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Important Current Affairs 12th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Bangladesh : International flight suspension

• The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on Sunday decided to suspend international flights for one week starting from April 14 with the commencement of the hard-lockdown in the country to contain the spread of Covid-19.

• However, no restriction will be imposed on the movement of chartered flights, cargo flights and special flights carrying high commissioners of different countries and foreign nationals, CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said.

Singapore: Becomes first country to ratify mega free trade agreement ‘RCEP’

• Singapore ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the world’s largest free trade agreement, led by China. In doing so, Singapore became the first among 15 participating countries to ratify RCEP.

• The RCEP must first be ratified by at least six ASEAN and three non-ASEAN member states to come into effect. Once implemented, RCEP would be the world’s largest free trade agreement, covering around one-third of the world’s population and about 30% of the world’s economy.

NATIONAL

Supreme Court:  Persons above Eighteen years are free to choose religion

• The Supreme Court ruled on April 9, 2021 that people above the age of Eighteen years are free to choose their religion. The ruling was delivered by an SC bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy.

• The bench gave the direction while refusing to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Centre and states to control black magic and religious conversion.

• The bench came down heaving on the counsel of petitioner, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayana, demanding, "What kind of writ petition is this under Article 32. We will impose a heavy cost on you. You argue on your own risk."

Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs inaugurated Khelo India State Centre of Excellence in Srinagar

• Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) for Rowing discipline at the Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council Water Sports Academy at the Nehru Park in the world-famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. This is one of the two KISCEs from Jammu & Kashmir. The other being the Maulana Azad Stadium for Fencing discipline in Jammu.

• There are currently 24 KISCEs across 23 States and Union Territories and each of them focuses on Olympics sports discipline. This is an ongoing endeavour to scale up existing centres from the States and Union Territories to the world standard level keeping in mind the big picture of getting India to excel at the Olympics.

Kerala’s High Court adoption guidelines

• The Kerala High Court on 10 April 2021 held that a child born to a couple in a live-in relationship will be treated as a child born to a married couple for the purpose of the Juvenile Justice Act and Adoption Guidelines.

• Therefore for surrendering a child for adoption, live-in couples to be treated as married couples.

Centre Government to start construction ravi canal

• Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh on 10 Apr'21 laid the foundation stone for the work of ‘construction of balance portion of Ravi Canal’ of Shahpur Kandi Dam Project at Basantpur,Kathua, Jammu.

• The project has been inaugurated after a gap of 60 yrs since Indus water treaty came into being.

• The project aims to utilize full water of Ravi river in Indian territory.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Human Space Flight Celebrated globally on 12 April Every Year

• The International Day of Human Space Flight is observed globally on April 12 every year. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution on April 7, 2011, had declared April 12 to be celebrated as International Day of Human Space Flight.

• On 12 April 1961, was the date of the 1st human space flight was carried out by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, who became the first person to journey into outer space. This historic incident opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all mankind. 12 April was also the date of the 1st Space Shuttle STS-1 of Columbia launched in 1981, which is also commemorated on this date.

World Parkinson’s Day Celebrated on 11 April Every Year

• Every year, April 11 is observed as World Parkinson’s Day to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, which is a progressive nervous system disorder.

• The day marks the birthday of Dr James Parkinson from London, who was the first person to systematically described the six individuals with the symptoms of Parkinson Disease.

National Safe Motherhood Day observed on 11 April

• National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on April 11 every year. National Safe Motherhood Day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI), to enforce that women must have availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy childbirth and postnatal services. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of the father of Nation Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi.

• At the request of WRAI, an alliance of 1800 organizations, in 2003, the Government of India declared April 11th, the anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi’s birth, as National Safe Motherhood Day. India is the 1st country in the world to have socially declared a National Safe Motherhood Day.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021

• Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr Mark Rutte, held a Virtual Summit. During the India- Netherlands virtual Summit, the two leaders reviewed the existing bilateral engagements and also exchanged views on further expanding and diversifying the relationship in trade and economy, water management, agriculture sector, smart cities, science & technology, healthcare and space.

• Apart from this the two Prime Ministers also agreed on instituting a ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’ to further deepen the Indo-Dutch cooperation in the water-related sector and upgrading the Joint Working Group on the water to Ministerial-level.

• They also exchanged views on regional and global challenges such as climate change, counter-terrorism and the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to leverage the emerging convergences in new areas like Indo-Pacific, Resilient Supply Chains and Global Digital Governance.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

BAFTA Awards 2021: Nomadland, Frances McDormand, Sir Anthony Hopkins wins big

• The 74th edition of the British Academy Film Awards- BAFTA 2021 was held at Royal Albert Hall in London with nominees attending the awards virtually.

• However, that was not the only unconventional part of this year’s award as, amid the pandemic, the ceremony of the prestigious BAFTA took place in over two days.

• The opening night ceremony was on April 10, 2021, during which the winners of the technical categories were announced while the remaining major awards were announced on April 11, 2021.

• India’s Netflix Film, The White Tiger, which was nominated for Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay lost to Sir Anthony Hopkins's ‘The Father’. Nomadland, the US road movie, won big and bagged four major awards including Best Actress, Best Film, and Best Director.

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Important Current Affairs 11th April 2021

NATIONAL

Lieutenant Colonel Bharat Pannu Breaks two Guinness World Records

• Indian Army’s Lieutenant Colonel, Bharat Pannu has earned two Guinness World Records for his fastest solo cycling feats from October 2020. The first record was created when Lt Col Pannu cycled from Leh to Manali (472 km distance) on October 10, 2020, in just 35 hours and 25 minutes.

• Lt Col Pannu created a second record when he cycled the 5,942-km-long ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ route, which connects Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, in 14 days, 23 hours and 52 minutes.

Tika Utsav/ Vaccine Festival: C-19 Vaccination Drive

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently appealed to the Chief Ministers of the States to organise “Tika Utsav”. Tika Utsav is a vaccine festival. It is to be held between April 11, 2021, and April 14, 2021. The main objective of the festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible. It will also focus on zero wastage of the COVID-19 vaccine.

• Currently, three states are receiving a maximum number of COVID-19 doses. They are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

• COVAXIN and COVISHIELD are the two major COVID-19 vaccines that are currently administered in India.

• So far, India has shipped 64 million doses of vaccines to 84 countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The major recipient countries of the Indian COVID-19 vaccines are Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.

• The GoI has planned to cover 250 million people included in the “high priority” category by July 2021 under its vaccination programme.

Union Health Minister launched Integrated Health Information Portal

• The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan virtually launched the Integrated Health Information Platform- IHIP.

• During the launch, the minister stated that this day will always be remembered as it marks a milestone in the history of disease surveillance.

• He added that we have started a new chapter in public health trajectory. India has become the first country to adopt such an advanced disease surveillance system.

• While terming IHIP as the biggest online disease surveillance platform in the world, the Union Minister informed that it is in sync with the National Digital Health Mission. It is also fully compatible with the other digital information systems that are currently being used in India.

Centre has approved 28 projects in Uttarakhand

• The Centre has approved 28 highway projects worth Rs 1,210.17 crore in Uttarakhand, union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

• These projects are for building 231.04 kms of highways.

• These include strengthening work of National Highway-309B on EPC (engineering, construction and procurement) mode in Uttarakhand under State Public Works Department (PWD) with a budget of Rs 48.19 crore.

SPORTS

Tokyo Olympics 2021: Four Indian sailors qualify

• Four Indian sailors, in a historic first for the country, have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The pair of Ganapathy Chengappa, Varun Thakkar, and Vishnu Saravanan made the cut during an ongoing Asian Qualifiers in Oman on April 8, 2021.

• This was after Nethra Kumanan on April 7 became the first Indian woman sailor for qualifying for the Olympics in the laser radial event in Mussanah Open Championship. It is an Asian Olympic Qualifying event.

• It will also be the first time that India will be competing in three sailing events in the Olympics. So far, the country had competed in only one event in all the earlier Olympic games though two Indian sailors had represented the country on four occasions.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou as New Prime Minister of Niger

• Niger President Mohamed Bazoum appointed Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou to head his new cabinet as the country’s new prime minister.

• He was previously served as a minister in charge of the finance and mining portfolios. He was the chief of staff to former President Mahamadou Issoufou between 2015 and 2021. He was sworn as Niger’s first democratic transition of power since independence in 1960.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

SAG Awards 2021: ‘The Crown’, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ win top honours

• The winners of the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards have been announced. The award ceremony aired on April 4, 2021, honouring excellence across TV and films.

• The starry cast of ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, a 1960s courtroom drama, bagged the top prize. At the virtual award ceremony, the actors of color, for the very first time, won the individual movie awards.

• All the main acting awards went to a group of actors of color. It includes Chadwick Boseman for the Best Male Actor, Viola Davis for the Best Female Actor, Yun-Jung Youn for Best Female Supporting Actor, and Daniel Kaluuya for Best Male Supporting Actor.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SBI MF becomes first mutual fund company to cross Rs 5 lakh crore AAUM

• SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd has informed that it has become the first mutual fund house in India to cross the Rs. 5 lakh crore average assets under management (AAUM) mark. SBI MF has seen a growth of 35% during the financial year 2020-21, with its average AUM increasing from Rs 3.73 lakh crore to Rs 5.04 lakh crore.

• The company, which is a joint venture between India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, and Europe’s largest asset manager, Amundi. The fund house’s SIP book has increased to ₹1,382 crores from ₹1,180 crores over the last year recording a growth of 17%.

RBI enhances temporary liquidity limit for states, UTs by around 46%

• The Reserve Financial institution of India has enhanced the momentary liquidity restrict for states and union territories by about 46% to assist them tide over their money movement mismatches.

• The revision of the restrict was really helpful by an advisory panel fashioned by the central financial institution to assessment the matter.

• The restrict was final enhanced in February 2016 beneath the methods and means advance (WMA) mechanism.

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Important Current Affairs 10th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India gifted Rs 100 crore patrol vessel “PS Zoroaster” to Seychelles

• India formally handed over Rs 100 crore patrol vessel “PS Zoroaster” to Seychelles during the virtual summit between Indian PM Narendra Modi and Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan. The PS Zoroaster is the fourth made-in-India patrol boat developed for Seychelles since 2005. The other vessels gifted by India include PS Topaz (2005), PS Constant (2014), Patrol Boat Hermes (2016).

• The 48.9-metre patrol boat has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineering at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.

• The vessel has a top speed of 35 knots and an endurance of 1,500 nautical miles.

• It will be used for multi-purpose operations, such as patrolling, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations, and search and rescue.

NATIONAL

Education Minister launched SARTHAQ initiative for implementation of National Education Policy

• Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched an initiative SARTHAQ which will help in the implementation of National Education Policy in the country.

• The students and teachers holistic advancement through quality education, SARTHAQ has been initiated as a part of the Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.

• The Education Minister said, it will pave the way for the children and youths to meet the diverse national and global challenges.

• It will also help them to imbibe 21st century skills, indian tradition, culture and value system as envisioned in National Education Policy.

• The implementation of SARTHAQ would benefit all stakeholders including 25 crore students, 15 lakh schools, 94 lakh teachers.

FM N. Sitharaman participated 103rd Development Committee Meeting of World Bank-IMF

• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 103rd Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary, via video conferencing. During the meeting, she shared the measures taken to combat C-19 including social support measures for the poor and vulnerable, and relief measures for firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters.

• World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund Support for Debt Relief Under the Common Framework and Beyond;

• C-19 pandemic: World Bank Group Support for Fair and Affordable Access to Vaccines by Developing Countries;

• From C-19 Crisis Response to Resilient Recovery – Saving Lives and Livelihoods while Supporting Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID).

SPORTS

French Open 2021 tournament postponed due to C-19 pandemic

• The French Tennis Federation on April 08, 2021 announced that the 2021 Roland Garros tournament has been postponed by one week. The decision came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide restrictions in France.

• The 2021 Roland Garros tournament, also called the French Open and the only ‘clay-court’ Grand Slam tournament, will now run from May 24 till June 13, 2021. The qualifying rounds will be conducted from May 24 to May 28, 2021, followed by the main draw starting from May 30till June 13, 2021.

OBITUARY

Britain's Prince Philip passes away at the age of 99 years on April 9

• Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 years on April 9, 2021.

• The Buckingham Palace confirmed the same through a statement that read, "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Homeopathy Day is celebrated every year on April 10

• World Homeopathy Day is celebrated every year on April 10 to spread awareness about homoeopathy and its contribution to the world of medicine. The day marks the birth anniversary of German physician Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, who is considered the founder of the system of alternative medicine called Homeopathy. The year 2021 marks the 266th birthday of Hahnemann.

• The Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), Ministry of AYUSH, organised a two-day scientific conference on the occasion of #WorldHomoeopathyDay from April 10 & 11, 2021 in New Delhi.

• The theme of the conference is “Homoeopathy – Roadmap for Integrative Medicine”

• Objective: exchange of experience by policymakers and experts to identify strategic actions towards an effective and efficient inclusion of Homoeopathy in integrative care.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs attends 2nd Virtual G20 Finance Ministers

• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has participated virtually in the Second G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting. This meeting held under the Italian Presidency to discuss policy responses to global challenges to restore strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

• The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed Updates of the G20 Action Plan in response to C-19.

• They also discussed supporting the financing needs of the most vulnerable economies, the progress on the international taxation agenda, promoting greener transitions and the pandemic related financial regulation issues.

• Smt. Sitharaman urged all G20 members to ensure equitable access and widespread distribution of vaccines.

• Smt. Sitharaman reflected on the global growth projections and underlined the need for continued coordination amidst the persistence of uncertainties associated with the virus.

• The Finance Minister said that the G20 Action Plan has served as a good guidance tool and shaping recovery is the mainstay of its current update.

India and Japan signed an MoU for Academic and Research Cooperation

• The Union Cabinet recently apprised an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed between India and Japan. The MoU was signed between the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) that operates under the Department of Space, GoI and the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere called the RISH that operates under the Kyoto University of Japan.

• According to the MoU signed, the NARL and RISH will continue their cooperation in the areas of technology, atmospheric sciences, collaborative scientific experiments and other related modelling studies.

• They will exchange scientific materials, information, publications, students, faculty members and researchers.

• The MoU will allow the countries to utilize the facilities such as Middle and Upper atmosphere radar in Japan, Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere radar, Equatorial Atmosphere Radar in Indonesia.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Dutee Chand chosen for Chhattisgarh Veerni Award

• Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand has been chosen for the inaugural edition of the Chhattisgarh Veerni Award, by the Chhattisgarh state government. The award, which recognises the contribution of Indian women in different fields, including sports, will be given virtually on April 14, 2021.

• The Odisha sprinter became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the World University Games held in Italy in 2019. She is a silver-medalist in 100 and 200 metres at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. Apart from this, Dutee holds the national record of 11.22 secs in 100m.

Ashutosh Bhardwaj has been awarded to the famous Devishankar Awasthi Award 2020

• The famous Devishankar Awasthi Award has been awarded to the prolific Hindi prose, journalist, and critic Ashutosh Bhardwaj. This honour has been given to him for his work ‘Pitra-Vadh’. He was elected by the selection committee of Ashok Vajpayee, Nandkishore Acharya, and Rajendra Kumar.

• Ashutosh Bhardwaj has been a native English journalist and his experiences of Bastar have been well discussed in both Hindi and English. This book has been published in English under the name of ‘The Death Trap’. Apart from this, his work on important topics like modernism and nationalism has been well-known in Indian novels. He has also been a fellow of the Shimla Institute of Advanced Studies and is writing independently.

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Important Current Affairs 9th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Kosovo: Vjosa Osmani elected as a president

• Kosovo’s parliament elected Vjosa Osmani as the country’s new president. Osmani received 71 votes from the lawmakers at the third round of voting in the Assembly of Kosovo.

• While 82 deputies participated in the vote in the 120-member parliament, 11 votes were declared invalid. The 38-year-old politician studied law at the University of Pristina in Kosovo and earned a doctorate from Pittsburgh University in the US.

Vietnam National Assembly select Prime Minister  & President

• Vietnam’s legislature voted to make Pham Minh Chinh, a member of the Communist party with a history as a security official, the country’s next Prime Minister. Outgoing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was appointed the new President.

• The votes of the nearly 500 members of the National Assembly rubber-stamped the leadership picks the Communist party made during its national congress in January.

NATIONAL

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare launched Madhukranti portal

• The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar launched a portal ‘Madhukranti’ and Honey Corners on April 07, 2021, with the aim to bring an increase in income of farmers, employment generation and increase in exports. Madhukranti portal is an initiative of the National Bee Board (NBB). The portal is being developed for online registration to achieve traceability source of Honey and other beehive products on a digital platform.

• The portal will also check the source of adulteration and contamination in honey. It will have an end-to-end record to track the source of honey. Honey Corner is a specially designed space in National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) stores dedicated to the sale of honey.

CJI launched top court's AI-driven research portal 'SUPACE'

• The Supreme Court of India has launched it's Artificial Intelligence portal "SUPACE" (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency). Through this portal, the SC intends to leverage machine learning to deal with the vast amounts of data received at the time of filing of cases.

SC's Artificial Intelligence Committee:

• Justice L Nageshwara Rao, who is also the chairman of the SC's Artificial Intelligence Committee, delivered the opening address during the virtual launch of SUPACE.

• Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde was the first-ever chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Committee.

• CJI Bobde first spoke of the use of AI to assist the Supreme Court soon after he took oath as the Chief Justice in 2019.

SPORTS

The Great Khali inducted in WWE Hall of Fame 2021

• The Great Khali has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The Great Khali went on to battle many of WWE’s most legendary Superstars, including John Cena, Batista, Shawn Michaels and fellow 2021 Inductee Kane, whom he defeated to pick up his first win on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania.

• Standing 7-foot-1 and tipping the scales at 347 pounds, Khali made his titanic presence felt from the moment he first entered the WWE Universe in 2006, standing toe-to-toe with the legendary Undertaker and bulldozing over The Deadman, a rare sight between the ropes. The official name of “The Great Khali” is Dalip Singh Rana.

Pakistan and Chad football federations suspended by FIFA

• FIFA has suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and Chadian Football Association (FTFA) with immediate effect due to claims of outside interference. The suspension will be lifted once the relevant government decisions have been repealed.

• A group of football officials led by Ashfaq Hussain, which was elected by the Supreme Court in 2018 to run the PFF but was not recognised by FIFA, took over the headquarters recently and seized control from the FIFA Normalisation Committee headed by Haroon Malik. The decision to suspend the PFF was prompted by the "hostile takeover" which constituted a serious violation of its statutes. Pakistan was also suspended by FIFA for third-party interference in 2017.

• The Chadian Ministry of Youth and Sports had stripped the country's FA of its powers on March 10 following concerns over the way it was being run and a breakdown in communication. Last month the country was disqualified from the Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football due to interference.

OBITUARY

First female cricket commentator of India, Chandra Naidu passed away

• India's first female cricket commentator Chandra Naidu passed away. She was the daughter of the country’s first Test captain CK Naidu.

• She had done her first commentary during a match between national champions Bombay (now Mumbai) and MCC in Indore in 1977. She had also penned a book titled 'CK Nayudu: A Daughter Remembers' on her late father, who was a distinguished cricketer.

Padma Shri awardee Fatima Rafiq Zakaria passed away

• Fatima Rafiq Zakaria, a Padma Shri awardee, renowned journalist, academician and chairman of Maulana Azad Educational Trust and Khairul Islam Trust Mumbai, passed away. She was awarded the Padma Shri in recognition of her work in education in 2006.

• Ms Zakaria, who had played an eminent role in the field of education, was also honoured with the Sarojini Naidu Integration Award for Journalism in 1983.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Government appoint S. Ramann as SIDBI CMD

• The government has appointed S Ramann as Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). Ramann, a 1991-batch Indian Audit & Accounts Service officer, is currently the CEO of National E-Governance Services Ltd, India’s first Information Utility.

• The appointment is for a period of three years from the date of his assuming the charge or until further orders. Banks Board Bureau, the headhunter for state-owned banks and financial institutions, had recommended his name for the post.

IMPORTANT DAYS

CRPF Valour Day or Shaurya Diwas: 09 April

• Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Valour Day (Shaurya Diwas) is observed on 9 April every year, as a tribute to the brave men of the Force. 2021 marks the 56th CRPF Valour Day.

• It was on this day in 1965, a small contingent of CRPF created history by defeating an invading Pakistani army, several time larger, at the Sardar Post located in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. The CRPF men eliminated 34 Pakistani soldiers and captured four alive. In the conflict, CRPF lost six personnel who had attained martyrdom.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

PM Modi to released Hindi version of ‘Odisha Itihaas’

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the Hindi translation of the book ‘Odisha Itihaas’, written by Utkal Keshari Harekrushna Mahtab, on 9th April at the Ambedkar International Center.

• The event marking the release of the Hindi version has been organised by the Harekrushna Mahtab Foundation.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with Reliance Jio

• Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with Reliance Jio Infocomm to transfer ‘Right to Use’ for some of its 800 MHz spectrum in three circles to the Mukesh Ambani-led firm. Following this agreement, Bharti Airtel will receive a consideration of ₹1,037.6 crores from Reliance Jio for the proposed transfer. In addition, Reliance Jio will assume future liabilities of ₹459 crores relating to the spectrum.

• As per the agreement, which is subject to statutory approvals, Reliance Jio will acquire the right to use spectrum in the 800MHz band in Andhra Pradesh (3.75 MHz), Delhi (1.25 MHz) and Mumbai (2.50 MHz) circles through spectrum trading.

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Important Current Affairs 8th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Jeff Bezos tops Forbes’ Annual Billionaire list fourth year in a row

•The Amazon.com Inc founder, Jeff Bezos has topped Forbes’ annual world’s billionaires list for the fourth consecutive year. India’s richest billionaire Mukesh Ambani ranked at 10th position with a total net worth of USD 84.5 billion.

•The 35th edition Forbes World’s Billionaires list was released on April 06, 2021, comprising a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires. The list is prepared based on the wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5, 2021.

Carl Bildt appointed WHO special envoy for ACT-Accelerator

•Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), appointed Carl Bildt as WHO Special Envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator). Bildt succeeds Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Andrew Witty in the special envoy role. He will help lead the collective advocacy for the ACT-Accelerator in his new role, mobilising support and resources so it can deliver against its strategy for 2021.

•The ACT-Accelerator is a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, treatments and vaccines, according to the WHO website.

•It brings together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, and philanthropists and global health organizations.

•These include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEPI, FIND, Gavi, The Global Fund, Unitaid, Wellcome, the WHO and the World Bank.

NATIONAL

India completes arch of world’s highest railway bridge in J&K

•The construction of the arch of the world’s highest railway bridge that soars 359 metres above the bed of the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir was completed. The 1.3-kilometre-long bridge aims to boost connectivity to the Kashmir Valley and it is being constructed at a cost of ₹ 1,486 crores as part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project.

The iconic Chenab Bridge:-

•The construction of the Chenab bridge was declared as a national project in 2002.

•Indian Railways is constructing the iconic Arch Bridge on River Chenab as a part of the USBRL project to connect the Kashmir valley to the rest of the nation.

•This bridge is 1315m long.

•This is the highest Railway Bridge in the world being 359m above the river bed level.

•It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France).

•The overall weight of Arch is 10,619 MT.

•The most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software used for structural detailing.

•Structural steel was suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature.

•Bridge designed to bear earthquake forces of highest intensity zone-V in India.

•Bridge designed to withstand high wind speed up to 266 Km/Hour.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships

•The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships against missile attack. The development of Advanced Chaff Technology by the DRDO lab is another step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.

•Chaff is a passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology used worldwide to protect naval ships from enemy’s radar and Radio Frequency (RF) missile seekers. The importance of this development lies in the fact that a very less quantity of chaff material deployed in the air acts as a decoy to deflect the enemy’s missiles for the safety of the ships.

OBITUARY

Gita Press president Radheshyam Khemka passes away

•The president of Gita Press, Radheshyam Khemka, passed away. He is credited for taking the Sanatan literature to the masses. Khemka for 38 years was the editor of the prominent 'Kalyan' magazine printed at the press.

•He last edited the magazine's April 2021 issue. Gita Press is the world's largest publisher of Hindu religious texts.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Justice N V Ramana to assume charge as next CJI

•The senior-most Supreme Court judge Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).

•Justice Ramana would succeed incumbent CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde to take over as the 48th CJI. He would assume charge of the office from April 24, 2021, till August 26, 2022.

Cabinet Appoints Tarun Bajaj as new Revenue Secretary

•The Central Government has approved the appointment of Tarun Bajaj as the new Revenue Secretary under the Ministry of Finance.

•Prior to this, Bajaj, a 1988 batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer, was serving as the Economic Affairs Secretary since April 30, 2020. The cabinet has also approved the appointment of Ajay Seth, a 1987 batch Karnataka-cadre IAS officer, as new Economic Affairs Secretary in place of Bajaj.

Chintan Vaishnav appointed as Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission

•Noted socio-technologist, Dr Chintan Vaishnav has been appointed the mission director of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the government’s flagship initiative under NITI Aayog. Vaishnav will take over from Ramanathan Ramanan later this month. Ramanan has been leading AIM as its first mission director since June 2017. Vaishnav is currently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. He holds a PhD in technology, management, and policy from MIT.

•AIM’s mission is to create and promote a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. Over the past four years, since its inception, AIM’s various initiatives have achieved notable successes. So far, AIM has established 72,59 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across 650 districts, providing over 3.5 million students access to emerging technologies.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI to release Financial Inclusion Index (FI Index) annually

•The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will periodically publish a “Financial Inclusion Index” (FI Index) annually in July for the financial year ending previous March. The FI Index would be based on multiple parameters and shall reflect the broadening and deepening of financial inclusion in the country, a statement on regulatory and developmental policies of RBI.

•Financial Inclusion has been a thrust area for the government, the Reserve Bank and other regulators, with significant progress made over the years. To measure the extent of financial inclusion in the country, the Reserve Bank proposes to construct and publish a Financial Inclusion Index (FI Index) based on multiple parameters.

RBI Monetary Policy: Policy Rate unchanged

•The six-member monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das, has decided to keep key lending rates unchanged for the fifth consecutive time, in its April 2021 policy review meeting held between April 5 to 7, 2021. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to keep policy rates unchanged amid the uncertainty created by a fresh surge in coronavirus infections.

Major Decisions of Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:

• Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%

• Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%

• Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 4.25%

• Bank Rate: 4.25%

• CRR: 3%

• SLR: 18.00%

RBI Monetary Policy Key Decisions:

• The Consumer Price Index of 2022 is predicted to be at 5.1%.

• RBI has also kept the accommodative monetary stance unchanged.

• Meanwhile, the GDP growth of India is projected at 10.5% in the financial year 2021-22.

• RBI is to buy Rs 1 lakh crores of G-Sec under the G-Sec Acquisition Programme.

• The Apex Bank has increased the centre’s Ways and Means Advances by 46%. The current limit is Rs 32,225 crores. It has now been increased to Rs 47,010 crores.

• Maximum End of Pay balance for payment banks has been doubled to Rs 2 lakhs.

• Additional liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crores announced for NABARD, SIDBI and NHB in 2021-22.

IMF revises GDP growth forecast of India to 12.5% for FY22

•International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its growth forecast for the Indian economy by 100 basis points to 12.5 per cent for the fiscal year 2021-22. GDP growth for FY23 is pegged at 6.9 per cent.

•The revised forecast was published in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. India is the only country among major world economies that is projected to grow at a double-digit rate during FY22.

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Important Current Affairs 7th April 2021

NATIONAL

TRIFED launches “Sankalp se Siddhi”- Village and Digital Connect Drive

•Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) has launched Sankalp Se Siddhi - Village & Digital Connect Drive. It is a 100-day drive which was started on the 1st of April. The drive entails 150 teams visiting 10 villages each of which 10 in each region from TRIFED & State Implementation Agencies, visiting 10 villages each.

•The main aim of this drive is to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras. Ministry of Tribal Affairs in a statement said that 100 villages in each region and 1500 villages in the country will be covered in the next 100 days.

•They will also identify tribal artisans and other groups and empanel them as suppliers so that they can have access to larger markets through the Tribes India network - both physical outlets and TribesIndia.com.

•It is expected that Sankalp Se Siddhi will aid in effecting a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.

SPORTS

Hurkacz beats Sinner to win Miami Open

•Hubert Hurkacz of Poland won the biggest title of his career by beating 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the Miami Open final.

•Hurkacz became his country's first Masters 1000 champion. The world number 37 is the lowest-ranked player to win a Masters event since Tomas Berdych in Paris in 2005.

OBITUARY

Former Union Minister and Gujarat MLA Digvijaysinh Zala passes away

•Former Union Environment Minister and an MLA from Wankaner in Gujarat, Digvijaysinh Zala has passed away.

•The veteran Congress leader became the first Environment Minister of India under the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1982 to 1984.

Malayalam screenwriter P. Balachandran passes away

•Malayalam screenwriter, filmmaker, dramatist and actor, P. Balachandran has passed away. He is best known for the play Paavam Usman for which he won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and Kerala Professional Nataka Award in the year 1989.

•Balachandran has scripted many films including Ulladakkam (1991), Pavithram (1994), Agnidevan (1995), Punaradhivasam (2000), and Kammatti Paadam (2016). His directorial debut is Ivan Megharoopan (2012). He has also acted in a few films, the most notable being Trivandrum Lodge (2012).

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Shabir Khandwawala appointed new BCCI ACU chief

•Shabir Hussein Shekhadam Khandwawala, who has served as the Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) before, is the new BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit chief.

•The 70-year-old, a 1973 batch IPS officer, takes over from Ajit Singh whose tenure ended on March 31. After retiring as Gujarat DGP in late 2010, Khandwawala worked with the Essar Group as an advisor and was also part of the central government's Lokpal Search Committee.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide

•International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda observed globally on 7 April every year. The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda was announced by the United General Assembly in 2003. On April 7th, the date where the genocide against members of the Tutsi began. For approximately 100 days, over 800,000 Tutsi were assassinated.

•UNESCO aims to educate the world population regarding genocides and the consequences of the crime. UNESCO is committed to promoting education about genocides as a means to sensitize learners for the causes, dynamics and consequences of such crimes and to strengthen their resilience against all forms of discrimination.

World Health Day observed globally on 7 April

•The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated on 7 April every year. On April 7th every year, governmental as well as non-governmental health organizations organize events that focus on promoting healthier habits of living. From exciting activities to pledges and support plans, these events aim to create awareness about what can increase the life expectancy of people around the world.

•The Theme of World Health Day 2021: “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”.

•In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as World Health Day. The World Health Day is held to mark WHO’s founding and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace: 6 April

•The United Nations celebrates the 6th of April every year as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. Sports also presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system.

•Sport can help promote fairness, team building, equality, inclusion and perseverance. Sport and physical activity can also help us get through times of crisis, like COVID-19, by reducing anxieties and improving physical and mental health. The professional sport also provides employment and income to many people around the world and an integral sector to the economic success of many communities and regions.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Suman Chakraborty to get 30th GD Birla Award for Scientific Research

•Professor Suman Chakraborty has been selected for the 30th GD Birla Award for Scientific Research for his outstanding contribution to engineering science and its applications in developing technologies for affordable healthcare. He is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur’s department of mechanical engineering.

•He is credited with establishing the first microfluidics laboratory in the framework of an academic institution in India to facilitate the study of how tiny volumes of fluids flow through small channels. Apart from being a reputable academic, Chakraborty has invented technologies that have not only been patented but also licensed to industrial houses for commercialisation.

Alfred Aho Wins the 2020 ACM Turing Award

•Lawrence Gussman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Alfred V. Aho has won the 2020 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award, known informally as the "Nobel Prize of computing." Aho shares the award with his long-time collaborator Jeffrey David Ullman.

•Aho and Ullman began working together at Bell Labs in 1967 and their early efforts included developing efficient algorithms for analyzing and translating programming languages. Even when Ullman began a career in academia in 1969 while Aho remained at Bell Labs, they continued their collaboration for several decades and shaped the foundations of programming language theory and implementation, as well as algorithm design and analysis.

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Important Current Affairs 6th April 2021

NATIONAL

Dr. Harsh Vardhan approves National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

•Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has approved National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021. The policy aims to lower the high cost of treatment for rare diseases, with an increased focus on indigenous research & local production of medicines. The Policy also focuses on early screening and prevention through primary and secondary health care infrastructure such as Health and Wellness Centres and District Early Intervention Centres.

•A provision for financial support up to Rs.20 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi is proposed for treatment of those rare diseases that require a one-time treatment (diseases listed under Group 1 in the policy). Benefits to be extended to about 40% of the population eligible under PM Jan Arogya Yojana.

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurates Tulip Festival

•In the Kashmir Valley, Tulip Festival in Srinagar was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties are in full bloom on the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains. The five-day-long Tulip Festival in Asia's largest tulip garden at the foothills of Zabarwan hills on the banks of world-famous Dal Lake in Srinagar.

•The Tulip Garden was opened for tourists and the general public on the 25th of March.

•Last year the Tulip Festival could not be held because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19.

•However, this time, the Tulip Festival is being organized on a large scale to attract more and more tourists.

•The Tulip Festival, to be held from 3rd to 7th of April, will showcase Kashmiri folk music apart from a painting competition.

Rajasthan becomes the 1st state to provide free health insurance to all

•Rajasthan becomes the first state in the country where the state government is providing free health insurance facility to all the citizens of the state. This plan was announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the state budget of 2021-22.  The State began the registration for its cashless ‘mediclaim’ scheme Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme.

•Each family will get annual health insurance up to 5 lakhs.

•Registrations have started for the Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme from 1 April, while the scheme will start benefiting the residents after its implementation on May 1.

•In this health insurance cover, 1576 packages and procedures for the treatment of various diseases have been included.

•The cost of treatment related to OPD, examination, medicines and related package of 15 days after discharge will also be included in the free treatment before the patient is admitted to the hospital.

India's biggest floating solar power plant to be set up in Telangana

•The biggest floating solar power plant in India is to be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana. It is expected to be opened in May 2021. The cost of the project has been estimated as Rs 423 crores. The power plant will have 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels.

•The solar power plant is being set up at the Ramagundam Thermal Power Plant reservoir.

•The solar power plant is to be set up in 450 acres of the reservoir.

•The project is commissioned by NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation).

•NTPC aims to reduce its carbon footprints and increase its green energy production to 30% of its capacity through this solar power plant.

•The capacity of the solar power plant is 100 MW.

OBITUARY

Veteran film and TV actress Shashikala passes away

•Veteran film and TV actress Shashikala Om Prakash Saigal passed away. She was more popularly known by her first name, Shashikala has famously appeared as various supporting characters in over 100 films.

•Shashikala was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government for her unparalleled contribution to the world of cinema and arts in 2007. She was also conferred with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the V. Shantaram Awards in 2009. Apart from this, Shashikala bagged two Filmfare awards for her work in Aarti and Gumrah.

Samajwadi Party founder member Bhagwati Singh passes away

•Founder member of the Samajwadi Party and former UP minister Bhagwati Singh passed away. He was 89-year-old.

•The last rites of Singh will not be done as he had pledged to donate his body to the King George Medical University.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Digit Insurance roped Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

•Digit Insurance has roped in cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. Kohli has also invested in Digit Insurance in the past. Digit Insurance, a general insurance company that became the first unicorn of 2021 with a valuation of $1.9B.

•With this association, the company aims to carry the message of ‘making insurance simple’ through the cricketer. Digit was able to get the Indian Men’s Cricket Team Captain to invest in the company before he planned to become the face for the brand.

RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo retires

•BP Kanungo has stepped down from the post of the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India after his term ended on 2 April, cutting short all expectations of an extension of his tenure.

•He was appointed deputy governor in 2017 for three years. His term was extended by one more year in 2020. The other deputy governors of the RBI are Rajeshwar Rao, M.K. Jain and Michael Patra.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ by Nitin Gokhale

•A new book titled ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ authored by Nitin Gokhale was released. The book is published by Bloomsbury. It is an attempt to capture Parrikar’s persona — the man, the politician and the patriot. Gokhale is a renowned author, media trainer and founder of a specialised defence related website BharatShakti.in. and StratNewsGlobal.com.

•Through this book, the author presents the journey of the contribution of Parrikar to nation-building and his service to the Goan society, from being an IIT student to a social worker and to India’s defence minister. The book is a tribute to Parrikar, India’s former defence minister and four-time chief minister of Goa, the first IIT-ian to become a chief minister.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

World Bank, AIIB approve loan for USD 300 million projects to Punjab

•The World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have approved the loan for USD 300 million (about Rs 2,190 crore) canal-based drinking water projects in Punjab. The project is aimed at ensuring quality drinking water and minimise water losses for Amritsar and Ludhiana. The entire project will be co-financed by IBRD (World Bank) – USD 105 million, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – USD 105 million and the Punjab government – USD 90 million.

•The Infrastructure has been designed to meet the water demand for 30 years. It would benefit the residents of Amritsar with an estimated population of 14.51 lakh for 2025 and 22.11 lakh for 2055.

•At present, the Canal Based Water Supply Project for Amritsar has been awarded to M/s Larsen & Toubro Limited at a contract amount of Rs.784.33 Crore.

•The total estimated Design-Build Cost of the Ludhiana Project is Rs.1093.92 Crore and the period for completion of the same is 36 months.

•The estimated Operation & Maintenance cost is Rs.270.73 Crore for 10 years. The total amount for the project comes out to Rs.1364.65 Crore.

World Bank approves USD 32 million project to Mizoram

•The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a USD 32 million projects to improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram. The project titled “Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project” will strengthen the governance and the management structure of the Mizoram Health department and its subsidiaries. This project will support the state government's efforts to deliver quality healthcare for the poor and vulnerable and those located in remote areas.

•The key focus will be to strengthen the effectiveness of the state health insurance programme, build synergies with the Government of India's Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY), and thereby reduce financial barriers in accessing hospital services, prevent catastrophic out of pocket expenditure for health by poor families and expand coverage.

•The Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project will benefit the people across the state. It will also benefit healthcare personnel by strengthening their planning and management capabilities along with building their clinical skills and competencies.

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Important Current Affairs 5th April 2021

NATIONAL

NPCI sets up subsidiary NPCI Bharat Billpay

• National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced the formation of its wholly-owned subsidiary firm – NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. (NBBL). The new entity came into effect from April 1, 2021. The brand under the new entity – Bharat BillPay – offers various recurring payment services to customers, including bill payments for electricity, telecom, DTH, Gas, Education fees, water and municipal taxes, NETC FASTag recharge, Loan repayments, Insurance, Cable, Housing Society, Subscription Fees, Hospital, Credit card, Clubs and association, etc.

• Bharat BillPay is constantly creating innovative payment infrastructure for recurring payments across the country in order to provide safe and convenient experience to customers – thereby eliminating the need of going around to multiple biller touchpoints.

Odisha proposes a second Biosphere Reserve – Mahendragiri

• Biosphere Reserves are protected areas, for conserving Flora, Fauna and the natural habitat. India has 18 such Biosphere Reserves update to date. Recently, Odisha government proposed a second Biosphere Reserve in the state – Mahendragiri (The first biosphere of Odisha is Simplipal Reserve). If the move is accepted, our count of Biosphere Reserves increases to 19.

• Mahendragiri, a mountain in Gajapathi district of Odisha, acts as a transition between South India and The Himalayan mountains. This mountain lies in Eastern Ghats and stands tall with 1501 metres high. So, this grabs the rank – ” The 2nd highest peak of the state”.

India's biggest floating solar power plant to be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana

• India's biggest floating solar power plant with a capacity of 100 MW will be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana. The project expected to be opened in May, is being set up at Ramagundam thermal power plant reservoir. The solar project is commissioned by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The project, which is estimated to cost around 423 crore rupees, will have 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels.

• The solar panels will cover 450-acre area of the reservoir and can be expanded in the future. NTPC's efforts to set up floating solar power projects is aimed at reducing its carbon footprints and accelerate its green energy production to 30 per cent of its capacity.

IIT Delhi becomes first institute to cut 50% carbon footprint

• The Indian Institute of Technology has become the first Central Government-funded technical Institute to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 50 per cent. This was made possible by the recent bilateral 2MW power purchase contract made by IIT Delhi with a hydro power generator in Himachal Pradesh.

• “Open access provisions in Electricity Act 2003 made it possible to buy power from the generators of their choice through bilateral contracts or energy exchange, for large consumers of power like IIT Delhi, and we made use of these provisions by involving PTC India Limited as a trader to identify a source of ‘green’ power,” said IIT director V Ramgopal Rao.

TRIFED launches ‘Be the Brand Ambassador of Tribes India’ and ‘Be a Friend of Tribes India’ Contest

• Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation Ltd (TRIFED) under the Union tribal ministry has launched two interesting competitions, ‘Be the Brand Ambassador of Tribes India’ and ‘Be a Friend of Tribes India’ Contest.

• The competitions are being organized in association with MyGov.in, the citizen-government engagement platform.

• “These competitions have been launched with the sole objective of promoting tribal craft, culture and lifestyle.

SPORTS

Tashkent To Host 2023 Men's Boxing World Championships

• The 2023 men's boxing World Championships will be held in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced on Friday. AIBA President Umar Kremlev confirmed Tashkent as the host city during a visit to Uzbekistan. "I am happy to announce Uzbekistan, the country which has strong boxers and a champion's character.

• AIBA said a bid was presented by the Boxing Federation of Uzbekistan, which saw the organisation's Board voting in favour of its candidature.

• During his visit to Uzbekistan, Kremlev held a working meeting and a press conference with the chairman of the NOC Rustam Shaabdurakhmonov and the first deputy chairman of Boxing Federation of Ukbezkistan Saken Polatov, where he discussed the development of boxing in Uzbekistan and central Asia and the first stages of preparation for the World Championships, the statement read.

Jio starts Call of Duty Mobile Aces Esports Challenge on JioGames platform

• Jio in partnership with an arm of mobile chip-maker Qualcomm announced the hosting of the online shooting game Call of Duty Mobile Aces Esports Challenge on the JioGames Esports platform.

• Call of Duty game, published by US based Activision Publishing, is a competitor of PUBG that is banned in India.  Jio and Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Asia Pacific Pte (QCTAP) have started registration for the first e-contest of 'Call of Duty' in India with a prize pool of Rs 25 lakh.

• The tournament "Call of Duty Mobile Aces Esports Challenge" will be open for both Jio and non-Jio users, according to the joint statement. 

• Qualcomm India president and vice president Rajen Vagadia said mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing segments in India and almost 90 per cent of the gamers in India are using their mobile as their primary device for gaming.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan receives Kalinga Ratna award

• Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan has been conferred the ‘Kalinga Ratna’ award for the year 2021.

• The award instituted by Sarala Sahitya Sansad was presented to Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan by M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India, during the 600th Birth Anniversary of Adikabi Sarala Das and 40th Annual Celebrations of Sarala Sahitya Sansad during the programme held at Sarala Bhawan.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Dalmia Bharat receives securities worth Rs 344 cr back from IL&FS Securities

• Cement maker Dalmia Bharat Ltd on Friday said securities worth Rs 344 crore have been credited back to the demat account of its arm by IL&FS Securities Services following an order of the Supreme Court.

• Mutual fund units of its two erstwhile subsidiaries were earlier "fraudulently and illegally transferred" by Allied Financial Services Pvt Ltd (AFSPL) "in collusion with IL&FS Securities Services Limited (ISSL)", Dalmia Bharat said in a regulatory filing.

• The two subsidiaries were of Dalmia Bharat's step-down firm Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited (DCBL).

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Important Current Affairs 4th April 2021

NATIONAL

Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched “MyNEP2020” platform of NCTE Web Portal

• Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has launched the “MyNEP2020” Platform of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Web Portal which will be operational from April 1 to May 15, 2021. The platform seeks to invite suggestions/inputs/membership from the stakeholders for preparing a draft for the development of National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) and National Mission for Mentoring Program membership (NMM).

• This exercise of digital consultation envisages the participation of teachers, education professionals, academicians, and other stakeholders in preparing the documents on teacher policy for sustainable and positive change in the Teacher’s Education Sector. For preparing the documents on the above two major recommendations of NEP 2020, NCTE will work in close consultation with individuals/organizations. The expert committee will extensively review the inputs collected during the consultation period and will finally formulate the drafts for public review.

West Central Railway becomes first fully electrified Indian Railways zone

• Indian Railways’ West Central Railway zone gets fully electrified!, after CCRS Inspection and Commissioning of electrification of Kota – Chittaurgarh railway section (Srinagar – Jalindri) in the state of Rajasthan. West Central Railways has become the first fully electrified railway zone in the country. The zonal railway now boasts a 3012 Route Km electrified network.

• According to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, trains passing through this railway section can now be operated at a faster speed. Electrification of this railway section will provide various benefits such as saving fuel, reduction in travel time, as well as environmental protection.

SPORTS

Aniyan Midhun wins gold at south Asian Wushu tourney

• Aniyan Midhun of Nattika won the gold at the South Asian Wushu Championship that concluded in Nepal on March 31. The 28-year-old youth represented the country in the 70-kg category in the championship. He is the first Wushu player from southern India to reach the Indian team.

• Midhun is a black belt in karate and he is also a national champion in wushu as well as kickboxing. In fact, the 28-year-old was introduced to wushu when he was in the fifth standard and hasn’t looked back since. He is currently training with veteran coach Kuldeep Handu who is an Arjuna Award winner and the Indian wushu head coach.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Light weight Bullet Proof Jacket developed by DRDO lab

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO and DMSRDE Kanpur for developing a LightWeight Bullet Proof Jacket. India needs more such innovative product design and development to realize the dream of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

• DMSRDE Kanpur, a DRDO laboratory has developed a LightWeight Bullet Proof Jacket weighing 9 kg meeting the qualitative requirements of the Indian Army. The Front Hard Armour Panel jacket was tested successfully at TBRL Chandigarh and met relevant BIS standards.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Adil Zainulbhai appointed chairman of Capacity Building Commission

• Former Quality Council of India (QCI) chief Adil Zainulbhai has appointed chairman of Capacity Building Commission. The government has approved a commission under National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), also known as ‘Mission Karmayogi’, to train civil servants at all levels.

• The approved Capacity Building Commission will coordinate with and supervise all the government offices, training institutes to monitor and evaluate the implementation of plans and create shared resources. The Commission will comprise of a Chairperson and two Members.

Mallika Srinivasan appointed chairperson of PESB

• Chairman and Managing Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Limited, Mallika Srinivasan has been appointed as the chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), an order issued by the personnel ministry. This is for the first time that a private sector specialist has been appointed as the head of the PESB, responsible for the appointment of top management posts in the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Srinivasan as the chairperson of PESB for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge, or until the attainment of the age of 65 years.

Urjit Patel appointed as additional director of Britannia

• Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Dr Urjit Patel has been appointed as Additional Director of Britannia Industries with effect from 31st March 2021 for the tenure of 5 years. The company has announced that its board of directors has approved the appointment.

• The Board of Directors of the company at their meeting held 31 March 2021, approved the appointment of Dr Urjit Patel, as an additional director of the company in the category of non-executive and independent director with effect from 31 March 2021 for a term of 5 years i.e., up to 30th March 2026, subject to the approval of the shareholders of the company.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Vice President releases book ‘Suparipalana’ by Dr Shailendra Joshi

• Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has released a book ‘Suparipalana’ by retired civil servant Dr Shailendra Joshi.

• The book ‘Suparipalana’ is the Telugu translation of “Echo T Calling: Towards People-Centric Governance”, written by former Telangana Chief Secretary, Shri S K Joshi. The translator of the book is Shri Annavarapu Brahmaiah and the publisher is Shri Maruthi.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank, PhonePe Tie Up For Issuance Of FASTags

• ICICI Bank and PhonePe announced their partnership for the issuance of FASTag using UPI on the PhonePe App. This integration allows over 280 million registered PhonePe users to order and track the ICICI Bank FASTag conveniently on the app.

• PhonePe users, who may be customers of any bank, will have a fully digitised experience as they don’t have to visit physical stores or toll locations to buy a FASTag. ICICI Bank is the first bank to partner with PhonePe for the issuance of FASTag. NPCI, IHMCL and NHAI are working together to make toll payments fully digital.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Indian Army to participate in Military Exercise SHANTIR OGROSHENA 2021

•A multinational Military Exercise named ‘SHANTIR OGROSHENA’ 2021 (Front Runner of the Peace) is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh from April 04 to 12, 2021. The theme of the exercise is “Robust Peace Keeping Operations”. The exercise is being held to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh ‘Father of the Nation’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and mark glorious 50 years of liberation of the country.

•The Indian Army is also participating in this multinational exercise, along with a contingent of the Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army.

•The Indian contingent will comprise 30 personnel including Officers, JCOs and Jawans of a Battalion from The DOGRA Regiment.

•USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also attend the exercise as Military observers.

NATIONAL

GoI declares 14th April, birthday of Dr B R Ambedkar as public holiday

•The central government has declared April 14, Dr BR Ambedkar's birthday a public holiday. Dr B R Ambedkar was the sculptor of the Indian Constitution and the country already celebrates his birthday as Ambedkar Jayanti every year. The government has announced that from this year 14th April will be declared as a public holiday.  It will be Ambedkar’s 130th birth anniversary on April 14, 2021.

•Babasaheb Ambedkar's original name is Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

•His father Ramji Sakpal was a Subedar in the army and his mother Bhimbai Kapal was a housewife.

•The family settled in Mumbai in 1897 and Babasaheb enrolled at Elphinstone High School. After matriculation, he took admission to Elphinstone College in 1907.

•He graduated from Bombay University in 1912 with a degree in Economics and Political Science. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a renowned social reformer and a Dalit icon, he spoke unequivocally against the inequality, injustice, and discrimination faced by the members of the Dalit community.

•Babasaheb Ambedkar died on December 6 in 1956. In 1990, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.

Maharashtra: Amboli named as biodiversity heritage site

•The Maharashtra government has declared an area at Amboli in Western ghats in Sindhudurg district, where a rare freshwater fish species was discovered, as a biodiversity heritage site. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray”s son Tejas Thackeray, who is a wildlife researcher, and his team had discovered the new freshwater fish species – Schistura Hiranyakeshi” near Amboli in Sawantwadi tehsil of Sindhudurg district. The State government issued a notification declaring the area at Amboli as a biodiversity heritage site. Schistura is a small and colourful fish that lives in water and streams in an abundance of oxygen.

•Earlier, the State government had declared the Glory of Allapalli in Gadchiroli district, Landor Khori Park in Jalgaon, Ganesh Khind in Pune, myristica swamp vegetation in Sindhudurg district as biodiversity heritage sites. The discoveries of the freshwater fish species were published in the International Journal of Ichthyology in the October 2020 edition by Tejas Thackeray and co-authors.

Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam in Uttar Pradesh lists itself at BSE

•Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam listed itself at BSE and successfully raised Rs. 150 Crores by issuing Municipal Bond on Private Placement Basis using BSE BOND. This is the first-ever green bond issuance by any Municipal Corporation in the country. The money will be used for the construction of a tertiary sewage treatment plant at Indirapuram in Ghaziabad. The money will be used to fund the project partly which is worth Rs 240 crore. This treatment plant will enable the sewage water to be used for industries after treatment.

•Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam is the second Municipal Corporation to raise funds in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, Lucknow Municipal Corporation had listed itself at BSE.

4th batch of three Rafale fighter jets land in India

•The fourth batch of three Rafale fighter jets landed in India after flying non-stop from Istres Air Base France, in a further boost to the strike capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Rafale fighter jets were provided mid-air refuelling by air force tankers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

•The three Rafale fighter aircraft which took off from France for India were scheduled to land at the Jamnagar airbase. The planes equipped with the Hammer missiles have enhanced their capability to carry out air-to-ground strikes like the one in Balakot.

Centre withdraws order cutting interest rates on small savings schemes

•The government has withdrawn its order slashing interest rates on small savings schemes, including National Savings Certificates (NSC) and Public Provident Fund (PPF), for the first quarter of 2021-22. Earlier on March 31, 2021, the Finance Ministry had announced a sharp cut in interest rates for small savings schemes by 50-110 basis points. Interest rates for small savings schemes are notified on a quarterly basis.

•However, the orders issued were withdrawn by the government on April 01, 2021. This marks the fourth consecutive quarter that the government has maintained the rates on such schemes that are effective from April 1 and remain in effect till June 30, 2021.

RANKING

India ranks 140th in WEF’s gender gap index 2021

•India has slipped 28 places to rank 140 among 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, by World Economic Forum. In 2020, India ranked 112th among 153 countries. Iceland has topped the index as the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th time. Afghanistan is the worst-performing country in the report.

South Asia:

•India emerged as the third-worst performing country in South Asia.

•Bangladesh is the best performer in South Asia.

•Among India’s neighbours, Bangladesh ranked 65, Nepal 106, Pakistan 153, Afghanistan 156, Bhutan 130 and Sri Lanka 116.

•In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India.

Global Gender Gap Report

•The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 is the 15th edition of the annual publication by WEF.

•The Global Gender Gap Index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to compare countries’ gender gaps across four dimensions: economic opportunities, education, health and political leadership.

Top 10 gender-equal country

1.Iceland

2.Finland

3.Norway

4.New Zealand

5.Rwanda

6.Sweden

7.Namibia

8.Lithuania

9.Ireland

10.Switzerland

BANKING AND ECONOMY

GST revenue collection in March 2021

•India’s economic recovery is gathering steam. The GST collections for the month of March have topped Rs 1.23 lakh crore, setting a new record since the implementation of Goods and Services Tax in July 2017. The gross GST revenue collected in the month of March 2021 rose to a record of Rs. 1,23,902 crore of which CGST is Rs. 22,973 crore, SGST is Rs. 29,329 crore, IGST is Rs. 62,842 crore and Cess is Rs. 8,757 crore.

GST Collection previous months

• February 2021: Rs. 1,13,143 crore

• January 2021: Rs. 1,19,847 crore

• December 2020: Rs. 1,15,174 crore

• November 2020: Rs. 1.04 lakh crore

• October 2020: Rs. 1,05,155 crore

Facebook and Google to build new cables under the sea called ‘Echo’ and ‘Bifrost’

•Facebook and Google are planning to build new subsea cables from the US to Singapore and Indonesia. Facebook has partnered with leading regional and global partners to build two new subsea cables Echo and Bifrost that will provide vital new connections between the Asia-Pacific region and North America. While Google is only investing in Echo. These cables will increase overall transpacific capacity by 70 per cent.

•These projects are still subject to regulatory approvals, when completed, these cables are expected to deliver much-needed Internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability. The announcements come at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for reliable Internet access.

UNESCAP: India’s Economic Growth Of 7% in 2021-22

•The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said in the latest update that, India’s is estimated to record economic growth of 7% in 2021-22, over a contraction of 7.7% witnessed in the previous fiscal on account of the pandemic’s impact on normal business activity.

•It also noted that maintaining low borrowing costs while keeping non-performing loans in check would be a challenge.

Paytm Money opens new R&D centre in Pune

•Online investment platform Paytm Money has set up a new R&D facility in Pune, Maharashtra, which will drive product innovation, especially in the area of equity, mutual funds, and digital gold. The company added that it plans to hire over 250 engineers and data scientists to build new wealth products and services.

•Paytm Money aims to achieve over 10 million users and 75 million yearly transactions in FY21, with the majority of users coming from small cities and towns.

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