Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 March 2021

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Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

1. US becomes India’s second biggest oil supplier replacing Saudi Arabia.

  • The United States has become India’s second-biggest oil supplier. It has replaced Saudi Arabia.
  • In February, India’s imports from the United States has touched a new record of 545,300 barrels per day while that from Saudi Arabia fell down to a decade low of 445,200 bpd.
  • This situation has emerged due to the lower demand for U.S. crude oil coincided with Saudi Arabia’s voluntary output cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd).
  • Iraq continued to be the top oil supplier to India, while Nigeria becomes India’s third-largest oil supplier. Saudi Arabia has slipped to the fourth position for the first time since 2006.
  • India is the third-biggest oil importer and consumer in the world. India has imported 3.92 million bpd of oil in February.
  • India is trying to reduce its oil import. In February, India has imported 18% less crude oil than in January.
  • The United States is the biggest crude oil producer in 2020, followed by Saudi Arabia.
  • India’s oil supplier:

Rank

Countries

1st

Iraq

2nd

United States

3rd

Nigeria

4th

Saudi Arabia

Topic: Important Days

2. International Day of Mathematics 2021: 14 March

  • International Day of Mathematics is celebrated every year on 14 March around the world.
  • International Day of Mathematics was adopted in the 40th General Conference of UNESCO in 2019.
  • It is celebrated to showcase the role of mathematical sciences in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Before 2019, it was celebrated as Pi Day. Pi was first calculated by the mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse.
  • The theme for International Day of Mathematics 2021 is “Mathematics for a Better World”.
  • National Mathematics Day is celebrated on 22 December in India.

International Day of Mathematics 2021

(Source: unesco.org)

 

Topic: Indian Polity

3. Women and Child Development Minister introduces Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha.

  • Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani has introduced Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha.
  • The bill will amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The proposed amendments will authorize District Magistrate and Additional District Magistrate to issue adoption orders.
  • The bill defines eligibility criteria for the appointment of members of the Child Welfare Committee. It categorizes certain offences as serious offences.
  • Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Manshukh Mandaviya introduced Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha.
  • Some other bills have also been introduced in the Lok Sabha. They are listed below.
    • Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021
    • Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2021
    • National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2021

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/ Taskforces

4. Advisory Committee for multidisciplinary study of River Saraswati reconstituted by the government.

  • The government has reconstituted the Advisory Committee for multidisciplinary study of River Saraswati.
  • On March 10, the Archeological Survey of India issued a notification for reconstitution of the Committee. ASI earlier set up the Committee on 28 December 2017 for two years.
  • The Committee has been reconstituted for two years. Culture Minister would chair this Committee.
  • The Committee has 27-members. It has officials from various ministries, representatives of ISRO, officials from the governments of Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan and an official from ASI.
  • The Committee also has archaeologists B.R. Mani, Vasant Shinde, K.N. Dixit and K.K. Muhammed, and historian Balmukund Pandey as its non-official members.
  • Saraswati is a mythical river. It is mentioned in Rig Veda and other vedic texts. 

Topic: Miscellaneous

5. Inter Parliamentary Union President Mr. Duarte Pacheco witnessed the proceedings of Upper House during his week long visit to India.

  • Inter Parliamentary Union President Mr. Duarte Pacheco witnessed the proceedings of Upper House during his week-long visit to India.
  • Mr. Pacheco met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Mr. Pacheco will address Parliament Members under Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) in Central Hall of Parliament House.
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) was formed in 1889. It is one of the oldest and largest international Parliamentary bodies. It consists of over 179 Members. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • G.S. Dhillon and Najma Heptulla have served as the Presidents of IPU. G.S. Dhillon was then Speaker of Lok Sabha and Najma Heptulla was then Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) is an autonomous body. It was formed in 1949. Its membership is open to all MPs and ex-MPs. Speaker of Lok Sabha is ex-officio President of IPG.

 Inter Parliamentary Union President Mr. Duarte Pacheco

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Polity

6. Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduces Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

  • Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has introduced Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
  • The bill aims at amending the Insurance Act, 1938. It seeks to raise the FDI limit in domestic insurance companies from the current 49% to 74%.
  • In Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister proposed to increase the FDI limit in the insurance sector.

Nirmala Sitharaman introduces Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

7. Bhavani Devi becomes the first Indian fencer to qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games.

  • Bhavani Devi has become the first Indian fencer who has qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • Bhavani Devi has also become the first Indian fencer who has qualified for Olympics even though she failed to qualify for Rio Olympics.
  • She is ranked 45th in the world. She was trained by Sports Authority of India coach Sagar Lagu from 2008-2015.
  • Fencing is a combat sport. Foil, the epee and sabre are the disciplines in modern fencing.
  • Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Topic: Polity

8. Government introduced Mines and Minerals (Regulations and Development) Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha.

  • Union Mines minister Pralhad Joshi has introduced Mines and Minerals (Regulations and Development) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha. It will amend the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  • The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 regulates the mining sector in India and grant mining leases for mining operations.
  • The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 has been introduced for regulating further auctioning of mineral mines. It will allow mine owners to sell 50 percent of their annual production in the open market.
  • It has introduced the National Mineral Index for bringing healthy competition in the auction of coal mines and it has removed the distinction between captive and non-captive mines.
  • The main objective of this bill is to generate employment, reduce the import of coal, and increasing production.

Mines and Minerals (Regulations and Development) Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Space and IT

9. ISRO launched sounding rocket to study attitudinal variations.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a sounding rocket RH-560 to study attitudinal variations in the neutral winds and plasma dynamics.
  • It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • Sounding rocket RH-560 has been indigenously developed, and it can reach up to a height of 470km with a load of 100kg.
  • Sounding rocket usually studies the ionosphere layer of the atmosphere.
  • Earlier, ISRO has developed Rohini series of Sounding rockets for space research and probing upper atmospheric regions. RH-200 and RH-300 are some other important Sounding rocket of ISRO.
  • The first Sounding rocket was launched in 1963 from Thumba. India had started the Rohini Sounding Rocket Programme in 1975 for the development of the Sounding rocket.
  • Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO):
    • It was founded in 1969 by Vikram Sarabhai.
    • It is a space agency of the Indian government.
    • Headquarters: Bengaluru
    • Current Director: Dr. K. Sivan

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/Taskforces

10. Index Monitoring Cell (IMC) submitted its recommendation for improving freedom of media.

  • The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had set up the Index Monitoring Cell (IMC) committee in 2020 for improving India’s rank in the World Press Freedom Index.
  • Index Monitoring Cell (IMC) has submitted its recommendations for improving press freedom in India.
  • Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia has chaired this 15 member committee. Four journalists and 10 government employees are other members of the Index Monitoring Cell (IMC).
  • The main recommendations of this committee are:
    • To decriminalization of defamation in India.
    • Consent of the Press Council of India is required before filing FIR against media or publication.
  • India’s rank is continuously declining in the World Press Freedom Index.
  • World Press Freedom Index 2020:
    • It is released by Report without borders.
    • Norway has achieved the first rank in World Press Freedom Index 2020.
    • As per World Press Freedom Index 2020, India’s rank is 142 among 180 countries.

Topic: Polity

11. Rajya Sabha passes National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019.

  • The Rajya Sabha has approved the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019.
  • The bill has declared the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Kundli, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur as institutions of national importance.
  • The bill has provision to set up a Board of Governors as the principal executive body of the institutes.
  • A council will also be set up for the performance improvement of the institutes.
  • The bill will support the institutes in research and knowledge dissemination in the field of food science and technology.
  • National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM):
    • It is set up by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).
    • It offers academic programmes in the field of food technology.
    • It is located at Sonipat, Haryana.

Rajya Sabha passes National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

12. Kathakali maestro Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair passed away.

  • A noted Kathakali maestro, Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair, has died at the age of 105.
  • He will be remembered for his contribution to Kathakali classical dance.
  • He founded Bharatiya Natyakalalayam in 1945 in Kerala, and it was the first school of dance in north Kerala.
  • He also established Cheliya Kathakali Vidyalayam for teaching Kathakali.
  • He has received several awards from the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi and Kerala Kalamandalam. He was awarded the Padma Shri award in 2017.
  • Kathakali:
    • It is a dance form of Kerala.
    • It is a mixture of dance, music, and acting.
    • In Kathakali, male actors traditionally wear clothes of female dancers, use elaborately coloured make-up, costumes and face masks.
    • In Kathakali, stories of the Indian epics are depicted through drama.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

13. The 63rd Grammy Award winners Announced.

  • The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959.
  • It is an award presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the music industry.
  • The 63rd Grammy Awards winner list:
    • Taylor Swift won Album of the year award for her Album “Folklore”. She is the first female artist who won the Album of the year award three times.
    • Billie Eilish won the record of the year award for “Everything I Wanted”.
    • Beyonce made a record of winning 28 times Grammy awards by a female artist after winning the best R&B performance for “Black Parade.”
    • Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter were awarded the best music video award for “Brown Skin Girl”.
    • British singer Dua Lipa was awarded best pop vocal album for her “Future Nostalgia”.

The 63rd Grammy Award winners Announced

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

14. Virat Kohli becomes first cricketer to score 3,000 runs in T-20 International.

  • Indian Captain Virat Kohli becomes the first batsman to score 3000 runs in T-20 International
  • He reached this achievement in the 2nd T20-International against England at Narendra Modi Stadium.
  • Martin Guptill of New Zealand is second with a score of 2,839 runs in 99 matches.
  • Rohit Sharma (India) is the third with a score of 2,773 runs in 108 matches.

Virat Kohli becomes first cricketer to score 3,000 runs in T-20 International

(Source: News on AIR)

 

 

 

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