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NITI Aayog Launches ‘Poshan Gyan’, a National Digital Repository on Health and NutritionOn April 13, 2021, NITI Aayog launched the Website ‘Poshan Gyan’ which is a National Digital Repository on Health & Nutrition. It has been developed in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) & Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University.
- It has a collection of communication materials created by government agencies & other development organizations for tackling the challenges of knowledge awareness and behaviour change in the nutrition sector.
- Poshan Gyan repository was conceptualized as a resource, enabling search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition.
About Centre for Social and Behaviour Change (CSBC)
Director – Pavan Mamidi
Location – New Delhi, Delhi
About Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF):
Co-Chairs – Bill Gates & Melinda Gates
CEO – Mark Suzman
Headquarters – Seattle, Washington, USA
>>Read Full News
Atal Innovation Mission, Bayer partner to work towards healthcare & agriculture innovations On April 13, 2021, Bayer, a German life sciences company, signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) for a strategic partnership with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog to foster Innovation & Entrepreneurship across healthcare & agriculture sectors.
- The SoI also includes the promotion of science education, advancing digital solutions & agri-tech to strengthen supply chains, and healthcare projects.
- Bayer will support the current & future programs of AIM in agriculture and healthcare sectors.
- It is 1st of a kind collaboration in sectors of agriculture & healthcare between AIM & Bayer.
About Bayer Global:
Chairman – Werner Baumann
Headquarters – Leverkusen, Germany
>>Read Full News
Harsh Vardhan Launches New Mission called ‘Aahaar Kranti’On April 12, 2021 Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched a new mission called ‘Aahaar Kranti’. The aim of the mission is to raise awareness of the importance of nutritionally balanced diet & the importance of accessibility to all local fruits & vegetables.
- It is a joint initiative of Vijnana Bharati (Vibha), Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) & Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark (PRABHASS).
- The motto of the Mission is Uttam Aahaar Uttam Vichaar or ‘Good Diet-Good Cognition’.
- It aims to achieve nutritional balanced diets by emphasizing on consumption of locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
- The program aims to address the problem faced by India and the world called ‘hunger and diseases in abundance’.
About Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA)
President – Vijay P. Bhatkar
Headquarters – New Delhi
>>Read Full News
Harsh Vardhan Announced the Constitution of High-level Steering Committee For Eco-health Initiatives In Indiai.On 12th April 2021, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) announced the constitution of a high-level steering committee for eco-health initiatives in India.
ii.The secretariat of the committee will be hosted at the ICMR.
iii.The Union Minister also launched the special issue of ICMR’s Indian Journal of Medical Research. The journal discusses the One Health approach, confirms diverse research on biosafety, preparedness and response.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW):
Union Minister– Dr Harsh Vardhan (Constituency: Chandni Chowk, NCT of Delhi)
Minister of State– Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency: Buxar, Bihar)
>>Read Full News
India Celebrates ‘Tika Utsav’ Vaccination Festival to Combat COVID-19
On 11th April 2021, the Government of India launched the Tika Utsav, a four day COVID-19 vaccination festival with an aim to vaccinate the maximum number of eligible people against COVID-19.
- Tika Utsav is India’s Mass vaccination drive to combat COVID-19.
- The 4-day vaccination drive started on 11th April 2021, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and continued till 14th April 2021 the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Udhampur bags top Position at National Level for implementation of PMGSY during 2020-21Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) UT bagged the top position at National level for successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) during FY 2020-21. It has constructed roads of length 560.49 km during the FY 2020-21.
- Chhattisgarh bagged the first place among all states/UT for developing the highest road length under PMGSY. It was followed by Uttarakhand and J&K.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
i.It was launched on 25th December, 2000 for providing all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages of India.
- The Ministry of Rural Development along with the State Government is responsible for implementation of PMGSY.
- Government has successfully launched 3 phases of PMGSY – Phase-I in 2000, Phase-II in 2013 & Phase-III in 2019 (duration of Phase-III is from 2019-20 to 2024-25).
- Funds Sharing – 60:40 (Centre & State), for NE states it is 90:10.
About Ministry of Rural Development:
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Lok Sabha MP from Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Lok Sabha MP from Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh)
>>Read Full News
C-DAC launches 3 New Initiatives on Occasion of its 34th Foundation Day
C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) launched 3 new initiatives namely Cyber Security Operation Centre (CSoC), Parallel Development Environment (ParaDE) & Automatic Parallelizing Compiler (CAPC) on occasion of its 34th Foundation Day.
- The event was virtually presided over by Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology.
- Apart from the 3 initiatives, C-DAC set aside funds for development of an app-based system called Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System (MANAS) which is a national wellbeing platform for augmenting the mental wellbeing of Indian citizens.
- CSoC is a Cyber Security Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It will offer end-to-end security solutions including managed security services.
- It includes a centralized security monitoring system which will respond to all cybersecurity incidents & will provide advanced threat detection for organizations which use its services.
ParaDE & CAPC
- ParaDE is an integrated Development Environment (IDE) which will help in creating parallel applications for supercomputing.
- CAPC is a software using which users can convert applications with sequential programming code (written in C programming language) into parallel programming applications.
- Both ParaDE & CPAC are aimed at simplifying software development for High Performance Computing (HPC) in India.
- Established in 1988, It is a premier Research & Development organization of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
- C-DAC released India’s 1st Giga-scale Supercomputer PARAM 8000 in 1991.
About Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC):
Director General – Dr. Hemant Darbari
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
India-Kazakhstan Defence Ministers explores on Defence Industrial Collaboration
In April 2021, Nurlan Yermekbayev, Defence Minister of Kazakhstan visited India, where he along with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held talks to enhance Defence Industrial Collaboration between the countries. Both sides discussed improving defence ties through Training, Military Exercises & Capacity building programs.
BANKING & FINANCE
NCDC availed Rs 600 crore loan from Deutsche Bank AG to Support Cooperatives
On April 13, 2021, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) made a deal with Deutsche Bank AG, a German investment bank to avail a loan of €68.87 million (around Rs 600 crore) to finance the development work of cooperatives across India.
- The NCDC also signed an MoU with the Kolkata-based Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to support Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) to sell their produce. Both the agreements were presided over by the Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
- Purpose: The agreements of NCDC with Deutsche Bank and ICC, will lead the Farmers and FPOs to obtain easier credit and market.
- The fund raised is to support NCDC’s activities around FPOs as NCDC is the lead agency along with NABARD and Small Farmer Agri-Business Consortium to set up the new 10,000 FPOs over the next few years.
- This is the first highest lending by one of the largest European banks to the NCDC and the funding reflects the confidence that the global financial institutions have in the Indian development finance institutions.
About National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC):
Establishment – 1963 as a development finance statutory institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Managing Director– Sundeep Kumar Nayak
Head Office– New Delhi
>>Read Full News
IRDAI has Amended the Insurers’ FoF Investment in AIFs
Key points about the Amendment:As per the ‘Investment -Master circular -2017’ by IRDAI has not permitted investments in AIFs, which are of Fund of Funds(FoFs) and leverage funds, and now that circular has been amended.
- As per the amendment, no investments are permitted into AIFs which undertake leverage or borrowing other than to meet day-to-day operational requirements and as permitted under SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.
- Certificate Requirement: On a quarterly basis, the insurer needs to obtain a certificate which will be issued by the concurrent auditor on the compliance of the conditions and file it with quarterly periodical returns.
About Alternative Investment Fund (AIF):
- AIF is a privately pooled investment vehicle that collects funds from sophisticated investors, whether Indian or foreign, for investing it by a defined investment policy for the benefit of its investors.
IRDAI has Extended the Regulatory Sandbox Regulations for 2 Years The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has extended the validity of Regulatory Sandbox for 2 years as per the IRDAI (Regulatory Sandbox) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021
- As most of the approved experiments may not be completed (due to COVID-19) within the scheduled time of July 25, 2021.
- This extension of the time period will enable the applicants to complete their existing sandbox experiments and new sandbox proposals also will be allowed.
- The sandbox regulation was introduced by IRDAI in 2019 and scheduled to expire after 2 years i.e. on July 25, 2021, but now due to the extension for 2 more years the total duration of the sandbox regulation now becomes 4 years.
- IRDAI invited applications for the first cohort of the regulatory sandbox from September 15, 2019, till October 14, 2019(received 173 applications of which 67 were approved).
- The second cohort was introduced for one month from September 15, 2020 (received 185 applications).
Eligibility and Testing process:
- The applicants should have a net worth of Rs 10 lakh in the previous financial year to file products under the regulatory sandbox.
- Testing: Permission for testing in the IRDAI regulation is set for 6 months if needed can avail extension for a maximum period of 6 months to complete the test i.e. all the testing procedures should be completed within a period of 12 months.
What is a Regulatory Sandbox?
- A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator’s supervision.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
A statutory body formed under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDAI Act 1999) on the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee
Establishment – 1999(incorporated- 1st April 2000)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Chairman – Subhash Chandra Khuntia
NHB provides Rs. 10,000 crore Special Refinancing Facility 2021 to HFCs & PLIsOn 13th April 2021, National Housing Bank (NHB) has launched Rs.10,000 crore ‘Special Refinance Facility-2021’ (SRF-2021) Scheme for Housing Finance Companies (HFC) and Primary Lending Institutions (PLI) .
i.The main objective of this scheme is to provide liquidity Support to HFCs and eligible PLIs by providing short-term refinance support.
ii.Under this SRF-2021, NHB has decided to provide short-term liquidity support to PLIs.
iii.This scheme also gives support to HFCs to maintain constant growth in the housing finance sector.
About National Housing Bank(NHB):
Establishment –July 9, 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.
Managing Director – Sarada Kumar Hota
>>Read Full News
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Retail Inflation Increased to 5.52% in March, 2021: NSO
Based on the data released by the National Statistical Office(NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on April 12, 2021, India’s retail inflation was accelerated to a four-month high of 5.52 per cent in March, 2021 due to an increase in food rates.
Key points about the NSO data for March 2021:
- Core inflation: Due to demand and increase in commodity prices the Core inflation was also increased to a 29-month high of 5.96 percent in March 2021 from 3.95 per cent in 2020 and 5.88% in February 2021.
- Food inflation rate: It rose by 4.94 per cent against 3.87 per cent in February due to the protein items such as pulses (tur, urad), meat, fish and egg
- Fuel and light inflation rate: It was increased to 4.5 per cent against 3.53 per cent in February.(The decline in prices of vegetables might lead to food inflation of around 2-2.5 per cent in April 2021)
- Services inflation: It rose by 6.88 per cent
- Industrial output also fell for the second successive month in February 2021, contracting 3.6 per cent year on year
- The average inflation rate in FY21 rose to 6.18 per cent as of 4.76 per cent in FY20.
- The consumer price index (CPI) based inflation rate was about 5.03 per cent in February 2021 and 5.84 per cent in March 2020
- As per the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), Electricity was the only sector that registered a positive growth of 0.1 per cent, while manufacturing output was reduced to 3.7 per cent and mining fell to 5.5 per cent.
About Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI):
Minister of State (MoS)– Rao Inderjit Singh
Statistics Day – June 29
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Suresh Raina appointed as Brand Ambassador of ElistaOn 13th April 2021, Consumer electronic company, ‘Elista’ appointed former Indian Cricketer Suresh Raina as its Brand Ambassador. Elista is a subsidiary of ‘TeknoDome’ , a UAE based trading company, which started its manufacturing in 2020.
- Elista manufactures innovative products in consumer electronics ranging from LED TVs to Coolers, under the concept of ‘Making in India for the world’.
About Suresh Raina:
- He was the 1st Player to score 5000 runs in Indian Premier League (IPL).
- He retired from all forms of International Cricket in August 2020.
Headquarters of TeknoDome – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Headquarters of TeknoDome India – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Elista – Saket Gaurav
CEO of Elista – Pawan Kumar
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
CCI Approves Acquisition of 89.6% of Shareholdings in GPL by APSEZ LtdOn 13th April 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 89.6 per cent equity shareholding of Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ) Limited.
- The acquisition was approved under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
About the acquisition:
89.6% Shareholdings is Acquired from 2 entities, viz
i.APSEZ Ltd has acquired the 58.1 percent stake of GPL from DVS Raju and Family for
ii.APSEZ Ltd has acquired remaining, 31.5 percent stake of GPL from Warburg Pincus.
About Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL):
GPL is an integrated port infrastructure service provider present across 11 domestic ports in 6 maritime states (Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha).
Port Office– Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
About Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ):
APSEZ is the largest commercial ports operator in India present across 12 domestic ports in 7 states (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha).
CEO– Karan Adani
Head Office– Ahmedabad, Gujarat
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Narendra Singh Tomar launches “National Nursery Portal”
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched the “National Nursery Portal” which was developed by the National Horticulture Board for connecting Nursery operators with consumers. Through this portal, Consumers can get information, price & quality of a Plantation, while Suppliers can analyse the market demand of products.
Chess : Praggnanandhaa wins Polgar Challenge 2021
Indian Grand Master, R. Praggnanandhaa won the Polgar Challenge 2021 after he finished with 15.5 points in the event.He finishes the campaign with a hard-fought draw against Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb).The Polgar Challenge was a four-day online rapid tournament held from April 8-11, it is part of the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour. With the victory, Praggnanandhaa qualified for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event which is set to be held on April 24, 2021.
Historian Padma Shri Yogesh Praveen Passed away on 81On 12th April 2021, a renowned author and an eminent historian Yogesh Praveen passed away at the age of 81 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh(UP).He was born in 1938 in Lucknow, UP.
About Yogesh Praveen:
i.Because of his immense knowledge about the history of Lucknow , Yogesh Praveen is known as the Encyclopedia of Awadh and Lucknow history.
ii.He wrote many books including ‘Shantranj ke khiladi’ and ‘Umrao jaan’ which were later taken as a movie.
iii.Apart from being an author,he had also written lyrics for the movie Junoon.
i.He was awarded the country’s fourth-highest civilian honour Padma Shri in 2020 for his contribution to literature and education.
ii.He also won several other awards including Kala Sanskrit samman award(1996),National teachers award(1999),U.P Ratna award(2000),Yash Bharati award(2006),etc.,
iii.He had also won a national award for his book “Lucknow Nama”.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Sanjaya Baru releases new book, ‘India’s Power Elite: Class, Caste and a Cultural Revolution’
India’s famous political commentator, Sanjaya Baru, released his new book “India’s Power Elite: Class, Caste and a Cultural Revolution”. The book discusses the socio-cultural changes that happened in India after the 2014 General Elections.
- The book analyses the regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Bharatiya Janata Party, on how the party wins state elections in places where it had no footprint.
About Sanjaya Baru:
i.He served as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media advisor and chief spokesperson (PMO) between May 2004 and August 2008.
ii.He was the former Secretary-General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Other Books –
- The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh
- 1991: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Made History
- Strategic consequences of India’s economic performance
- India and the World: Essays on Geoeconomics and Foreign Policy
Nitin Anant Gokhale authors new book, “Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life”Nitin Anant Gokhale authors his new book, ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ that discusses Manohar Parrikar’s political journey & contribution to the country, from an IIT student to a social worker and to India’s defence minister.
About Manohar Parrikar:
The 1st IIT graduate to become a Chief Minister in India.
He is a 4-time CM of Goa & Former Defence Minister of India.
About Nitin Anant Gokhale:
Gokhale is the founder of specialised defence related websites – BharatShakti.in. & StratNewsGlobal.com.
Other famous books –
- R.N. Kao: Gentleman Spymaster
- Securing India the Modi Way: Balakot, Anti Satellite Missile Test and More
- Securing India The Modi Way: Pathankot, Surgical Strikes and More
- 1965 Turning the Tide
37th Siachen Day – 13th April 2021i.The Siachen Warriors celebrated the 37th Siachen Day on 13th April 2021 to honour the soldiers of the Indian army who continue to guard the Siachen Glacier, the northern frontier which is a part of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
ii.On 13th April 1984, the troops of the Indian Army unfurled the national flag of India at Bilafond and launched the operation Meghdoot.
iii.India secured the Siachen glacier and Saltoro ridge using the maps of Colonel Narendra ‘Bull’ Kumar.
iv.13th April is annually observed as Siachen Day since 1984.
>>Read Full News
International Day for Street Children 2021 – April 12i.The International Day for Street Children is annually observed across the globe on 12th April to acknowledge the strength and resilience of the street children across the globe. The day aims to highlight the efforts of street children to have their rights respected and meet their needs in a caring and respectful manner.
ii.The International Day for Street Children has been globally celebrated since 2012.
iii.The Consortium for Street Children (CSC)’s network of organisations across the world recognise the International Day for Street Children between 6th April to 12th April.
iv.The CSC launched the 5-year campaign – “4 Steps to Equality” in 2018, which was a call to the government to take 4 steps to achieve equality for street children.
v.The 2021 theme of the campaign is “Access to Essential Services”.
>>Read Full News
National Fire Service Day 2021 – 14th Aprili.The National Fire Service Day is annually observed by the Fire Service personnels across India on 14th April to commemorate the commitment and sacrifices of the 71 fire service personnels who died in the fire accident at freighter SS Fort Stikine at the Victoria Dock, Bombay Port on 14th April 1944.
ii.The theme of National Fire Service Day 2021 is “Maintenance of Fire Safety Equipment Is Key To Mitigate Fire Hazards”.
iii.The National Fire Service Day is also observed as the Martyrs day to pay homage to the firefighters who lost their lives in the Bombay explosion and the firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.
>>Read Full News
World Chagas Disease Day 2021 – April 14i.The World Chagas Disease Day is annually observed across the globe on 14th April to raise awareness about Chagas disease, a life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi).
ii.In May 2019 the 14th April of every year was established as the World Chagas Disease Day upon the decision of the 72nd World Health Assembly.
iii.The first World Chagas Disease Day was observed on 14th April 2020.
iv.14th April marks the day on which Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, a Brazilian physician and researcher diagnosed the first human case of the disease, a 2-year-old girl called Berenice Soares de Moura, in 1909.
>>Read Full News
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 15 April 2021|
|1||NITI Aayog Launches ‘Poshan Gyan’, a National Digital Repository on Health and Nutrition|
|2||Atal Innovation Mission, Bayer partner to work towards healthcare & agriculture innovations|
|3||Harsh Vardhan Launches New Mission called ‘Aahar Kranti’|
|4||Harsh Vardhan Announced the Constitution of High-level Steering Committee For Eco-health Initiatives In India|
|5||India Celebrates ‘Tika Utsav’ Vaccination Festival to Combat COVID-19|
|6||Udhampur bags top Position at National Level for implementation of PMGSY during 2020-21|
|7||C-DAC launches 3 New Initiatives on Occasion of its 34th Foundation Day|
|8||India-Kazakhstan Defence Ministers explores on Defence Industrial Collaboration|
|9||NCDC availed Rs 600 crore loan from Deutsche Bank AG to Support Cooperatives|
|10||IRDAI has Amended the Insurers’ FoF Investment in AIFs|
|11||IRDAI has Extended the Regulatory Sandbox Regulations for 2 Years|
|12||NHB provides Rs.10,000crore Special Refinancing Facility (SRF)2021 to HFCs AND PLIs|
|13||Retail Inflation Increased to 5.52% in March: NSO|
|14||Suresh Raina appointed as Brand Ambassador of Elista|
|15||CCI Approves Acquisition of 89.6% of Shareholdings in GPL by APSEZ Ltd|
|16||Agriculture Minister launches “National Nursery Portal”|
|17||Chess : Praggnandhaa wins Polgar Challenge|
|18||Historian Padma shri Yogesh Praveen Passed away at 81|
|19||Sanjaya Baru releases new book, ‘India’s Power Elite: Class, Caste and a Cultural Revolution’|
|20||Nitin Anant Gokhale authors new book, “Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life”|
|21||37th Siachen Day – 13th April 2021|
|22||International Day for Street Children 2021 – April 12|
|23||National Fire Service Day 2021 – 14th April|
|24||World Chagas Disease Day 2021 – April 14|