We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 14 & 15 March 2021, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2021 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.
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NHSRCL signs MoU with Japan’s JRTC for Track Work of MAHSR, India’s 1st Bullet Train ProjectNational High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) & Japan Railway Track Consultant Co. Limited (JRTC) virtually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Track works in the 237-km stretch between Vadodara & Vapi in Gujarat for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) also known as Bullet Train Project.
- Under the agreement, JRTC will provide design & drawing of major High-Speed Rail (HSR) track components like RC Track bed, track slab arrangement & Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) forces.
- It will strengthen the ‘Make in India’ initiative & ensure the transfer of technology from the Japanese high-speed rail system to India.
Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR)
- It is India’s First Bullet Train Project and is being constructed at an estimated cost of INR 1.08 Lakh Crore.
About National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL):
It was incorporated in 2016 under the Companies Act, 2013
It functions under the Ministry of Railways
MD – Achal Khare
Head Office– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>
PM Inaugurated the Curtain Raiser Activities of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (India@75)i.On 12th March 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the curtain raiser activities of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (India@75) at the event organised in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
ii.He also flagged off the Padyatra from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad to Dandi, Gujarat as a part of the India@75 programme. This marks the 91st anniversary of Gandhi’s 1930 Dandi March.
iii.He has also launched various cultural and digital initiatives for the celebration of India@75.
iv.Union MoS Prahlad Singh Patel led the first lap of 75 kilometers of the padyatra.
<<Read Full News>>
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Flagged off the 3000 HP Cape Gauge Locomotive for export to Mozambique; Developed by BLWi.On March 10, 2021, Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal flagged off the two 3000 Horse Power (HP) Cape Gauge Locomotive for export to Mozambique. It was indigenously developed by Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW), Varanasi, a production unit of Indian Railways.
ii.This is BLW’s first AC-AC traction system3000 HP, Cape Gauge locomotive.These Locomotives will be exported through Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Ltd.
iii.Target- India Planned to become a net-zero Railway & power our entire electricity requirements by renewable energy by 2030. India is set to become the first large railway in the world to become 100% electric traction driven.
About Banaras Locomotive Works(BLW):
General Manager – Anjali Goyal
Headquarter – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Capital – Maputo
Currency – Mozambican metical (MZN)
President – Filipe Nyusi
<<Read Full News>>
Foreign Secretary Shringla inaugurates South Asia Group on Energy (SAGE) at RIS, New DelhiOn 10th March 2021, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringala inaugurated the South Asia Group of Energy (SAGE) at the Research & Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi. He highlighted various initiatives taken by India through its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.
Note – India is the largest producer and consumer of energy in this region.
Highlights of Inaugural Speech:
i.India is working with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan & Myanmar to promote them into an energy hub.
ii.As a 1st of kind move in Asia, India makes cross border transport of hydrocarbons to Nepal through pipelines. And provides gas through pipelines to neighbouring Bangladesh & Bhutan.
iii.Currently, 3000MW of Electricity is traded among the 4 South-Asian neighbours, India, Nepal, Bhutan & Bangladesh.
iv.Bhutan sells India about 1400MW of its Surplus Hydrocarbon, that accounts for 25% of its GDP.
About Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS):
RIS is an autonomous policy research institute.
Aim- To promote cooperation between developing countries, to strengthen policy coherence on international economic issues & development.
Chairperson – Dr. Mohan Kumar
Director General – Sachin Chaturvedi
Headquarters – New Delhi, India
India’s first ‘Transgender Community Desk’ opens in Telangana’s Gachibowli
India’s 1st ‘Transgender Community Desk’ launched in Gachibowli Police Station, Hyderabad, Telangana by Cyberabad Police chief VC Sajjanar.
- This desk is the first-of-its-kind gender-inclusive community policing initiative in the country.
- It is the world’s first-ever help desk for the transgender community and it will be managed by a Police Liaison Officer and a member of the transgender community who is designated as a community coordinator.
New passenger train service between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri set to start from 26th March
A new passenger train service between Dhaka, Bangladesh and New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India is set to start from the 26th of March 2021 marking the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh.The direct train between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri will run through the Chilahati-Haldibari cross-border rail route.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will flag off the new passenger train on the occasion of the Birth Centenary Celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and 50 years of Liberation of Bangladesh.
- The Haldibari-Chilahati train route was opened for goods transport in December 2020 train after a gap of 55 years during the virtual summit between two prime ministries. The passenger train will also run on the same route.
PM Modi launches the Kindle version of Swami Chidbhavanandaji’s Bhagavad Gita
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Kindle version of Swami Chidbhavanandaji’s Bhagavad Gita through virtual mode.
- Swami Chidbhavanandaji is the founder of Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam Ashram at Thirupparaithurai, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, who has authored 186 books and all genres of literary composition.
- Tamil version of the Gita was published in 1951, followed by the English in 1965
India emerges as 5th attractive Growth Destination, US Tops List: PwC’s Global CEO SurveyAccording to PwC’s (PricewaterhouseCoopers) 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, India emerged as the 5th most attractive growth destination in the world. India has slipped one position to 5th, after being surpassed by the United Kingdom which took the 4th Position.
The USA emerged as the Number one market favored by CEOs over the next 1 year followed by China, Germany.
- The survey covered 5, 050 CEOs in 100 Countries & Territories including India.
- Japan took the 6th position overtaking Australia.
- 76% of CEOs expect the global economic recovery to improve in 2021.
About PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):
Chairman – Robert E. Moritz
Headquarters – London, UK
<<Read Full News>>
1st Ever Leader-Level Summit of QUAD Countries held virtuallyOn March 12 2021, The First-ever Leader-Level Summit of 4 QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) countries – India, Japan, USA & Australia took place virtually.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- US President Joseph Biden
- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
- Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga
- The 4 Countries agreed to work towards an ‘open’ & ‘free’ Indo-Pacific region.
- Proposals for setting up 3 Expert Working Groups in areas of Vaccines, emerging technology & Climate were cleared.
- They agreed to produce 1 Billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines across Asia by 2022 to fight the pandemic. It would be funded by US & Japan, while Australia will contribute in logistical aspects.
BANKING & FINANCE
SEBI limited MF’s investment in Debt Instruments to 10% and Banned close-ended schemes investment in perpetual bondsOn March 10, 2021 The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in its circular set a limit for Mutual Funds (MF’s) investment to 10% in debt instruments with special features such as perpetual bonds and 5% for single issuers and stated the maturity for perpetual bonds as 100 years.
- The limits will be applicable only to new investments beginning 1 April
- According to PRIME Database, nearly Rs 37,000 crore was invested by MFs in perpetual bonds, as of January.
i.MFs should not invest more than 10% of Net Asset Value (NAV) in debt instruments with special features and 5% of its NAV of the debt portfolio of the scheme in instruments and single issuers.
- Debt schemes that have an investment in instruments with special features should have a provision for segregated portfolios.
ii.It has set a ban on close-ended schemes from investing in perpetual bonds such as AT1 bonds and modified their maturity to 100 years.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
Establishment – On April 12, 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Regional offices – Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Delhi
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi
<<Read Full News>>
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
SahityaAkademi Announces Annual Sahitya Akademi Award 2020i.On 12th March 2021, The winners of the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2020 were announced by the National Academy of Letters during an event organised for the annual Festival of Letters, held from 12th March 2021 to 14th March 2021.
ii.Annually the Sahitya Akademi presents the award to the literary works in the 24 languages including English which are recognised by the Akademi.
iii.The Shatiya Akademi has announced its Sahitya Akademi Awards 2020 in 20 languages, Yuva Puraskar 2020 in 18 languages and Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2020 in 21 languages.
About Sahitya Academy
President– Chandrashekhara Kambara
Headquarters– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>
Odisha Forest Officer, Sasmita Lenka, Became First Indian to Receive UN’s 2020 Asia Environmental Enforcement Award
Sasmita Lenka, Divisional Forest Officer, Athagarh Forest Division, Odisha received the United Nations’s 2020 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards under the category Impact and Gender Leadership. She became the first Indian to receive the award.
The 2020 theme of the 5th edition Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards “Fighting Transboundary Environmental Crimes”.
- Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India won the award under Innovation category for initiating the operation WILDNET-II to deter traders and to bring offenders to justice.
- The awards recognises the excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions or teams combating transboundary environmental crime.
- The award was presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with UNDP, UNDOC, the secretariat of CITES, INTERPOL and World Customs Organization.2020 Winners of 5th Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
World Economic Forum announced the 2021 Class of Young Global Leadersi.On 10th March 2021, the World Economic Forum(WEF) released the list of 112 Young Global Leaders(YGL) 2021. 7 Indians ( Shreevar Kheruka, Aditi Avasthi, Srikanth Bolla, Gazal Kalra, Ameya Prabhu, Hriday Ravindranath and Hitesh Wadhwa) joined the Class 2021 of WEF’s Forum of Young Global Leaders.
ii.The Forum of Young Global leaders is a group of remarkable people under the age of 40 from diverse communities and industries across the globe.
iii.The Forum of YGL was created in 2004 by Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.
About World Economic Forum(WEF):
Founder & Chairman– Klaus Schwab
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Founded– January 1971
<<Read Full News>>
ACQUISITION & MERGERS
BNP Paribas Cardif has sold a 4.99% stake in SBI Life InsuranceOn March 12, 2021, The foreign partner of SBI Life Insurance, BNP Paribas Cardif (BNPPC), sold the major part of its share in SBI Life through the open market process. Over 5 crore shares are sold which is around 4.99% stake.
- Post this selling, now BNPPC holds 0.20% stake representing 20,03,612 equity shares of SBI Life Insurance.
Share Distribution of SBI Life Insurance:
- SBI Life was incorporated as a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and BNPPC as a 74:26 equity ratio.
Past Transaction by BNPPC:
- In March 2019, BNPPC had sold 5 crore shares of the insurance company for Rs 2,889 crore & during the same month, Carlyle Group had acquired a 9 per cent stake in the life insurer from BNP Paribas Cardif.
- In June 2019, BNP Paribas Cardif (BNPPC) had sold 2.5 crore shares in the insurer, equivalent to 2.5 per cent, in an offer for sale process for Rs 1,702 crore.
- At the end of December 2020, SBI held a 55.50 per cent stake in the insurer and BNPPC 5.20 per cent.
About BNP Paribas Cardif(BNPPC):
Location – France
CEO -Renaud Dumora
About SBI Life Insurance:
Incorporated – October 2000 (Registered with IRDAI in March 2001)
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO– Mahesh Kumar Sharma
Chairman – Dinesh Kumar Khara
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian and Japan Space Agencies review cooperation on LUPEX MissionOn 11th March 2021, The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) & Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) virtually reviewed the progress made under the Joint Lunar Polar Exploration (LUPEX) mission. LUPEX is a robotic Lunar mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s south pole in the year 2024.
- The two sides also reviewed the on-going cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation & satellite navigation.
- Both sides signed an ‘Implementing Arrangement’ for collaborative activities on rice crop area & air quality monitoring using Satellite Data.
- The discussions took place in a virtual meeting between ISRO & JAXA. The Indian side was led by ISRO Chairman K Sivan while the Japan delegation was represented by Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of JAXA.
- Under the LUPEX mission, JAXA will provide an under-development H3 Launch Vehicle; ISRO will be responsible for providing the lander system.
- It aims to observe areas of the moon where water is believed to exist, it also aims to obtain ground data on the quantity of water, understanding distribution, conditions, form & other parameters of lunar water resources in the polar region.
It operates under the Department of Space (DoS)
Established – 1969
Headquarters – K Sivan
<<Read Full News>>
Department of Food & Public Distribution launches ‘Mera Ration’ Mobile app under ONORC PlanOn March 12, 2021, the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution launched the ‘Mera Ration’ Mobile app under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)’ plan. It aims to benefit ration card holders who move to new areas for livelihoods.
- The mobile app has been developed by the Department of Food & Public Distribution along with the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
- Objective – To ensure better implementation of the ONORC Scheme.
- Targeted Beneficiaries – Beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (NFSA), with a focus on Migrant workers, Fair Price Shop (FPS) dealers & other relevant stakeholders.
Features of ‘Mera Ration’ app
- To identify and locate the nearest FPS.
- Beneficiaries can check details of Foodgrain entitlement, Recent Transaction & status of Aadhaar linking.
- Migrant beneficiaries can register their migrant details through the app.
One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)
It is being implemented by the Department of Food & Public Distribution for nation-wide portability of ration cards under NFSA.
About the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha MP representing Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Raosaheb Patil Danve (Lok Sabha MP, constituency – Jalna, Maharashtra)
<<Read Full News>>
SERB set up Portal ‘SERB – PRISM’ to Get Inclusive Information on ProjectsOn March 11, 2021, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has set up a portal called ‘SERB – PRoject Information System & Management (SERB – PRISM)’ to retrieve real-time information about research support provided by them.
- It was launched by Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Chairman, SERB, & Secretary, DST
Functions of SERB – PRISM Portal:
Purpose: It will provide a whole range of information regarding all projects sanctioned by SERB from 2011 onwards.
Information categorized under the portal – status of research, project output details (publication & patents), funding details, research trends & summary, learn about cutting-edge science, locate critical equipment in their vicinity.
About Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB):
The Government of India established SERB through the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008.
Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairman -Prof Ashutosh Sharma
Secretary – Prof Sandeep Verma
<<Read Full News>>
ISRO launches Sounding Rocket RH-560 to Study Altitude Variations in Neutral Winds, Plasma DynamicsOn 12th March 2021, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a new Sounding rocket from its Rohini Series, RH-560 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota Range (SHAR), Andhra Pradesh. This Sounding rocket will help in carrying out studies in the upper Atmospheric regions, on Altitude Variations in the Neutral Winds and Plasma Dynamics.
- RH-560 is a 2-stage rocket that can reach a maximum launch altitude of 548 Kms.
Note- Here in RH-560, RH stands for ‘Rohini’ and the number 560 represents the diameter of the Rocket in mm.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman – K. Sivan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
<<Read Full News>>
DPIIT to launch ‘Atmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra’ portal for domestic investors
In order to strengthen the efforts to promote domestic investments, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is in the process of finalising a dedicated digital portal – Atmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra – for hand holding, information broadcasting, and provide assistance of domestic investors. It is under the supervision of the commerce and industry ministry.
Features of the Atmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra:
One-stop-shop to access all MSME portals; Information about the Approvals, Licenses, Clearances, Incentives & Schemes applicable to specific businesses across different sectors and Information on Manufacturing Clusters and Land Availability.
- The Portal is in the testing phase and expected to be launched in May 2021. The portal will be developed to available in regional languages and mobile app.
- The portal will have a dedicated digital investment promotion and facilitation team at Invest India. This Project is under the “Invest India” agency which was set up in 2009 as a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
- This is one of the most significant digital initiative being undertaken to target the specific investor interests and ensure swift clearances & approvals throughout their doing business journey.
Note:- Total indicated investments from global companies is USD 153.7 Billion out of which USD 28.75 Billion are actual investments.
Hemiandrus Jacinda: Insect named after New Zealand prime minister
Hemiandrus jacinda is a species of wētā,a giant flightless cricket and native to New Zealand was first described by Steven A. Trewick. It was named after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and was published in Zootaxa journal.
- Steven A.Trewick is a professor and scientist at Massey University in New Zealand.
- This species is bigger and more brightly coloured than the previous one and found in native forests in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Coromandel in the upper North Island.
‘Reflecting Traits’ of Jacinda Ardern
Hemiandrus Jacinda has been named after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The cricket is red in colour and “long-limbed,” something which is similar to Ardern’s Labour party colour and symbol.
Another Meaning of Cricket:-
Cricket is defined as a dark-coloured insect with long antenna that jumps, eats plants and makes a chirping sound by rubbing together its forewings.
Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is serving as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. She was born in Hamilton, New Zealand.
About New Zealand:-
Capital – Wellington
Currency – New Zealand dollar ($ NZD)
Language – English
French Billionaire MP Olivier Dassault Died In Helicopter Crash At Age 69
On 7th March 2021, French Billionaire and Member of French National Assembly, Olivier Dassault of Les Republicains party died in a helicopter crash in Normandy, France at age 69. Olivier Dassault the heir of Dassault Groupe (Dassault Aviation, Le Figaro etc) was born on 1st June 1951 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. He was the son of businessman and politician Serge Dassault.
Maharashtra Launched Mahasamruddhi Mahila Sashaktikaran Scheme To Empower Rural Womeni.The Government of Maharashtra launched the “Maha Samruddhi Mahila Sashaktikaran scheme” to empower the women in rural areas. The scheme commenced on 8th March 2021, the International women’s Day 2021.
ii.Maharashtra State Rural Development department will be the nodal body for the implementation of the Maha Samruddhi Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana.
iii.Under this scheme, the Self Help Groups will organise exhibitions to showcase the works of the rural women.
Zoological park- Balasaheb Thackeray Gorewada International Zoological Park, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Jijamata Udyan Zoo, Maharajbagh Zoo, Peshwa Udyan Zoo
UNESCO Sites– Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai
<<Read Full News>>
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 14 & 15 March 2021|
|1||NHSRCL signs MoU with Japan Company for Track Work of Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project|
|2||PM Inaugurated the Curtain Raiser Activities of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (India@75)|
|3||Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Flagged off the 3000 HP Cape Gauge Locomotive for export to Mozambique; Developed by BLW|
|4||Foreign Secretary Shringla inaugurates South Asia Group on Energy (SAGE) at RIC, New Delhi|
|5||India’s first ‘Transgender Community Desk’ opens in Telangana’s Gachibowli|
|6||New passenger train service between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri set to start from 26th March|
|7||PM Modi launches the Kindle version of Swami Chidbhavanandaji’s Bhagavad Gita|
|8||India emerges as 5th attractive Growth Destination, US Tops List: PwC’s Global CEO Survey|
|9||1st Ever Leader-Level Summit of QUAD Countries held virtually|
|10||SEBI limited MF’s investment in Debt Instruments to 10% and Banned close-ended schemes investment in perpetual bonds|
|11||SahityaAkademi Announces Annual Sahitya Akademi Award 2020|
|12||Odisha Forest Officer, Sasmita Lenka, Became First Indian to Receive UN’s 2020 Asia Environmental Enforcement Award|
|13||World Economic Forum announced the 2021 Class of Young Global Leaders|
|14||BNP Paribas Cardif has sold a 4.99% stake in SBI Life Insurance|
|15||Indian and Japan Space Agencies review cooperation on LUPEX Mission|
|16||Department of Food & Public Distribution launches ‘Mera Ration’ Mobile app under ONORC Plan|
|17||SERB set up Portal ‘SERB – PRISM’ to Get Inclusive Information on Projects|
|18||ISRO launches Sounding Rocket RH-560 to Study Altitude Variations in Neutral Winds, Plasma Dynamics|
|19||DPIIT to launch ‘Atmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra’ portal for domestic investors|
|20||Hemiandrus jacinda: insect named after New Zealand prime minister|
|21||French Billionaire MP Olivier Dassault Died In Helicopter Crash At Age 69|
|22||Maharashtra Launched Mahasamruddhi Mahila Sashaktikaran Scheme To Empower Rural Women|