Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 March 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 20:26 PM IST

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Topic: Sports

1. Government will set up Winter Sports Institute in Gulmarg.

  • Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has announced that government will set up a Winter Sports Institute in Gulmarg, Jammu Kashmir.
  • The government has prepared a roadmap for promoting and training Kashmiri youths in different sports.
  • Recently, the government has organised Second Khelo India Winter Games from 26 February to 2 March at Gulmarg.
  • The first Khelo India Winter Games was held in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Ice skating, ice hockey, ski mountaineering are some famous Winter Sports.
  • Winter Olympic Games is a major sport event of the Winter Sports.

Winter Sports Institute in Gulmarg, Jammu Kashmir

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

2. World’s largest floating solar farm will be built in Singapore.

  • The world’s largest floating solar farm will be constructed in Singapore.
  • Singapore is one of the largest per capita carbon dioxide emitters in Asia. It is constructing the world’s largest floating solar farm for promoting renewable energy.
  • Singapore government is aiming to increase solar energy use by four-fold times by 2025.
  • Singapore is also planning to plant more trees and use cleaner fuel to tackle climate change.
  • The world’s largest solar park is situated in Karnataka.
  • Singapore:
    • It is a sovereign island nation in Southeast Asia.
    • Its capital city is Singapore and the currency is Singapore Dollar.
    • Lee Hsien Loong is the current Prime Minister of Singapore.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

3. Human Performance Indicator (HPI) released by JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle).

  • Human Performance Indicator (HPI) has been released by JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), a commercial real estate and investment management company.
  • As per the report, the percentage of high performers practicing flexible working in India is higher than in APAC countries.
  • India is ranked highest in workplace satisfaction. India is followed by China in this ranking. As per the report, high performers in India have access to better workplaces and technologies.
  • As per the report, the majority of high performers are young professionals aged 25 to 34.

Topic: Personality in News

4. Adhidhi Achyuth becomes 1st transgender in India’s fisheries sector to begin entrepreneurial initiative.

  • Adhidhi Achyuth has become 1st transgender in India’s fisheries sector to begin an entrepreneurial initiative.
  • Adhidhi Achyuth has got help from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) to open a fish vending stall in Kochi.
  • As part of the Central government scheme of the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP), Rs 5 lakh were spent by CMFRI to set up fish stall.
  • The headquarters of CMFRI is located in Kochi, Kerala. A Gopalakrishnan is the director of CMFRI. It was established by the Government of India on 3 February 1947 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

5. Indian Institute of Spices Research received a patent for bio-capsules.

  • The Indian Institute of Spices Research has received a patent for developing bio-capsules.
  • IISR has developed a method of storing and delivering microbes through bio-capsules. It is developed by IISR scientists M Anandraj, R Dinesh and Y K Bini.
  • Bio-capsules will be used for improving the soil quality and environmental conditions. It will help in reducing the use of pesticides and other chemical fertilizers.
  • The recently patented Bio-capsules will be used for the cultivation of spices and vegetables. IISR Bio-capsule is the first encapsulated biofertilizer.
  • Bio-capsules use different beneficial microorganisms like Trichoderma, Pseudomonas, and Bacillus for increasing the production of crops.
  • Bio-capsules are being used by the farmers of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, etc. Farmers of North Eastern states are also using these Bio-capsules.
  • Patents in India:
    • In India, a Patent is governed by the Patents Act of 1970 and it is granted for 20 years.
    • The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks administers the Indian law of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. Italy signed amended International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement.

  • Italy has signed the amended Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 17 March 2021.
  • Recently, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) has amended the framework agreement to enable UN member states to join the group. After this amendment, countries outside the tropics can join the International Solar Alliance.
  • Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca also discussed various issues, including the G20 Presidency and Vaccine Maitri.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA):
    • It was jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and the President of France during the COP-21 in Paris in 2015.
    • The alliance aims to contribute in the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and large-scale use of solar energy.

Italy signed amended International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Personality in News

7. Tanzanian President John Magufuli passed away at the age of 61.

  • Tanzanian President John Magufuli died at the age of 61.
  • He is popularly known as the “Bulldozer”.
  • He was first elected as President of Tanzania in 2015. He had started his second term of Presidency in 2020.
  • He also served as the chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019 to 2020.
  • Samia Suluhu Hassan will be the new President of Tanzania.
  • Tanzania:
    • It is located in Eastern Africa.
    • It shares borders with Uganda, Kenya, Comoro Islands, Indian Ocean, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    • Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is the highest peak in Africa.
    • Its capital is Dodoma and the currency is the Tanzanian shilling.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli passed away

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Appointments

8. Harsh Vardhan appointed as Chairman of ‘Stop TB Partnership Board’.

  • The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has been appointed as the chairman of “Stop TB Partnership Board’.
  • He has been appointed to recognize his contribution to India’s eradication movement against Tuberculosis (TB). India has aimed to end Tuberculosis disease by 2025.
  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan will serve as chairman of “Stop TB Partnership Board’ for three years. His tenure will begin in July 2021.
  • Stop TB Partnership:
    • It was established in 2000 to eliminate tuberculosis as a public health problem.
    • It is a network of international organizations, countries, donors from the public and private sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations.
    • Its vision is to make a TB-free world. Its main target is to eliminate the tuberculosis epidemic by the end of 2030.
    • Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. Harsh Vardhan chairman of Stop TB Partnership Board

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Banking System

9. SBI, IOCL inks $100 million first SOFR linked deal in ECB market.

  • SBI and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) have signed a $100 million deal by using the new Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) in the external commercial borrowing (ECB) market.
  • It is the first deal with the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).
  • Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) is a secured interbank overnight interest rate. It will replace the existing benchmark rate LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate).
  • London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is a benchmark rate for various financial instruments. It will be discontinued from December 2021.
  • Recently, ICICI Bank has carried out its first Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR)-linked interbank-money market transaction.
  • External commercial borrowing (ECB): It is a financial instrument to borrow money from a foreign source. It is used by Indian corporations and PSUs to borrow money in foreign currency.

State Bank of India (SBI)

Indian Oil Corporation Limited

  • It is a nationalized public sector bank.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai.
  • Its tagline is “The Banker to Every Indian”.
  • Its chairman is Dinesh Kumar Khara.
  • It is one of the Maharatna public sector companies.
  • It is the largest commercial oil company in India.
  • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
  • Its chairman is Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.


Topic: National News

10. PM Modi’s Principal Advisor, P K Sinha, resigned from his position on Personal Ground.

  • Pradeep Kumar Sinha has resigned as Principal Advisor to PM Narendra Modi on personal grounds.
  • He was appointed as an officer on special duty in the Prime Minister’s Office in August 2019.
  • He was appointed as Principal Advisor to Narendra Modi in September 2019.
  • He also served as Union Cabinet Secretary from June 13, 2015, till 2019. 
  • He also served as Secretary of the Ministry of Power in 2013.

Topic: Indian Economy

11. RBI released a survey on Computer Software and Information Technology export service for FY20.

  • RBI has released a survey on Computer Software and Information Technology export service for FY20.
  • The export of software services in India stood at US $ 128.6 billion during 2019-20, an increase of 9.1 percent over the last year.
  • The contribution of Computer services is 66.6%, and that of ITES / BPO services is 33.4% in the total software services exports.
  • The major destination for software exports with a 56.6 percent share was the USA, while 27.6 percent of software was exported in Europe.
  • The major invoice currency for software exports with a 71.6 percent stake was the US dollar. Euro and pound sterling together accounted for 16.7 percent.
  • The preferred mode of delivery of the total export of software services remained Off-site.
  • During the FY20, the share of exports of software services through cross-border supply mode increased.
  • The USA and the UK were a major destination for Software exports by foreign affiliates through commercial presence, which stood at US$ 16.6 billion in 2019-20.





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