Daily Current Affairs and GK | 3 April 2021

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Topic: Appointment

1. Mukhmeet S Bhatia is appointed as Director General of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

  • Mukhmeet S Bhatia is appointed as the Director-General of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
  • Earlier, he has worked as Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
  • He also served on the post of Principal Secretary in the Department of Labour & Employment and Women & Child Development in Jharkhand government.
  • He has experience of working on different positions in district and state-level organizations.
  • Employees' State Insurance Corporation:
    • It was founded in 1952.
    • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
    • It was set up under the ESI Act 1948 for the implementation of the ESI scheme.

Topic: Indian Economy

2. Government withdraws rate cut order on small savings schemes.

  • The Government withdraw the decision to reduce interest rates on PPF and other small savings schemes.
  • Now, the rate on small saving scheme will remain same as they were during the January-March quarter.
  • According to the new notification, Public Provident Fund Scheme and National Savings Certificate will offer interest of 7.1% and 6.8% for the next three months.
  • Government usually revises interest rates on small saving instruments every quarter.
  • Earlier, the government had slashed rates of small savings schemes for the first quarter of 2021-22.
 

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

3. Biggest floating solar power plant of India will be set up in Telangana.

  • The biggest floating solar power plant in India will be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana.
  • National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) will set it up in the reservoir of its thermal power plant at Ramagundam.
  • It has a capacity of 100 MW and the estimated cost of the project is around 423 crore rupees. It will be comprised of 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels.
  • It will be spread over an area of 450-acres of the reservoir. It is being set up to reduce carbon footprints and to increase green energy production in India.
  • NTPC is planning to set up solar power plants of a total capacity of 450 MW in the southern region.
  • The world’s largest solar power plant will be set up on Omkareshwar Dam on the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. It has a capacity of 600 MW.
  • The world’s largest floating solar farm will be constructed in Singapore.

Biggest floating solar power plant of India

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: India and its Neighbours

4. Pakistan will import Sugar and Cotton from India.

  • Pakistan’s government has decided to import sugar, cotton, and yarn from India. The decision has been taken after the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire was announced by both countries in February.
  • It is a step that will help in reviving the trade relations between both countries. Pakistan had cancelled the trade relation with India after India amended Article 370 of its Constitution and reorganised Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Pakistan has allowed sugar trade with India up to 0.5 million tonnes for the private sector. It has reopened the sugar trade due to a rise in the sugar price.
  • Pakistan will import cotton and yarn to full fill the demand of its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). It will benefit the garment manufacturing industry in Pakistan.
  • India had withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status from Pakistan in 2019.
  • India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and the second-largest producer of Sugar.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Union Education Minister launched “MyNEP2020” platform of NCTE Portal.

  • Union Education Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, launched the “MyNEP2020” Platform of NCTE Web Portal. It will be operational from 1 April to 15 May 2021.
  • It will seek suggestions or inputs from different stakeholders for preparing a draft for the development of National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) and National Mission for Mentoring Program membership (NMM).
  • In this digital consultation, teachers, education professionals, academicians, & other stakeholders will participate in preparing the draft on teacher policy.
  • An expert committee will review the inputs and then it will represent the draft for the public review.
  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE):
    • It is a statutory body.
    • It was set up under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 in 1995.
    • It is responsible for overseeing standards in the Indian education system.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

6. Kalinga Ratna award has been presented to Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan.

  • Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu conferred the Kalinga Ratna Award to Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan for 2021.
  • The award comprises a silver statue of Goddess Saraswati and a copper plaque.
  • It has been given during the 600th Birth Anniversary of Adikabi Sarala Das and the 40th Annual Celebrations of Sarala Sahitya Sansad.
  • Kalinga Ratna Award is presented to writers for their outstanding literary work.
  • The Kalinga Ratna award was founded by the Sarala Sahitya Sansad.
  • On this occasion, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu described Sarala Das as Adi Kavi and a genius in Odia literature. He also mentioned about the ‘Sarala Mahabharat’ written by Sarala Das in the 15th Century.

Topic: Appointments

7. Mallika Srinivasan is appointed as chairperson of PESB.

  • Mallika Srinivasan has been appointed as the chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).
  • The appointment of Mallika Srinivasan has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. She has been appointed for a tenure of three years or until the attainment of the age of 65 years.
  • Earlier, she worked as Chairman and Managing Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Limited. She is also a member of the board of directors of Tata Steel Ltd.
  • Mallika Srinivasan is the first corporate leader appointed on the top management post in the Central Public Enterprises.
  • PESB: It is a high-powered body constituted by the Government of India in 1987. It has been set up with the objective of evolving a sound managerial policy for the Central Public Sector Enterprises.

Topic: Appointments

8. Subhash Kumar has taken additional charge as ONGC CMD.

  • The state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has given additional charge to Subhash Kumar as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).
  • He took charge in the place of retired Shashi Shanker.
  • He has a very long experience of 36 years in diverse activities across the Exploration & Production (E&P) value chain.
  • In 1985, he connected with ONGC as a Finance and Accounts Officer.
  • ONGC:
    • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) was formed in 1956.
    • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • ONGC comes under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
    • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation is a subsidiary of ONGC.

Topic: Banking System

9. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank partnered with nStore to digitize the online business.

  • To digitize offline retailers and small businesses in the country, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank collaborated with nStore.
  • Under the Partnership, a mobile application nLincs will be offered to the current account customers by Ujjivan Small Finance Bank to sell their merchandise online.
  • Bank wants to help local businesses like Kirana & general stores, medical shops, stationery stores, cakes and bakeries, quick service restaurants, apparel stores, mobile stores, fruits and vegetable stores, and hardware stores, etc.
  • The bank also aims to provide digital banking services such as merchant QR, Current Account & Overdraft (OD) facilities and enable them to grow their business through digitisation.
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Limited:
    • It is an Indian small finance bank based in Bangalore, which commenced operations on 1 February 2017.
    • On 7 October 2015, Ujjivan Financial Services received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a small finance bank.
    • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank is licensed under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry out small finance bank business and received Scheduled Bank status from the Reserve Bank of India in August 2017.
  • Small Finance Banks- The banks that shall be registered as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • These offer a variety of services like Savings Account deposits, ATM, Locker Facility, Fixed Deposit, Recurring Deposit, Lending, etc.

Topic: National News

10. Centre has approved Rs 780 crore project for upgradation of Kargil Zanskar road.

  • Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari has sanctioned a 780 Crore rupees project for upgradation of Kargil Zanskar road.
  • Under Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) mode, the Government has sanctioned the 2 lanes Kargil Zanskar NH 301 road.
  • The Central Government declared Zanskar- Kargil road as a National Highway in 2017.
  • Zanskar valley road connects Suru valley, Sankoo valley of Kargil with the Highway.
  • This road will play an important role in the economic development of the remote region of Ladakh.

 

 

 

 

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