Daily Current Affairs and GK | 11 and 12 March 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 13 Mar 2021 17:30 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Cabinet approves formation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi as a single non-lapsable reserve fund.

  • Cabinet has approved the creation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN) as a single non-lapsable reserve fund from the share of health from the Health and Education Cess.
  • At present, the government charges a 4% health and education cess on the direct income tax of an individual. The Health and Education Cess is levied under Section 136-b of Finance Act, 2007.
  • Features of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi:
    • It will be a ‘single non-lapsable fund’ for the availability of universal and affordable health care. The fund will not lapse at the end of the financial year.
    • The share of health in the Health and Education Cess will go to PMSSN.
    • The amount in the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi will be used for the different schemes of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
    • The fund will be used for Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, Ayushman Bharat - Health and Wellness Centres, National Health Mission and Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.
    • PMSSN will be administered by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Topic: Polity

2. Tirath Singh Rawat becomes new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.

  • Tirath Singh Rawat becomes the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand after the resignation of Trivendra Singh Rawat.
  • Tirath Singh Rawat is the first Education Minister of Uttarakhand.
  • Tirath Singh Rawat has taken the oath as the Chief Minister in the presence of Governor Baby Rani Maurya.
  • Tirath Singh Rawat becomes the 9th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He was elected as an MP from the Pauri Lok Sabha seat in 2019.
  • According to Article 164, the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor.

Functions of Chief Minister

Qualifications for Chief Minister


  • He advises the Governor regarding the appointment of other Ministers.
  • He allocates portfolios among ministers.
  • He presides cabinet meeting
  • He acts as a principal channel of communication between Governor and Council of Ministers.
  • He/She should be a Citizen of India.
  • He/She should be of 25 years of age or more.
  • He/She should be a member of either house of the State Legislature.
  • Usually, he is appointed for a term of 5 years.
  • He cannot be dismissed unless he enjoys the majority in the Legislative assembly.

Topic: Appointments

3. GP Samanta appointed as Chief Statistician of India.

  • GP Samanta has been appointed as Chief Statistician of India and he will replace Kshatrapati Shivaji.
  • GP Samanta will also serve as Secretary in the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI). He will remain on this post for two years.
  • After the superannuation of Pravin Srivastava, Kshatrapati Shivaji was given an additional charge in MoSPI in September. Pravin Srivastava superannuated in August 2020.
  • Dr. Pronab Sen was the first Chief Statistician of India. Chief Statistician of India is the Secretary of the National Statistical Commission (NSC).

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. Power Finance Corporation and its subsidiary REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) signs MoU with Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Ltd.

  • Power Finance Corporation and its subsidiary REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) have signed MoU with Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Ltd.
  • The MoU aims to provide a term loan of ₹4,058 crores for a 600 MW hydroelectric project in Trashi Yangtse, Bhutan.
  • The proposed project will be funded in a debt-to-equity ratio of 70:30. The project will be commissioned in the financial year that will end in March 2026. It will generate about 2,569 million units of energy.
  • Hydroelectric power plant will be built by a joint venture between India’s SJVN and Bhutan’s Druk Green Power Corporation, Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Ltd.
  • SJVN is a hydroelectric power generation PSU. It is a joint venture between Government of India and Government of Himachal Pradesh.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. ICAR bags King Bhumibol World Soil Day 2020 Award.

  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research won the ‘King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award’ for raising awareness about the importance of soil health.
  • On 10th March, Indian Ambassador Suchitra Durai received this award on behalf of ICAR.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization announced it on the occasion of World Soil Day 2020.
  • ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, has organised different programmes for spreading awareness about soil health. It had also organised “SOIL - Our Mother Earth” campaign on the occasion of World Soil Day.
  • World Soil Day-2020 was celebrated on 5 December with the theme of “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity”.
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
    • It is the apex body for coordinating, guiding, and managing research and education in agriculture.
    • It works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
    • It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.
    • Its headquarters is in New Delhi.

ICAR bags King Bhumibol World Soil Day 2020 Award

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Defence

6. INS Karanj commissioned into the Indian Navy.

  • INS Karanj has been officially commissioned into the Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai. It is India’s third stealth Scorpene-class submarine.
  • Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, in partnership with Naval Group, France, will build Six Scorpene Class submarines. INS Karanj has been built as part of this project.
  • Former Navy chief Admiral V S Shekhawat was the chief guest of this ceremony. INS Karanj will be part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet.
  • Old INS Karanj was part of the Indian Navy from 1969 to 2003.
  • Under Project 75 India, six scorpene submarines are to be developed through the Strategic Partnership model at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
  • INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi were commissioned under project 75 into the Navy in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
  • The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These are equipped with modern weapons and sensors to neutralize any threat.

INS Karanj commissioned into the Indian Navy

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Art and Culture

7. PM greets people on Kashmiri Pandits’ festival ‘Herath’.

  • ‘Herath’ is one of the most auspicious festivals of Kashmiri Pandits. PM greeted people on the occasion of ‘Herath’.
  • Herath (Shivaratri) is celebrated by Hindus in Kashmir. It is celebrated every year in Feb- March. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Navreh, Zyeath-Atham (Jyeshtha Ashtami), Huri-Atham are the other most prominent festivals of Kashmiri Pandits.
  • Kashmir Shaivism was originated after 850 CE. It is a group of several monistic and tantric religious traditions of Kashmir.

Topic: National News

8. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated technology centres and Extension Centres to boost MSME sector.

  • MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated two technology centres, three extension centres and seven mobile Udyam Express.
  • The technology centres will be established in Visakhapatnam and Bhopal. It will provide training to students in different fields.
  • Under the Mobile Udyam Express programme, vans will go to villages to generate awareness about entrepreneurship. It will also help in providing training to people of villages.
  • Government aims to establish Technology Centres and Extension Centres across the country. It will help in creating a pool of skilled workforce in the country.
  • The New Technology Centres and Extension Centres will provide Skill training to four lakh people. These centres will also assist 1 lakh MSMEs by providing technology, incubation, skilling and advisory support.

MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated two technology centres

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International News

9. Iran, Bahamas and Benin received Made-in-India Covid-19 vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative.

  • Iran, Bahamas and Benin have received the Made in India COVID-19 Vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative.
  • Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India has also provided coronavirus vaccines to its neighbour under its “Neighbourhood First” policy.
  • Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, has been provided by India to many countries under the “Vaccine diplomacy”.
  • Till March 1, India has provided 36.37 million vaccine doses to 35 countries.




  • Iran is located in Western Asia.
  • Its capital and largest city is Tehran.
  • Iran is bordered by Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.
  • Its President is Hassan Rouhani.
  • It is located in the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the Atlantic.
  • Nassau is the capital of Bahamas.
  • Hubert Minnis is the current Prime Minister.
  • It is located in western Africa.
  • Porto-Novo is the capital.
  • Patrice Talon is the current Prime Minister of Benin.

Topic: Important Days

10. Mauritius Independence Day: 12 March

  • Mauritius celebrated its 53rd Independence Day on 12 March 2021.
  • It was first discovered by the Arabs in the 16th century. It was colonized by the Netherlands, France and Great Britain.
  • Mauritius got independence from Britain on 12 March 1968. It became a republic in 1992.
  • Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is the first Prime Minister of Mauritius.
  • Mauritius:
    • Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean.
    • Its capital is Port Louis and its currency is Mauritian Rupee.
    • Pravind Kumar Jugnauth is the current Prime Minister of Mauritius.
    • Mauritius is the fourth largest contributor to India’s FDI in 2020-21.






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