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Current Affairs 14 January 2021

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PMFBY – Crop Insurance Scheme completes 5 years of operationPradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana completes 5 years of operationGovernment of India’s Crop Insurance Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has completed 5 years of its operation. It was launched by the Government on 13th January, 2016.

  • The Scheme is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme.
  • It replaces 2 existing Crop Insurance schemes – National Agricultural Insurance Scheme & modified NAIS (National Agricultural Insurance Scheme).
  • The scheme was made voluntary for all farmers post revamp in February, 2020.

i.The Scheme aims to provide insurance coverage & financial support to farmers in event of failure of notified crops due to natural calamities, pests & diseases.
ii.The Implementing Agencies Are Selected Private Insurance Companies under the guidance & control of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) & concerned State agencies.
iii.Union Agriculture Ministry has stated that around INR 90, 000 Crore has been disbursed to farmers since the launch of the scheme.
Under PMFBY, the State Governments have to pay a huge amount to insurance companies as Premium.

  • So many state governments like Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana & West Bengal have launched their own Crop Insurance scheme.

About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare:
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala, Kailash Choudhary
<<Read Full News>>

Indian Navy Coordinates 2nd Edition of ‘Sea Vigil 21’- Largest Coastal Defence ExerciseSecond edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’The Second Edition of the Biennial Pan-India, Largest Coastal Defence Exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ coordinated by Indian Navy took place from January 12-13, 2021. It was conducted along the entire 7516 Km coastline & Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
i.The Defence Exercise involved 13 Coastal States/Union Territories. It also included the fishing and coastal communities.

  • Apart from the Navy, the Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), National Security Guard (NSG), Border Security Force (BSF), oil handling agencies & airports participated in the exercise.
  • The exercise was conducted to assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of India’s Coastal Defence & Maritime Security.
  • The exercise was facilitated by the Ministry of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments & other Central/State agencies.
  • The First Edition of the exercise was conducted in January, 2019.

ii.During the exercise, security audits of vulnerable locations like Fish Landing Centers, and major, minor & intermediate ports, lighthouses, coastal police stations, control rooms & operations centres were carried out.
iii.‘Sea Vigil 21’ is a build up towards the major Theatre level TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise) which Indian Navy conducts every 2 years.
iv.The entire coastal security set up has been reorganised after the 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

CSIR-NIO/NGRI sign MoU with POI FEB, Russia to conduct research in Marine ScienceNational Institute of Oceanography along with the National Geophysical Research Institute signedCSIR-NIO of Goa (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-National Institute of Oceanography) & CSIR-NGRI of Hyderabad (National Geophysical Research Institute) virtually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with V.I. Il’Ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (POI FEB RAS) in the field of Marine Sciences and Technology.
Components of the Agreement:
i.The MoU will enable Scientists from both countries to increase capacity & skill development in the field of marine sciences & Technology.
ii.Sharing of Knowledge & expertise in the field of sustainable development for development of National Economic Interests of both countries.
iii.It will also strengthen cooperation between the two countries in combating ocean pollution and climate changes.
Director – Professor Sunil Kumar Singh
Location – Dona Paula, Goa
Director – Virendra M. Tiwari
Location – Hyderabad, Telangana
<<Read Full News>>

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurates India’s 1st Fire Park and launches the virtual platform ‘Agnishama Seva’India’s-first-Fire-Park-comes-up-in-OdishaOn 5th January, 2021 Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik virtually inaugurated India’s first ‘Fire Park’ at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. On that occasion CM Patnaik also launched the virtual platform ‘Agnishama Seva’ to provide through which 16 fire related services can be availed.
i.The Fire Park is a first of its kind initiative to provide awareness on fire safety measures, mainly focusing on School and College students.
ii.It is located under the premises of the Odisha Fire and Disaster Academy in Bhubaneswar.
iii.The Fire Service Portal ‘Agnishama Seva’ portal will provide 16 fire related services.
About Odisha:
Ramsar Sites- Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Chilika Lake
Temple City of India – Bhubaneswar
Sports Capital of India – Bhubaneswar
Silver City of India – Cuttack
<<Read Full News>>

West Bengal CM Inaugurated 26th Kolkata International Film Festival 2021

On 8th January 2021, Mamata Banerjee Chief Minister of West Bengal inaugurated the 7 day 26th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival(KIFF) 2021 (From 8th to 15th January 2021). Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, the brand ambassador of West Bengal virtually attended the inaugural ceremony from Mumbai.

  • As a part of the 26th KIFF, 81 full length movies and 50 short films and documentaries from more than 45 countries will be screened at 8 venues which include the state run halls, Nandan, Rabindra Sadan, Calcutta Information centre, Sisir Mancha and others.
  • “Apur Sansar” by Satyajit Ray was screened as the inaugural film.
  • The seven-day festival will observe tributes to two icons of Bengal cinema — Satyajit Ray on his birth centenary and Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee who died of post-Covid complications.


India, Vietnam hold 13th Defence Security Dialogue virtuallyDefence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar co-chaired 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security DialogueOn January 12, 2021, 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue was held virtually.  Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, Government of India & Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam co-chaired the meeting.
i.During the meeting, both sides exchanged their views on a plan of action that emerged from the Virtual Summit between Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi & Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December, 2020.
ii.Both the sides,

  • Discussed New areas of Defence Cooperation
  • Reviewed progress on Bilateral Defence cooperation initiatives
  • Expressed commitment to elevate engagements between the Armed   Forces of both countries under the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
  • Reviewed the progress made in Defence Industry and Technology cooperation and agreed for greater cooperation in the field.

About Vietnam:
Prime Minister – Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Capital– Hanoi
Currency– Vietnamese dong
<<Read Full News>>

UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and MSF collaborates to  stockpile a global Ebola VaccineWHO, UNICEF, MSF, IFRC collaborate to establish global Ebola vaccine stockpileOn 12th January, 2021 World’s four leading Health and Humanitarian organisations UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) collaborated to stockpile a global Ebola Vaccine with financial assistance from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
i.The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization has recommended 500,000 doses of Ebola vaccine to be stockpiled, as a precautionary measure to the sudden Ebola outbreak.
ii.Ebola Vaccine- Injectable single-dose Ebola vaccine (rVSV∆G-ZEBOV-GP, live), Manufactured by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Corp.
About Ebola:
Ebola was first discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.
Initial Symptoms- sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, and sore throat.
About IFRC:
– Mr Francesco Rocca
Headquarter – Geneva, Switzerland
<<Read Full News>>


India Post Payments Bank Collaborated with FSS to Promote Financial InclusionFSS ties up with India Post Bank to offer doorstep banking servicesi.On January 12, 2021, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has collaborated with the leading payment processor and provider of integrated payment products, Financial Software and Systems (FSS) to promote Financial Inclusion in underserved and unbanked segments of India. To attain this purpose, IPPB will use FSS’ Aadhaar Enabled Payment System(AePS).
ii.The objective of this collaboration to provide doorstep delivery of banking service to customers in India.
iii. FSS is also IPPB’s preferred payment partner for Bill Payments, UPI, Card Management System, PoS ability, Aadhaar Pay, Smart Recon and Switching systems.
iv.After this collaboration, IPPB bank has become the single-largest platform in India for providing interoperable banking services to customers of any bank.
About Financial Software and Systems (FSS)
Established – 1991
Founder, Chairman and Managing Director – Nagaraj Mylandla
Headquarter – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
<<Read Full News>>

Mahindra Lifespace Developers Signed an MoU with SBI to Speed Up Home Loan Approvals & DiscountsMahindra Lifespace Developers ties up with SBI for faster home loan approvalsOn January 12, 2021, Mahindra Lifespace Developers has signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with State Bank of India (SBI) to speed up the home loan approvals as well as offer special discounts to customers and employees of both the companies.
Key People:
MoU was signed by Mr. Shreekant, Chief General Manager and Head of the Real Estate vertical of SBI & Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra Lifespaces.
Highlights of MoU:
i.It provides various co-promotional activities and outreach initiatives, customers and employees of SBI and Mahindra Lifespaces.
ii.Homebuyers will benefit by saving on expenses incurred on obtaining Title Investigation Report (TIR) and valuation for approved projects.
iii.Mahindra Lifespaces’ development has build 25.1 million sq ft (2.3  million sq mtr) of completed, ongoing and forthcoming residential projects  across seven Indian cities; and over 5,000 acre of ongoing and forthcoming projects under development/management at its integrated developments/ industrial clusters across four locations.
Mahindra Lifespaces projects across MMR, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Nagpur has already received approval from SBI.
About Mahindra Lifespace Developers
Chairman – Mr. Arun Nanda
Managing Director & CEO – Mr. Arvind Subramanian


Tesla Inc Registers India subsidiary in Bengaluru, Karnataka

Tesla Inc, United States based Electric car maker has incorporated a fully owned subsidiary in Bengaluru, Karnataka as a first step to establish a Research & Development (R&D) unit in India. It has registered with the Registrar of Companies in Bengaluru, Karnataka as ‘Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited’. It is also in the process of setting up a manufacturing plant at Dharwad, Karnataka for producing electric vehicles in India.It has registered itself as a private company with an authorised capital of Rs 15 lakh.


Harsh Vardhan virtually Inaugurates the 5th National Kayakalp Awards 2019-20Sanitation and HygieneHarsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Virtually Inaugurated the 5th National Kayakalp Awards for the year 2019-20 along with Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare.

  • District Hospital Reasi of Jammu and Kashmir was awarded the First Prize of INR 50 Lakhs under Kayakalp Scheme.
  • JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research), Pondicherry was awarded the second under the Kayakalp award for Category Group ‘A’ Central Government health facilities, hospitals with more than 1, 000 beds.
  • All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar was also adjudged as the best Central Government hospital under B category.

i.Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched the National Initiative ‘Kayakalp’ under Swachh Bharat Mission in 2015 to ensure Hygiene, Sanitation & Cleanliness in Public Health Facilities in India.
ii.MoHFW has collaborated with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation & launched Swachh SwasthSarvatra (SSS) program.

  • Under the program, One Community Health Centre (CHCs) situated within the Open Defecation Free (ODF) block will receive a one-time grant of INR 10 lakhs under National Health Mission (NHM).
  • The fund can be used for undertaking improvement activities to upgrade CHC into Kayakalp CHC.

<<Read Full News>>

2020 Hurun Global 500 List Features 11 Indian Firms; India Ranks 10th11-domestic-companies-in-Hurun's-top-500-list,-India-ranked-10th2020 Hurun Global 500 list – a list of 500 most valuable companies across the globe, of Hurun Research features a total of 11 Indian companies. According to the report India secured the 10th rank with 11 companies whose total values grew 14% and reached 805 billion USD (around one third of Indian GDP).Topped by United States with 242 companies.
Apple tops the list with a value of 2.1 Trillion USD followed by Microsoft with a value of 1.640 Trillion and Amazon with a value of 1.610 Trillion and Alphabet with 1.2 trillion USD.
Released By: Hurun in association with China luxury tea brand Empereur.
Key Points:
i.7 of the 11 Indian companies have their headquarters in Mumbai followed by Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata and New Delhi with one each.
ii.The report stated that the local stock market grew by 12% despite the pandemic.
iii.239 of the non-India Hurun Global 500 have a regional presence in India, spread across ten cities, led by Mumbai with 64, and followed by Bengaluru with 39, Gurugram 27, New Delhi 23 and Pune with 11.
iv.State Bank of India ranked 45th in the Most valuable listed state-controlled companies in the world in 2020.
Highlights of Hurun Global 500:
i.United State of America has accounted for around 242 entities of the total 500 & topped the Hurun Global 500 2020 list followed by China with 51 and Japan with 30 companies.
ii.In the perspective of valuation gains, China tops the list with 73% increase by its top companies during 2020.
Click here to know more about Hurun Global 500
Hurun Global 500 List:

RankCompany NameValue(billion USD)% ChangeCountry
54Reliance Industries168.821%India
73Tata Consultancy Services13930%India
105HDFC Bank107.511.5%India

Other Indian Companies on the list:

  • Hindustan Lever ranks 108 with the net value of 2.1 Trillion USD,
  • Infosys at 201 with 66 billion USD
  • HDFC at 249 with 56.4 billion USD
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank at 284 with 50.6 billion USD
  • ICICI Bank at 316 with 45.6 billion USD
  • Bharti Airtel at 440 with 35.6 billion USD
  • Bajaj Finance at 451 with 35 billion USD
  • ITC at 480 with 32.6 billion USD

About Hurun Report:
Chairman and Chief Researcher– Rupert Hoogewerf (Hu Run)
Headquarters– Shanghai, China
About Hurun India:
MD and Chief Researcher– Anas Rahman
Headquarters– Mumbai


MoHFW sets up Panel under Preeti Pant to study findings of NFHS-5,2019-20Panel to study National Family Health Survey-5 findings headed by Preeti PantThe Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has set up a Technical Expert Group under Preeti Pant, Joint Secretary, MoHFW to examine the findings from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), 2019-20. The committee will provide suggestions and policy interventions to improve indicators regarding Malnutrition, Stunting, Anaemia, and C-section.
i.The committee consists of experts from Medicine and Nutrition, and also State Programme Officers from Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
ii.On December 12, 2020 (International Universal Health Coverage Day), Union Minister of MoHFW, Harsh Vardhan released the Factsheets of the First Phase of the 2019-20, 5th National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

  • International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai is the national nodal agency.
  • The survey has information on 131 Key Indicators.
  • The First phase covered 22 States & Union Territories.
  • Phase-II of the Survey is under progress and is expected to be released by May, 2021.

Click here to read the NFHS-5 Phase-I findings.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan
Minister of State – Ashwini Kumar Choubey
<<Read Full News>>


Tech Mahindra to acquire Payments Technology Services for about ₹66 croreTech Mahindra to acquire Payments Technology Services for Rs 66On January 12, 2021, IT services major, Tech Mahindra is set to acquire 100% share of Hong Kong based Payments Technology Service Ltd (PTSL) a subsidiary of Fidelity Information Services (FIS) for $9 million (about Rs.66 Crore) to scale its enterprise payments and banking capabilities. In regard to this acquisition, Tech Mahindra had signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with FIS. The transaction is expected to completed by 31 March 2021.
Highlights of the MoU:
i.The acquisition will give Tech Mahindra access to Internet Protocol(IP) and licenses for two products – Open Payment Framework (OPF) and Multi-Bank System (MBS).
ii.With this agreement, Tech Mahindra has planned to expand its BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) footprint globally. In support of this strategy, Tech Mahindra will also build a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Chennai, India
Note –Turnover of the PTSL for Financial Year ended December 31, 2019, was USD 5.4 million. 
About Payments Technology Service Ltd (PTSL):
Established – 2007
Headquarter – Hong Kong
About Tech Mahindra:
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer – CP Gurnani
Headquarter – Pune, Maharashtra


Jammu & Kashmir Government signs an MoU with NECBDC to promote Bamboo CultivationJ&K govt signs pact with NECBDCOn 13th January, 2021, Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) to promote Bamboo Cultivation and related entrepreneurship in the region.
The North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) will provide technical guidance in cultivating various species of Bamboo in the region.
ii.This will promote development of Bamboo based industries in Jammu & Kashmir leading to exports of bamboo based products.
iii.The MoU was in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to encourage tree plantation on farm land “Har Medh Par Ped” mission.
About Jammu & Kashmir:
Tribes- Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin, Changpa, Gujjar
Folk Dance- Wuegi-Nachun, Bacha Nagma, Bhand Jashan, Hafiza Dance
<<Read Full News>>


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S.noCurrent Affairs 14 January 2021
1PMFBY – Crop Insurance Scheme completes 5 years of operation
2Indian Navy Coordinates 2nd Edition of ‘Sea Vigil 21’- Largest Coastal Defence Exercise
3CSIR-NIO/NGRI sign MoU with POI FEB, Russia to conduct research in Marine Science
4Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurates India’s 1st Fire Park and launches the virtual platform ‘Agnishama Seva’
5West Bengal CM Inaugurated 26th Kolkata International Film Festival
6India, Vietnam hold 13th Defence Security Dialogue virtually
7UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and MSF collaborates to  stockpile a global Ebola Vaccine
8India Post Payments Bank Collaborated with FSS to Promote Financial Inclusion
9Mahindra Lifespace Developers Signed an MoU with SBI to Speed Up Home Loan Approvals & Discounts
10Tesla Inc Registers India subsidiary in Bengaluru, Karnataka
11Harsh Vardhan virtually Inaugurates the 5th National Kayakalp Awards 2019-20
122020 Hurus Global 500 List Features 11 Indian Firms; India Ranks 10th
13MoHFW sets up Panel under Preeti Pant to study findings of NFHS-5
14Tech Mahindra to acquire Payments Technology Services for about ₹66 crore
15Jammu & Kashmir Government signs an MoU with NECBDC to promote Bamboo Cultivation