Committee attended the meeting.

BANGLADESH CELEBRATED 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

  • Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of its Independence and National Day on 26 March, coinciding with the grand celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • On March 26, 1971, Bangladesh was proclaimed as an independent nation by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and this led to Bangladesh Liberation War when war ensued between Pakistan and Bangladesh liberation forces with Indian support.
  • It was 50 years ago on the night of March 25, 1971, that Pakistan’s military launched a violent crackdown on the city of Dhaka, then part of East Pakistan, to quell a rising nationalist movement seeking independence for what is today known as Bangladesh.
  • The fight for independence can be traced back to Britain’s colonial rule of the Indian subcontinent and the new nations that were carved out after its end in 1947.
  • There were India and Pakistan, the latter split into West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The war would rage until December when India joined on the side of Bangladesh. Finally, on December 16, 1971, Pakistan forces surrendered and Bangladesh celebrated its freedom.

 

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

POWER GRID LAUNCHED CERTIFIED PORTAL 'PRANIT'

  • Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID) has launched an “e-Tendering Portal” called ‘PRANIT’ to make the tendering process more transparent.
  • The portal ”PRANIT” will involve less paperwork and allow ease of operation, which in turn will make the tendering process more transparent.
  • The portal has been certified by Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, GoI.
  • POWERGRID is the only organization in India to have an e-procurement solution on SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), complying with all applicable requirements relating to security and transparency as stipulated by STQC.

 

APPOINTMENTS

JUSTICE NV RAMANA TO BE THE NEXT CJI

  • Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde has recommended Justice NV Ramana’s name as his successor after he retires next month.
  • CJI Bobde is set to retire on 23 April. In a letter to the Law Ministry, CJI SA Bobde recommended Justice Ramana as his successor.
  • Justice NV Ramana is the most senior judge in the apex court after CJI Bobde.
  • On appointment, Justice NV Ramana will be the 48th Chief Justice of India and he will have a long tenure as CJI for over 16 months. The Centre had last week asked CJI Bobde to recommend his successor.
  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had reportedly sent a letter to Justice Bobde, seeking his recommendation, as is the practice under the Memorandum of Procedure for Appointment of Chief Justice of India. The recommendation letter has to come around a month before the vacancy arises.

SAURABH GARG APPOINTED AS CEO OF UIDAI

  • Senior bureaucrat, Saurabh Garg has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre.
  • Mr Garg is at present serving in his cadre state Odisha. He is a 1991 batch IAS officer.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Garg as the CEO, UIDAI in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF 67TH NATIONAL FILM AWARDS

  • The 67th National Film Awards are currently being announced in New Delhi. The awards are for films from the year 2019.
  • The event is organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The ceremony was supposed to be held in May last year but was delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

List of all the winners: Feature Film Awards

  • Best Feature Film: Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (Malayalam)
  • Best Actor (shared): Manoj Bajpayee for Bhonsle (Hindi), and Dhanush for Asuran (Tamil)
  • Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut for Panga (Hindi) and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (Hindi)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Pallavi Joshi for The Tashkent Files (Hindi)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Vijay Sethupathi for Super Deluxe (Tamil)
  • Best Director: Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan for Bahattar Hoorain (Hindi)

Other Awards:

  • Most Film Friendly State: Sikkim
  • Best Book on Cinema: A Gandhian Affair: India’s Curious Portrayal of Love in Cinema, by Sanjay Suri
  • (Special mentions: Cinema Paharana Manus by Ashok Rane and Kannada Cinema: Jagathika Cinema Vikasa-Prerane Prabhava written by PR Ramadasa Naidu)

GANDHI PEACE PRIZE FOR 2019 & 2020 ANNOUNCED

  • The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019 is being conferred on (Late) His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman.
  • Gandhi Peace Prize recognizes the unparalleled vision and leadership of the Late H.M. Sultan Qaboos Bin Said in strengthening relations between India and Oman, and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region.
  • On the other hand, Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • The Committee selected the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods.
  • The Gandhi Peace Prize recognizes the immense and unparalleled contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in inspiring the liberation of Bangladesh, bringing stability to a nation born out of strife, laying the foundation for the close and fraternal relations between India and Bangladesh, and promoting peace and non-violence in the Indian subcontinent

ASHA BHOSLE HONOURED WITH 'MAHARASHTRA BHUSHAN'

  • Legendary singer Asha Bhosle will be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan Award for the year 2020.
  • A committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to select Ms Bhosle for the award for the year 2020.
  • Ms Bhosle, whose sister Lata Mangeshkar won the award for 1997, said she got to know from Mr Thackeray that she has been selected for the award for 2020. Ms Bhosle received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000.
  • The award, instituted in 1996 by the State government to recognise distinguished work and achievements of eminent persons from the State, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of 10 lakh and a citation.
  • The first Maharashtra Bhushan awardee was Marathi writer P.L. Deshpande and the last winner of this award was historian Babasaheb Purandare who got it for the year 2015.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF 66TH ANNUAL FILMFARE AWARDS

  • The awards for the 66th annual Filmfare awards were announced. The event was hosted by actors Rajkummar Rao and Riteish Deshmukh.
  • Despite the difficulties the film industry faced during 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Filmfare decided it was important to commemorate the best of Indian cinema.
  • Among the winners was the late Irrfan Khan, who won the award for best actor in a leading role (male) category, while Amitabh Bachchan bagged the best actor (critics) Award.

List of Bollywood celebrities, who won big at the 66th Filmfare Awards 2021:            

  • Best Film: Thappad
  • Best Film (Critics): Prateek Vats (Eeb Allay Ooo!)
  • Best Director: Om Raut (Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior)
  • Best Actor in a Lead Role (MALE): Irrfan Khan (Angrezi Medium)
  • Best Actor (Critics): Amitabh Bachchan (Gulabo Sitabo)
  • Best Actor in a Lead Role (Female): Taapsee Pannu (Thappad)
  • Best Actress (Critics): Tillotama Shome (SIR)

 

SPORTS

NOZOMI OKUHARA WINS TITLE AT ENGLAND OPEN

  • Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara has won the All England Badminton Championships women’s title as she defeated Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-12, 21-16 in the finals.
  • In the men’s category, Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia has won the All England Badminton Championships title as he defeated Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in the summit clash.

List of winners of the All England Badminton Championships 2021:

  • Men’s singles --- Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia)
  • Women’s singles ---- Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
  • Men’s doubles --- Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe
  • Women’s doubles --- Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara

ENGLISH COUNTY LANCASHIRE SIGNED SHREYAS IYER

  • English county Lancashire has announced the overseas signing of India batsman Shreyas Iyer for the 2021 Royal London Cup.
  • Iyer becomes the 6th Indian to sign for Lancashire. Iyer will arrive at Old Trafford on July 15 ahead of the start of the 50-over tournament and will remain with Lancashire for the duration of the month-long group stage.
  • The top-order batsman is regarded as one of the most attacking and fluent stroke players in Indian cricket and he has played in 21 ODIs and 29 T20 Internationals for his country.
  • The signing of Shreyas Iyer signals the latest step in Lancashire’s long association with Indian cricket, which stretches back more than 50 years when India wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer joined the county in 1968.
  • He would go on to become a Lancashire legend and now serves as a vice-president of the club. Since Engineer retired, four other Indian players — Murali Kartik, Dinesh Mongia, VVS Laxman, and Sourav Ganguly — have represented Lancashire.

YOGASANA INCLUDED IN KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES

  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has included Yogasana in Khelo India Youth Games 2021 in a bid to develop it as a competitive sport.
  • Yogasana sport for both male and female categories have been included in Khelo India Youth Games, 2021.
  • Rijiju has written a reply in the Lok Sabha that the government has also given recognition to the National Yogasana Sports Federation (NYSF) for the promotion and development of Yogasana in the country.
  • An International Yogasana Sports Federation was formed under the presidentship of yoga guru Baba Ramdev with HR Nagendra as secretary-general in November 2019.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

INT. DAY FOR ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

  • The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March to remind people about the negative consequences of racial discrimination.
  • This year theme is “Youth standing up against racism”. It engages the public through #Fight Racism, which aims to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination and calls on each and every one of us to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes.
  • The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.

WORLD ORAL HEALTH DAY: 20TH MARCH

  • World Oral Health Day is observed every year on 20th March. It focuses on highlighting the benefits of good oral health, spreads awareness about oral diseases and promotes maintenance of oral hygiene.
  • The theme for the next three years, 2021-2023 is: Be Proud of Your Mouth. The day is an initiative of FDI World Dental Federation; an organization that brings together the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone.
  • Oral health is as important as general health. It helps you maintain a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.
  • It also helps to improve your appearance. Poor oral health can not only lead to oral diseases but also major health problems like heart disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke, respiratory problems and premature births in pregnant women.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS: MARCH 21ST

  • The International Day of Forests (also known as World Forestry Day) is celebrated every year on March 21.
  • The day is to celebrate to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations as well as to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth.
  • The theme for International Day of Forests 2020 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.

WORLD WATER DAY OBSERVED ON 22ND MARCH

  • World Water Day is observed globally on 22nd March every year. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.
  • It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
  • The theme of World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing water”.
  • The idea for this international day goes back to 1992, the year in which the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro took place.
  • That same year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993.

WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY: MARCH 23RD

  • The World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on 23 March to commemorate the date of the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization in 23 March 1950.
  • The day also highlights the contribution that the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society.
  • The World Meteorological Day theme is “The ocean, our climate and weather” celebrates WMO’s focus in connecting the ocean, climate and weather within the Earth System.
  • World Meteorological Organization Head: Petteri Taalas.
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • World's Meteorological Organization has a membership of 191 member states and territories.

WORLD TUBERCULOSIS SAT OBSERVED ON 24TH MARCH

  • World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on 24 March to create awareness among the public about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.
  • The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
  • The theme of World TB Day 2021 – ‘The Clock is Ticking’ –conveys the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.
  • This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

WORLD THEATRE DAY OBSERVED ON 27TH MARCH

  • World Theatre Day is observed globally on 27th March every year. World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), France.
  • It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centers and the international theatre community.
  • This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”, and acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognized its value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realized its potential for economic growth.
  • Every year the Executive Council of ITI chooses an outstanding theatre personality to write the message for World Theatre Day.
  • The author of the Message of World Theatre Day 2021 is Helen MIRREN, United Kingdom. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.
  • To promote theatre in all its forms across the world.
  • To make people aware of the value of theatre in all its forms.
  • To enable theatre communities to promote their work on a broad scale so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it.
  • To enjoy theatre in all its forms for its own sake.
  • To share the joy of theatre with others.

 

REPORTS AND INDEXES

INDIA RANKED 56TH IN GLOBAL HOME PRICE INDEX

  • India has moved down 13 spots in the latest global home price index to finish last at 56th rank in the quarter ending December 2020.
  • Against its 43rd rank a year ago, India saw a decline of 3.6% year-on-year (YoY) in home prices, leading to the drop in global position, showed Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index.
  • India was the weakest-performing country during the fourth quarter of 2020, with a decline of 3.6% in home prices, followed by Morocco with a drop of 3.3%.
  • According to the report, markets like New Zealand (19%), Russia (14%), the US (10%), Canada and UK (both 9%) have recorded accelerated growth in rankings in the last three months due to a growth in housing demand.

INDIAN ARMED FORCES 4TH STRONGEST IN THE WORLD

  • China has the strongest military force in the world while India stands at number four, according to a study released by defence website Military Direct.
  • China has the strongest military in the world, scoring 82 out of 100 points in the index. The USA, despite their enormous military budgets, comes in 2nd place with 74 points, followed by Russia with 69, India at 61 and then France with 58.
  • The study said “ultimate military strength index” was calculated after taking into consideration various factors including budgets, number of inactive and active military personnel, total air, sea, land and nuclear resources, average salaries, and weight of equipment.

INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) INDEX

  • India ranked 40 among 53 global economies on the latest annual edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index
  • The US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC), the Index evaluates Intellectual Property rights in 53 global economies from patent and copyright policies to commercialisation of IP assets and ratification of international treaties.
  • Over the last year, transparent and predictable intellectual property rights have also fostered unprecedented levels of highly successful public-private sector collaborations.
  • The overall global IP environment improved in 2020, with a positive score increasing in 32 of the 53 economies measured by the IP Index. This is the ninth IP index released by the GIPC.

WORLD BANK RELEASED WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT

  • The “World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives” was released by the World Bank.
  • The World Development Report focuses on how data can improve the lives of poor people and advance development objectives, to ensure no one is left behind.
  • It highlights the tremendous potential of the changing data landscape to improve the lives of poor people, at the same time acknowledging its potential to open back doors that can harm individuals, businesses, and societies.
  • Through this report, the World Bank aims to support its client countries by identifying where public and private sector investments are the most critical, defining a rich program for policy reform and technical assistance, and highlighting areas in which global initiatives can help to convene and facilitate cross-border cooperation.

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

INDIA'S FIRST FREE SPACE QUANTUM COMMUNICATION

  • In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully demonstrated free-space Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 metres, with several technologies developed within the country.
  • The demonstration included live video conferencing using quantum-key-encrypted signals, at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, between two line-of-sight buildings within the campus.
  • The experiment was done at night to ensure that there is no interference from the direct sunlight. This is a major milestone achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data-communication using quantum technologies.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

INAUGURATION OF KURNOOL AIRPORT IN AP

  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri has inaugurated the Kurnool Airport, in Andhra Pradesh
  • The flight operations at Kurnool airport will begin on 28 March 2021. This airport has been developed under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).
  • Kurnool airport will bring the region closer to major hubs in South India by providing direct flight operations to Bangalore, Visakhapatnam and Chennai.
  • Kurnool is the 6th airport in Andhra Pradesh to become functional after Kadapa, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Rajahmundry & Vijayawada.
  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
  • Governor: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.