Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 March 2021

Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2020)
2020 Book

Current Affairs

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

1. PM Modi holds virtual summit with Finland's PM Sanna Marin.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin attended the virtual summit between India and Finland. It was held on 16 March 2021.
  • Both leaders discussed the entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship and exchanged their views on global and regional issues.
  • The virtual summit has provided the blueprint for the further expansion of India-Finland bilateral relationship.
  • India and Finland relationship:
    • Both countries cooperate in the field of trade and investment, education, innovation, Science and Technology, Research and Development, Artificial Intelligence, etc.
    • More than 100 Finnish companies are operating in India.
    • Both countries have signed an MoU for cooperation in environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.
  • Finland:
    • It is a North European country whose capital is Helsinki, and its currency is Euro.
    • It shares borders with Sweden, Russia, Norway, Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland.
    • It is the eighth-largest country in Europe.
    • Sanna Marin is the current Prime Minister of Finland.

PM Modi holds virtual summit with Finland's PM Sanna Marin

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

2. ICC bans UAE cricketers Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar on match-fixing charges.

  • ICC bans UAE cricketers Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar for eight years on match-fixing charges.
  • Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar Butt had attempted to fix matches in the T20 World Cup qualifier in 2019.
  • Both cricketers were found guilty of breaching ICC code Article 2.1.1. Naveed has also been found guilty of breaching the Anti-Corruption Code of UAE cricket boards.
  • International Cricket Council:
    • The International Cricket Council is the global governing body of cricket.
    • It was established in 1909 by the representatives of Australia, England, and South Africa as the Imperial Cricket Conference.
    • It is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
 

Topic: Important Days

3. National Vaccination Day is observed every year on March 16.

  • National Vaccination Day is observed every year on March 16.
  • It is also known as National Immunization Day. It was first observed in 1995. In 1995, India had started Pulse Polio Programme. In 2014, WHO declared India polio free.
  • In the last week of April, World Immunization Week is observed every year. “Vaccines bring us closer” is the theme of World Immunization Week 2021.
  • Immunization is the process through which the immune system of an individual becomes immunized against disease-causing agents.
  • Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was started in 1978. In 1985, it was renamed as Universal Immunization programme.
  • Under the Universal Immunization programme, immunization is being provided free of cost against 12 diseases:

Nationally against 9 diseases

Sub-nationally against 3 diseases

Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus,

Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis,

Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type B

Rotavirus diarrhoea, Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Japanese Encephalitis; of which Rotavirus vaccine and Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine are in the process of expansion while JE vaccine is provided only in endemic districts.

  • Government had launched Mission Indradhanush in December 2014. It aims to increase the full immunization coverage of children.

Topic: State News/Uttar Pradesh

4. NMCG, Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and GA Infra Private Limited-Lahoti Buildcon Limited sign tripartite Concession Agreement.

  • NMCG, Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and GA Infra Private Limited-Lahoti Buildcon Limited have signed a tripartite Concession Agreement for the development of Sewage Treatment Plants in Moradabad district of UP.
  • The contract for the development of Sewage Treatment Plants in Moradabad was awarded at the total cost of 99.68 crore rupees.
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) already approved the project for the construction of the 25 Million Litre per Day (MLD) Sewage Treatment Plant. This project also aims to take care of sewage pollution in the Ram Ganga.
  • Ram Ganga is a tributary of Ganga. It originates in Uttarakhand. It enters plains in Bijnor, UP. Then, it enters Moradabad.

Topic: Indian Economy

5. A bill has been approved by the Union Cabinet to set up a Development Finance Institute (DFI) with an initial capital of Rs 20,000 crore.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a bill to set up a Development Finance Institute (DFI) with an initial capital of Rs. 20,000 crore.
  • The bill will be presented in Parliament during the current Budget Session. DFI will raise long-term funds for infrastructure development projects in India.
  • As per Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rs 5,000 crore will be the initial grant to the DFI. She further said that additional increments of the grant would be made within the limit of Rs 5,000 crores.
  • A DFI is an institution that provides development finance to sectors or sub-sectors of the economy. Industrial Finance Corporation of India was the first DFI. It was established in 1948.

to set up a Development Finance Institute (DFI) with an initial capital of Rs. 20,000 crore

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Polity

6. Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 approved by Rajya Sabha.

  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was approved by Rajya Sabha on 16 March.
  • Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in March 2020.  Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 provides for a limit of 24 weeks for medical termination of pregnancy.
  • Currently, abortion within 12 weeks of conception requires the opinion of one doctor and abortion between 12 and 20 weeks requires the opinion of two doctors.
  • As per the new bill, abortion up to 20 weeks can be done on the advice of one doctor and abortion in the case of a certain category of women between 20 and 24 weeks requires the opinion of two doctors.  
  • As per the new bill, the opinion of state-level medical board is required for abortion after 24 weeks in certain abnormal cases.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices

7. Delhi is the most polluted capital city in the world.

  • According to the World Air Quality Report 2020, Delhi is the most polluted capital city in the world, with an average annual PM2.5 concentration of 84.1 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • In 2020, Delhi’s air quality improved from the last year, yet it is the 10th most polluted city in the world and the most polluted capital.
  • Dhaka is the second most polluted capital in the world.
  • 22 cities of India are in the top 30 of the most polluted cities ranking.
  • Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr are the second and third most polluted cities in the world.
  • According to this report, the transportation sector is the main contributor to India’s PM 2.5 emission.
  • In 2020, the Chinese city Hotan was the most polluted city in the world. 
  • World Air Quality Report 2020:
    • It is released by the Swiss air technology company IQAir.
    • It is based on a comparison of PM 2.5 levels.
    • It has ranked 106 countries based on the PM2.5 data.

Rank

City

1

Hotan, China

2

Ghaziabad, India

3

Bulandshahr, India

4

Bisrakh Jalapur, India

5

Bhiwadi, India

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. Cabinet approved the closure of Handicrafts & Handlooms Export Corporation of India Ltd.

  • Union Cabinet has approved the closure of loss-making Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India Limited (HHEC).
  • HHEC has been incurring losses since the 2015-16 financial year. All permanent employees can avail the benefit of a Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
  • The decision of closure has been taken under the strategic disinvestment policy of the Government.
  • In the Budget of FY 2021-22, the Government has announced a strategic disinvestment policy for the growth and better management of Central Government Public Sector Enterprises.
  • Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India Limited:
    • It was established in 1958.
    • It is responsible for exports of handicrafts, handlooms products, khadi and products of village industries from India.
    • HHEC is a central public sector undertaking (CPSE) under the Ministry of Textiles.

closure of Handicrafts & Handlooms Export Corporation of India Ltd

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defence

9. Indian Army decommissioned two longest-serving Artillery systems from service.

  • Indian Army has decommissioned the 130mm Self Propelled M-46 Catapult Guns and the 160mm Tampella Mortars from service at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges.
  • The decommissioning ceremony was attended by Lieutenant General K Ravi Prasad, Director General Artillery.
  • The 130mm Catapult was a merger of existing Vijayanta tanks and 130mm M-46 guns. It has a range of more than 27 km. It was inducted into the Indian Army in 1981.
  • 160mm Tampella mortars:
    • It has a range of 9.6 km.
    • It was inducted into the Indian Army after the 1962 Indo-China. It played a vital role during the Kargil war.
    • It was deployed near the Line of Control in the Leepa valley and the Hajipir Bowl.

160mm Tampella Mortars from service at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges

(Source: PIB)

Topic: National News

10. Sadananda Gowda inaugurated 11th edition of India Chem-2021.

  • Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, inaugurated the 11th edition of India Chem-2021 on 17 March 2021.
  • It is scheduled to be organised between 17-19 March 2021 in New Delhi.
  • It is being organised by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and FICCI.
  • The theme of India Chem-2021 is –“India: Global Manufacturing Hub for Chemicals and Petrochemicals”.
  • It is one of the largest events of the chemical and petrochemical sector in the Asia-Pacific Region.
  • The objective of this summit is to promote the small scale as well as large scale chemical industries under the “Make in India” program.
  • Three different bilateral events will also be organised for enhancing trade and investment in the chemical sector. The bilateral events names are:
    • India-Japan Chemical and Petrochemical Forum
    • India-EU Chemical and Petrochemical Forum
    • India-US Chemical and Petrochemical Forum
  • Indian chemical Industry:
    • It is one of the largest contributors to the Indian economy.
    • Indian chemical industry is the sixth-largest in the world and third in Asia.
    • It contributes about 7% to India’s GDP.

Sadananda Gowda inaugurated 11th edition of India Chem-2021

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Manipur

11. Manipur CM inaugurated Mai-Own 2021 exhibition.

  • Chief Minister N. Biren Singh inaugurated Mai-Own 2021, an exhibition for local products of global standards in Imphal.
  • It is being organised between 16 March to 22 March. 
  • The exhibition is being organised under the vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
  • Chief Minister N. Biren Singh instructed the concerned officials to prepare a detailed report on which Department is helping which type SHGs and what products are being produced.
  • He also directed officials to prepare a report on the local products which are exported from the state.
  • Manipur:
    • It is a state in northeast India.
    • It borders Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south and Assam in the west, and Myanmar in the east.
    • Its capital is Imphal.
    • The Governor of Manipur is Najma Heptulla and Chief Minister is N. Biren Singh.
    • Manipuri, Nupa, Pung Cholam, Dhol Cholam are some famous dances of Manipur.

Manipur CM inaugurated Mai-Own 2021 exhibition

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

12. India’s foreign exchange reserve become world’s 4th Biggest Reserve.

  • Indian foreign exchange reserves outperformed Russia and it becomes the world’s 4th largest reserve.
  • On March 5, India’s foreign exchange holdings were $580.3 billion.
  • At present, China has the largest forex reserves, followed by Japan and Switzerland.
  • Foreign exchange reserves are assets in foreign currency held by a central bank. It includes foreign currency, bonds, treasury bills, and other government securities.
  • World’s Foreign Exchange Ranking:

Country

Rank

China

1

Japan

2

Switzerland

3

India

4

Topic: Personality in News

13. Renowned Goa-based artist Laxman Pai died at the age of 95.

  • Renowned Goa artist Laxman Pandharinath Pai died in Goa after a brief battle with illness. He was 95 years old.
  • He was an Indian artist and painter. His painting series ‘Musical Moods’ (1965) was inspired by Indian classical ragas.
  • He was honoured with several awards such as Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, the Nehru Award and Lalit Kala Akademi awards.
 

 

 

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