Daily Current Affairs and GK | 24 March 2021

Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2020)
2020 Book

Current Affairs

Topic: Corporates/Companies

1. POWERGRID launched an e-Tendering Portal ‘PRANIT’.

  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) launched an e-tendering Portal, ‘PRANIT’.
  • It has been launched for ease of operation and to bring transparency in the tendering process.
  • It has been approved by the Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • POWERGRID is the only organisation that has an eProcurement solution on SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM).
  • SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) is an application that enables a company to manage its relationships with its vendors.
  • POWERGRID:
    • It is a Maharatna company headquartered in Gurugram.
    • It is a central PSU under the Ministry of Power.
    • It is engaged in the work of power transmission, operation and maintenance of the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS).

Topic: National News

2. Uttar Pradesh government launched India’s first FPO portal.

  • Uttar Pradesh government has launched the UP FPO Shakti Portal as part of the Kisan Kalyan Mission.
  • The Department of Agriculture has been developed the portal in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
  • The main objective of this portal is to bring farmers, producer groups, traders and the Department of Agriculture at one platform.
  • It is the first fully dedicated FPO portal for farmers. It will enable farmers to download all necessary information to form Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO) in the state.
  • At present, there are 576 FPOs are working in Uttar Pradesh. Out of these, 471 FPO have already registered themselves on this portal.
  • Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture has launched a new Scheme titled “Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)”.
     
 

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/ Taskforces

3. Standing External Advisory Committee set up by RBI.

  • Standing External Advisory Committee has been set up by RBI to evaluate on-tap applications for universal and small finance banks.
  • RBI’s former deputy governor, Shyamala Gopinath, is head of the Standing External Advisory Committee.
  • In addition to the chairperson, the committee has four other members also. The names of four other members are given below.
    • RBI central board director Revathy Iyer
    • NPCI chairman B Mahapatra
    • Canara Bank’s former chairman T N Manoharan
    • SBI’s former MD & PFRDA’s former chairman Hemant Contractor
  • In 2016, guidelines for on-tap licensing were announced. Standing committee to evaluate applications has been set up now.

Topic: State News/Bihar

4. Bihar has become first Indian state to implement an ethanol promotion policy.

  • Bihar has become the first Indian state to implement an ethanol promotion policy.
  • The policy would enable investors in directly preparing ethanol from maize, molasses, broken rice and rotten grains.
  • The policy was approved by the state cabinet on 16 March 2021. It was tabled in the Bihar legislature on 17 March 2021.
  • The central government permitted direct production of ethanol last December in agreement with National Policy on Biofuels, 2018.
  • Government would give 15% subsidy to investors. The subsidy can be given only up to a maximum of Rs. 5 Crore.
  • Investors will also get other exemptions and subsidies as per the state government’s industrial promotion policy.
  • Under the ethanol policy, investment proposals would be provided first-stage clearance in seven working days.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

5. India’s rank in latest global house price index declined.

  • India’s ranking in the latest global house price index has declined by 13 spots and it was in the 56th position in December 2020.
  • India’s rank was 43 a year ago. Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index shows home prices in India saw a decline of 3.6%. 
  • Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index tracks how more than 50 mainstream national housing markets around the world performed.
  • Turkey continues to lead the annual Global House Price Index rankings. It is followed by New Zealand and Slovakia.
  • During the fourth quarter of 2020, India was the weakest-performing country. Knight Frank is a leading global real estate consultant company.

Topic: Indian Economy

6. Finance Bill passed by Lok Sabha.

  • Lok Sabha has passed Finance Bill and the bill will now go to Rajya Sabha.
  • On 23 March, Finance Minister proposed amendments in Budget proposals.
  • On the issue of equalization levy, the minister said that the calculation of levy would not be applicable for goods owned by Indians.
  • Government has raised Rs 2.5-lakh limit for EPFO taxation to Rs 5 lakh. Now interest earned on contributions above Rs 5 lakh will be taxable.
  • Government has announced tax benefits for the proposed Development Financial Institution. Government-owned institutions would be provided tax benefits for 10 years.
  • Income tax benefits will be available for 5 years if the private sector sets up the institution under license from RBI.

Topic: Personality in News

7. Renowned writer and director Sagar Sarhadi passed away.

  • Renowned writer and director Sagar Sarhadi passed away at the age of 88.
  • He has written many famous films like “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Silsila”, and “Bazaar”.
  • He started his career as a writer and later became a director with the film “Bazaar”.
  • He has also written dialogue for many films, including “Kaho Na Pyaar Hai” and “Deewana”.

Famous Film Industry celebrities passed away recently

  • Arya Banerjee
  • Narendra Bhide
  • Ravi Patwardhan
  • Soumitra Chatterjee
  • Asif Basra
  • SP Balasubrahmanyam
  • Rajat Mukherjee

writer and director Sagar Sarhadi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

8. Sports Ministry extended Khelo India Scheme till 2025-26.

  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has announced that Khelo India Scheme will be extended from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
  • The Sports Ministry has furnished an Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) memorandum to the Ministry of Finance for the continuation of the scheme.
  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also said that the government is committed to give financial assistance for training of players, participation of Indian teams in international events, organizing national and international tournaments in India, purchase of equipment, etc.
  • The first Khelo India Games were held in 2018, and the first Khelo India Winter Games were held in Gulmarg and Leh.
  • Khelo India Scheme:
    • It was launched in 2018.
    • It aims to revive the sports culture in India by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country.
    • Under it, talented players are identified at an early age and they are trained for international competition.
    • It has twelve components.

 Khelo India Scheme till 2025-26

(Source: Khelo India)

Topic: Sports

9. India Legends defeated Sri Lanka Legends in Road Safety World Series 2021.

  • India Legends defeated Sri Lanka Legends in the finals of the Road Safety World Series by 14 runs.
  • In this tournament, Sachin Tendulkar led the India Legends team and Tillakaratne Dilshan has led Sri Lanka Legends.
  • India Legends scored 181 runs in 20 overs and restricted the Sri Lanka Legends to 167 runs.
  • Yusuf Pathan was conferred the Man of the Match award for his outstanding performance.
  • Tillakaratne Dilshan has been adjudged as a Man of the series for scoring 271 runs in eight matches.

Topic: Personality in News

10. Noted Carnatic Musician Muthuswami Dikshitar’s birth anniversary is being celebrated today.

  • Renowned Carnatic Musican Muthuswami Dikshitar’s 246thbirth anniversary is being celebrated today. He was born on 24 March 1775.
  • He was a South Indian poet, singer, veena player, and a legendary composer of Carnatic music. Muthuswami Dikshitar, Shyama Sastri and Tyagayya are known as the Trinity of Carnatic music.
  • He has written around 500 compositions. His compositions were mostly in Sanskrit. His compositions are sung and played in classical concerts of Carnatic music.
  • He is also known by the name of Guruguha.
  • Hindustani style and Carnatic style are two styles of Indian classical music.
  • Carnatic music has 72 ragas and it is generally practiced in Southern parts of India.

Carnatic Musician Muthuswami Dikshitar

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

11. New Tata Safari becomes the official Partner of IPL 2021.

  • Tata Motors has announced that its flagship SUV, the new Tata Safari, will be the official partner for VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
  • It will be the fourth consecutive year that Tata Motors has becomes the official partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
  • Earlier, the Tata Nexon was the official partner for IPL 2018, the Tata Harrier for IPL 2019 and the Tata Altroz for IPL 2020.
  • Tata Motors is the biggest automobile manufacturing company in India.
  • Indian Premier League:
    • The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will be held across 6 venues in India from April 9 to May 30.
    • It will be played in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
    • Eight teams will participate in IPL 2021.
    • The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League was held in UAE and it was won by Mumbai Indians.

Topic: Important days

12. World Tuberculosis Day 2021: 24 March

  • World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is celebrated every year on 24 March.
  • It is observed to raise public awareness about the impact of TB around the world and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
  • On this day in 1882, Dr Robert Koch discovered the bacteria that cause TB disease. It is caused due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • The theme of this year’s World TB Day is ‘The Clock is Ticking’.
  • According to the WHO, it is one of the top 10 leading causes of death worldwide.
  • Tuberculosis spread through the air and usually attacks the lungs but can also spread to other parts of the body.
  • India has aimed to eliminate TB by 2025.
 

 

 

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