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Current Affairs 15 & 16 January 2021

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 15 & 16 January 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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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Cabinet Approves Procurement of 83 LCA Tejas from HAL for IAF worth Rs. 45,696 Cr; India-UAE MoU ApprovedCabinet approves Procurement of 83 Light Combat Aircraftsi.On January 13, 2021, as a part of Atmanirbhar programme, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the procurement of 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) at the cost of Rs. 45,696 Crore for Indian Air Force (IAF). These include 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircrafts.
ii.LCAs are manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
iii.The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on scientific and technical cooperation between the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
About United Arab Emirates:
Capital– Abu Dhabi
Currency– UAE Dirham
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)– R Madhavan
Headquarter– Bengaluru, India
<<Read Full News>>

NHPC Signs Definitive Agreement for implementation of Takeover Plan of 120 MW Rangit-IV HE Project of JPCL in SikkimJPCL in SikkimOn January 13, 2021, NHPC Limited (formerly National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd) has signed Definitive Agreement for implementation of the Approved Resolution Plan of 120 MW Rangit-IV Hydro Electric Project on Rangit River in Sikkim.With regard to this Agreement, NHPC will take over the project from Jal Power Corporation Limited (JPCL).The outlay of the project is estimated as Rs.943.20 Crore.

  • NHPC will make an advance payment of Rs.165 crore to acquire the resolution plan of Jal Power Corporation Located (JPCL).

Note :- On December 24, 2020, National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Hyderabad approved NHPC’s takeover of Resolution Plan from JPCL.

  • The agreement was signed between NHPC, Resolution Professional and Secured Financial Creditors.
  • The financial creditors for this agreement are Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) and Punjab National Bank (PNB).
  • It was signed in presence of Yamuna Kumar Chaubey, Director(Tech) NHPC, R.P. Goyal, Director (Finance) NHPC and senior officers from NHPC and PFC.

Additional Info:
–JPCL is the second company after Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd (LTHPL) to be acquired through NCLT process by NHPC.
About NHPC Limited:
It is Mini Ratna Category-I Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)– Abhay Kumar Singh
Headquarter– Faridabad , Haryana

CBIC introduces Flagship initiative “Liberalised MSME AEO Package” benefiting MSME SectorMSME AEO PackageIn a move to ease out the difficulties caused by Covid-19 pandemic to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Central Board of Indirect Tax & Customs (CBIC) introduced its new flagship initiative “Liberalised MSME AEO Package” Scheme. The scheme is a voluntary compliance programme enabling MSMEs to become Authorised Economic Operations (AEOs), providing various benefits including faster customs clearance.
Criteria to avail for AEO status:

  • MSMEs should have to file minimum 10 Customs clearance documents from earlier 25 customs clearance documents in 1 year.
  • The requirement to have business activities for at least three financial years preceding the date of application has been relaxed to two financial years.
  • The qualifying period for legal and financial compliance has been reduced to two financial years.
  • The time limit for processing of AEO T1 and AEO T2 application has been reduced to 15 working days and three months respectively, after electronic submission of complete documents.
  • Certain additional benefits, like further reduction in bank guarantee requirements, have also been granted and will be expanded subsequently.

Note- AEO status should be provided within 15 days from online submission by MSMEs.

Benefit under AEO status:
i.Direct Port Delivery (DPD) for imported containers
ii.Direct Port Entry (DPE) of their Export Containers
iii.Reduced cargo release time
iv.Exemptions on Bank Guarantees
About CBIC:
Chairperson- M. Ajit Kumar
Formed- 26th January, 1944
Headquarters- Ministry of Finance, New Delhi
Divisions- GST, Customs, Customs (Preventive) and airport authorities, Taxpayer Services.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

World’s Most Powerful Passports 2021: India ranks 85th in Henley Passport Index World’s Most Powerful Passports 2021i.On January 2021, a “Henley Passport Index:Q1 2021 Global Ranking” released where India was ranked 85th with visa-free score 58. The visa-free score states that Indian passport holders get to visit 58 countries without a prior visa. India shared its rank with Tajikistan.
ii.In 2020, India held 84th position.
iii.The index was topped by Japan with visa-free score of 191. It has been holding the position for three consecutive years.
<<Read Full News>>

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI forms WG to Examine Lending Transactions via Online Portals, Apps; Chaired by Jayant Kumar DashRBI forms working group to examine lending transactionsi.On January 13, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has formulated a 6-member Working Group (WG) to study all aspects of digital lending activities(including lending through online platforms and mobile apps) in the regulated financial sector as well as by unregulated players so that an appropriate regulatory approach can be put in place.
ii.The group will be chaired by Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI and will submit its report within three months.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Formation– 1 April 1935
Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao)
<<Read Full News>>

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

CARE Lowered Centre’s Fiscal Deficit Projection to 7.8% of GDP from 9-9.5% for FY21CARE lowers Centre’s fiscal deficit projectioni.On January 13, 2021, CARE Ratings has downgraded its projection of the Centre’s fiscal deficit to 7.8% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) during FY21 against its earlier estimate of 9-9.5%. As per this the Fiscal deficit is likely to be around Rs 15.3 lakh crs.
ii.This revision followed the release of the first advance estimate of GDP for FY21 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
iii.It should be noted that, if borrowings of Rs 1.1 lakh crs for GST shortfall is added separately, the fiscal deficit could widen to 8.4% of GDP.
About CARE Ratings:
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Ajay Mahajan
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

IRDAI formulated expert committee to improve health insurance in Indiahealth insurance in IndiaIndia’s Insurance regulator IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) formulated a 10-member advisory committee to improve the product quality and coverage of the health insurance in the country.

  • The committee will be chaired by IRDAI chairman (Presently Dr. Subhash Chandra Khuntia) and will have tenure of 1 year.
  • Some of the members of the committee are Nachiket Mor, A K Chand,B K Mohanti,K Hari Prasad and Pankaj Sharma .

Responsibilities of Committee:
–To examine the availability of products, suggest approaches on the coverage of specific diseases, and develop a strategy on treatment protocol or rate structure.
–To examine that policy conditions are protecting the interest of the policyholders.
Reason behind the formation of committee:
It is a move to improve penetration of health insurance in India, which is at less than 4% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which is quite low as compared to most advanced and emerging economies.

  • Also, the demand for Health Insurance in India has grown significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. So, there is a need to reform.

About IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India):
Chairman– Dr. Subhash Chandra Khuntia
Headquarter– Hyderabad, Telangana

Juri Ratas Resigned as the Prime Minister of EstoniaJüri Ratas resigns as Estonian prime ministerOn 13th January 2021, Juri Ratas, Prime Minister (PM) of Estonia and the leader of the Centre Party resigned following the Party’s corruption allegations involving the pandemic relief fund.
Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia has nominated Kaja Kallas, the leader of the opposition centre right Reform party as a candidate for the next Prime Minister of Estonia.
Kaja Kallas will become the first Female Prime Minister, if she forms the next government.
About Jüri Ratas:
i.Jüri Ratas has been serving as the prime minister of Estonia since November 2016, leading the coalition government of the Centre Party, Social Democrats and Isamma.
ii.Ratas lost the 2019 election against Kaja Kallas of the Reform party but became the Prime Minister by forming the coalition of the Centre party and the EKRE which gave the majority in the Estonian Parliament.
Note:
The current parliament has 34 MPs from Reform Party, 25 from Centre Party, 19 from EKRE, 12 from Isamma and 11 from Social Democrats.
About Estonia:
President– Kersti Kaljulaid
Capital– Tallinn
Currency– Euro

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO & Indian Army Developed India’s 1st Indigenous Machine Pistol ASMI; RLG systems handed over to Indian NavyDRDO develops India's first indigenous machine pistol ASMIi.The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune (Maharashtra) in collaboration with the Indian Army’s Infantry School, Mhow has developed India’s first indigenous 9mm machine pistol ASMI. It will replace the 9mm pistols used by defence forces.
ii.Notably it has been developed by a young officer ‘Lt Col Prasad Bansod’ from Infantry School, Mhow in a record time of four months.
iii. Apart from above, Retractable landing gear (RLG) systems built by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), a unit of the DRDO in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), were handed over to the Navy as a part of ‘Atmanirbhar’ programme.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
Establishment – 1958
Chairman– G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarter– New Delhi
Parent Ministry – Ministry of Defence
About Indian Army:
Chief of the Army Staff– Manoj Mukund Naravane,
Headquarters– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

OBITUARY

Padma Shri Awardee & Renowned Social Worker D Prakash Rao passes away Padma Shri Awardee D Prakash Rao DiesOn January 13, 2021, 63-year old D Prakash Rao, a Padma Shri Awardee & Renowned Social Worker passed away in Cuttack, Odisha due to a Brain Stroke. Prakash Rao hails from Cuttack, Odisha.
i.A Tea Seller, D Prakash Rao was conferred with Padma Shri  in 2019 to recognize his contribution towards boosting the value of education among slum & orphan kids in Cuttack.
ii.He had started the school ‘Asha O Ashwasana’ in Buxi Bazaar area in 2000 to provide free education to kids from slums. The school was run from his earnings at his Tea Stall.
iii.His School provided basic level education from Kindergarten to Class III for the kids and later helped them to get enrolled in various government schools.
iv.His services were  highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Indian Armed Forces Celebrated 5th Veteran Day – 14th January 2021Armed forces veteran day 2021i.Indian Armed Forces annually celebrates the Veteran Day on 14th January to recognise the contributions of the veterans of the Indian Armed Forces.
ii.The 14th January 2021 marks the celebration of the 5th Veteran Day by the Indian Armed Forces.
iii.The day honours and recognises the service of Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE, the first Commander in Chief of Indian Armed Forces, who retired from the services on 14th January 1953.
iv.Admiral Karambir Singh released the “Swarnim Vijay Varsh” song dedicated to the valor and courage of the Indian soldiers during the 1971 war.
About Ministry of Defence:
Union Minister- Rajnath Singh
Minister of State- Shripad Yesso Naik
<<Read Full News>>

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 15 & 16 January 2021
1 Cabinet Approves Procurement of 83 LCA Tejas from HAL for IAF worth Rs. 45,696 Cr; India-UAE MoU Approved
2 NHPC Signs Definitive Agreement for implementation of Takeover Plan of 120 MW Rangit-IV HE Project of JPCL in Sikkim
3 CBIC introduces Flagship initiative “Liberalised MSME AEO Package” benefiting MSME Sector
4 World’s Most Powerful Passports 2021: India ranks 85th in Henley Passport Index
5 RBI forms WG to Examine Lending Transactions via Online Portals, Apps; Chaired by Jayant Kumar Dash
6 CARE Lowered Centre’s Fiscal Deficit Projection to 7.8% of GDP from 9-9.5%
7 IRDAI formulated expert committee to improve health insurance in India
8 Jüri Ratas Resigned as the Prime Minister of Estonia
9 DRDO & Indian Army Developed India’s 1st Indigenous Machine Pistol ASMI; RLG systems handed over to Indian Navy
10 Padma Shri Awardee & Renowned Social Worker D Prakash Rao passes away
11 Indian Armed Forces Celebrated 5th Veteran Day – 14th January 2021