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Current Affairs 16 April 2021

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AIM ,Dassault Foundation signed SoI for promoting STEM-based EntrepreneurshipAtal Innovation Mission & Dassault Systemes FondationAtal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with Dassault Systemes Foundation to work towards creating a digitally rich ecosystem of Innovation in India & to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) based innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth of India.

  • The partnership also aims to encourage intercountry collaborations amongst schools and school students for collaborative science/technology learning, skilling and cultural interactions among students.

Contribution to ATL

  • Dassault Systems will contribute to AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) Program in 3 broad areas – Self-learning content, Hackathons and challenges & inter-country academia collaborations.
  • Dassault Systemes will host challenges/hackathons for ATLs.

About Dassault Systemes Foundation, India
Executive Director – Hemant Gadgil
Chairman of Board of Directors – Sudarshan Mogasale
Global Headquarters – Velizy-Villacoublay, France
>>Read Full News

Agriculture Ministry, Microsoft India Joined hands to enhance the Farmers incomeUnion Ministry of Agriculture signs MoU with MicrosoftOn April 14, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft India to undertake a Pilot Project in 100 villages (of 10 districts) in 6 states. The pilot programme is aimed at reducing input cost and boosting the income of Farmers.

  • For the implementation of the project, Microsoft India has partnered with a local partner ‘CropData Technologies’.
  • The 6 States are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Duration of the project is 1 year and the cost of the project will be borne by the Agriculture Ministry & Microsoft India.

About Microsoft 
Global CEO – Satya Nadella
Global Headquarters – Redmond, Washington, USA
Microsoft India President – Anant Maheshwari
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW):
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha, Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary (Lok Sabha – Barmer, Rajasthan)
>>Read Full News.

AIM, AICTE announce partnership to empower ATLAtal Innovation Mission announces partnership with AICTEAtal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has announced its partnership with AICTE’s (All India Council for Technical Education) Institution’s Innovation Councils (IICs) for empowering Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) school students across India.

  • It aims to empower school student innovators across India by equipping them with future ready innovation skills.
  • For this purpose, ATLs across India will be adopted by IICs.
  • The step is in line with NEP 2020’s (National Education Policy 2020) objective of bridging the gap between schools and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).
  • While ATL aims to foster a Culture of Innovation at the School level, IIC aims to foster a Culture of Innovation in HEIs.

About All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE):
Chairman – Anil D. Sahasrabudhe
Headquarters – New Delhi
>>Read Full News

Government has operationalised 75,532 Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres across India India has operationalised over 75,500 Ayushman Bharat HWCsUnion Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the Government has operationalized around 75, 532 Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) across India since 2018. He stated that India is on track to achieve its target of operationalizing 1.5 Lakh Health and Wellness Centre (HWCs) by December 2022.

  • He stated it during an event held to mark the 3rd Anniversary of the launch of AB-HWC.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 1st AB-HWC at Jangla, Bijapur district, Chhattisgarh on April 14, 2018.

Key Points

  • 19 states & 5 UTs were felicitated for having achieved the AB-HWC state-level targets for the year 2020-21.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan Inaugurated a HWC Portal which provides a  public interface to access useful information on services provided at HWCs.

Punjab tops in Operationalization of HWCs
According to the Ranking of states for 2020-21 released by the Government, Punjab achieved the 1st rank in operationalising HWCs in India.

  • Punjab achieved the Target of operationalising 1, 435 HWCs (during 2020-21) given by Government for 2020-21 (180% achievement).

>>Read Full News

Oberoi Group signed an MoU with EESL for clean energy initiativesOberoi Group ties up with EESL to implement energy efficient initiativesOn April 14, 2021, Oberoi Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to reduce its overall carbon footprint by implementing clean energy efficiency initiatives across its properties.

  • EESL will collaborate with Oberoi Group Hotels to evaluate opportunities for saving energy and lowering emissions.

Key points about EESL:

  • It is the Government of India’s Energy Service Company (ESCO) and the world’s largest ESCO.
  • It is a joint venture of 4 public sector undertakings (PSUs), they are NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, REC Limited & POWERGRID Corporation of India Limited & EESL works under the Ministry of Power.

About Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):
Establishment – 2009
Headquarters -New Delhi
Chairman –  Rajeev Sharma
Managing Director – Rajat Kumar Sud
>>Read Full News

NGT Formed an 8-Member NTF to Combat Air Pollution

The National Green Tribunal(NGT) has formed an eight-member National Task Force (NTF) to monitor the remedial steps to improve the status of air quality. NTF will be headed by and coordinated by the Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forests (Currently- Mr.Rameshwar Prasad Gupta).

Key point:
India has the World’s highest death rate from chronic respiratory diseases and 1.5 million people in India are dying annually due to air pollution

About the NTF:
Head: NTF has nominees of Ministries (not below the rank of Joint Secretaries) from Housing and Urban Development, Road Transport, Petroleum, Power, Agriculture, Health and Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board.

Functions of NTF: 

  • It will oversee air quality monitoring of 124 non-attainment cities (NACs) in the country. The list of 124 NACs include Delhi and in terms of states, Maharashtra has 18 such cities, the highest number, followed by 16 in Uttar Pradesh, 13 in Andhra Pradesh, nine in Punjab and seven each in Odisha and Himachal Pradesh.
  • It will work with the committees which were constituted already under The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) at both national and state levels.

About The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):

  • The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is formed to tackle air pollution which targets a 20-30 per cent reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year.
  • Under NCAP a city will be declared as non-attainment if it does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) over a 5-year

About National Green Tribunal (NGT):
Establishment – October 18, 2010, under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010
Chairperson – Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel


IFC Invests USD 100 mn in J.C. Flowers India Opportunities FundIFC to invest USD 100 mn in JC FlowersOn 14th April 2021,International Finance Corporation (IFC),member of the World Bank Group announced to invest USD 100 million in J.C. Flowers India Opportunities Fund to help Indian financial institutions in resolving distressed assets.

  • The investment is part of IFC’s Distressed Asset Recovery Program’s (DARP) work in India.Initially, IFC will invest USD 40 million.

i.It will help the domestic lenders(Lenders in India) to resolve their distressed assets and free up the capital for new lending.
ii.It will allow mid-sized firms to preserve jobs and avoid insolvency during the pandemic.
About International Finance Corporation(IFC):
Executive Vice President & Managing Director: Makhtar Diop
Headquarters: Washington D.C.,USA.
>>Read Full News

USFB Made First Digital Lending Partnership with NIRAUjjivan Small Finance Bank announces collaboration with NIRAUjjivan Small Finance Bank (USFB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Limited made a partnership with a fintech, NIRA to strengthen its digital footprint and onboard its customers for Personal Loans. This was USFB’s first Digital Lending Partnership.
Key points about the partnership:

  • Objective: To serve the unserved and underserved customers through personal loans.
  • Salaried customers can apply for a personal loan by using the NIRA app, which will fund the low-income salaried class.

About Small Finance Bank (SFB):

  • Capital Small Finance Bank and Equitas Small Finance Bank were the first two SFBs formed in India.
  • Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank (SMCB) was India’s 1st Urban Co-operative Bank(UCB) Converted into SFB under the Voluntary Transition Scheme of RBI.

About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank(USFB):
Establishment –  1st February 2017
Headquarters– Bengaluru Karnataka
MD & CEO– Nitin Chugh
Tagline – Build a Better Life
>>Read Full News

Axis Bank Initiates International Fund Transfer Feature in Mobile App

Axis Bank has allowed its customers to make International Fund Transfers (send money abroad) in over 100 currencies across 150 countries through the ‘Send Money Abroad’ feature in the Axis Mobile application with simple two-step process.

  • The users can send up to USD 25,000 (Rs.~18.63 Lakh) per transaction for any different purposes such as education fee payment, family maintenance, and health-related expenses.

About SWIFT:

  • Axis bank transfers funds to global banks through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) mode.
  • SWIFT is a cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions as it assigns a unique code of either 8 characters or 11 characters for each financial organization.


Oscar-Winning Producer, Guneet Monga received the Second-Highest Civilian French HonourGuneet Monga receives second highest civilian French honourGuneet Monga, the Oscar-winning Indian film producer was awarded ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’, second-highest civilian French honour by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Dria.

  • She received the honour for her contribution to world cinema through her Indo-French productions and her work towards women’s empowerment and gender equality.

About Guneet Monga and her work:
She is an Indian producer who has won the Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019 for her short film ‘Period. End of Sentence, 2018’.

  • Famous works: Gangs of Wasseypur series, Masaan and The Lunchbox.”The Lunchbox” has won Critics Week Viewer’s Choice Award at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.

About The Order of Arts and Letters of France:
It is a reward that will be given by France to the contributors across the globe under three categories such as Commander, Officer and Knight (Commandeur, Officier and Chevalier).

About France:
President – Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency -Euro, CFP franc


Claude Joseph appointed as new PM of HaitiHaiti president appoints Claude Joseph as new PMOn 14th April 2021, the President of Haiti,Jovenel Moise appointed Claude Joseph current minister of foreign affairs and worship as the new Prime Minister(PM) of Haiti.
Key Points:
i) He succeeds Joseph Jouthe who resigned from power because of the ongoing political crisis and unrest among the people.
ii) Joseph Jouthe was appointed as PM on March 2020 during the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic
iii) Meanwhile, the country has been severely affected by economic crisis caused by the corona virus outbreak .
About Haiti:
Currency:Haitian gourde
President:Jovenel moise
Prime minister:Claude Joseph


GE Power India Planned to Acquire 50% equity stake in NTPC GE Power ServicesGE Power India to acquire 50% equity stakeOn April 14, 2021, GE Power India Ltd set to acquire 50 per cent equity stake (issued and paid-up share capital) in NTPC GE Power Services Pvt Ltd (NGSL) for Rs 7.2 crore.

  • The acquisition of shares of NGSL from GE Power Systems GmbH by GE Power India Ltd is a related party transaction as both of them are subsidiaries of GE Group.

Note – The related-party transaction refers to a deal or arrangement made between two parties who are joined by a preexisting business relationship or common interest.

About NGSL:

  • It was established in 1999 under the Companies Act, 1956 through a (50:50) Joint Venture between NTPC Limited and GE Power Systems GmbH.
  • NGSL was involved in the process of renovation and modernisation of existing power plants especially the thermal power plants.
  • The authorised share capital and paid-up share capital of NGSL are about Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 lakhs.

About GE Power India Ltd:
Establishment –  1992 (as Asea Brown Boveri Management Limited)
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Managing Director – Prashant Jain

About National Thermal Power Corporation Limited(NTPC):

  • It is aiming to become a 130 GW company by 2032

Establishment – 1975
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman and Managing Director – Gurdeep Singh


Principal Scientific Adviser to GoI, Vijay Raghavan launches MANAS App to promote Mental WellbeingProf K Vijay Raghavan launches MANAS AppOn April 14, 2021, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India (GoI) Professor K Vijay Raghavan virtually launched the ‘MANAS’ App (Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System) to promote the Mental well-being of Indian Citizens.

  • It is an initiative of the Office of the PSA to GoI.
  • MANAS has been jointly executed by NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences) Bengaluru, AFMC (Armed Forces Medical College) Pune & C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), Bengaluru.
  • It was endorsed as a national program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
  • It is a comprehensive national digital wellbeing platform that is based on life skills and core psychological processes.

About Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA):
It is the chief advisor to the Government on matters related to scientific policy.
PSA – Professor K. VijayRaghavan
>>Read Full News

Ravishankar Prasad launches ‘NCSC Grievance Management Portal’ for Scheduled Caste CitizensNCSC Launches “Online Grievance Management Portal”On April 14, 2021, Union Minister of Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the ‘NCSC Grievance Management Portal’ (NCSC – National Commission for Scheduled Castes) – an Online Grievance Management portal for submission of complaints about atrocities against citizens who belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC).

  • It was launched on the occasion of the 130th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr B. R. Ambedkar (on April 14).
  • The portal has been designed in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N), a Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

NCSC Grievance Portal

  • Using the portal, the SC population of India can register complaints from any part of India.
  • The portal will facilitate an end-to-end e-filing of complaints and grievances and their tracking.

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

  • It is a constitutional body set up under Article 338 of the Constitution of India.

About National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC):
It comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Chairman – Vijay Sampla
Headquarters – New Delhi
>>Read Full News

India and Sri Lanka Conduct Joint Scientific Research on Nine ProjectsIndian, Sri Lankan scientists to undertake joint researchAs per the recent information provided by the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology, the Government of India and Sri Lanka have decided to provide bilateral support with the two countries’ scientists for the joint research on nine projects and 3 workshops in various fields. 
i.Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovation, Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has launched a joint research proposal in various fields including Food Technology; Plant base medicines;Metrology and more in 2019.
ii.The call for proposals was a result of 2008 inter-governmental cooperation in science and technology between India and Sri Lanka The cooperation was initiated and discussed through the India Sri Lanka Sub-Commission on Science & Technology, under the umbrella of the inter-governmental India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission.
About Department of Science and Technology (DST),India
Secretary – Prof. Ashutosh Sharma
Established in – May 1971
Headquarters – New Delhi
>>Read Full News

UAE to send its 1st Rover, ‘Rashid’ to Moon by 2022

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Centre is planning to send its rover ‘Rashid’ to the moon on an unmanned spacecraft by 2022.  The rover will be deployed on the Moon using Japan based ispace company’s Lunar lander. The rover is named after Dubai’s ruling family(Current Ruler-Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid)

  • The rover will be launched into space aboard a SpaceX rocket from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.
  • If the mission succeeds, UAE & Japan will join countries like US, Russia & China as nations that have put a spacecraft on the lunar surface.
  • The rover will study the lunar surface, mobility on the moon’s surface and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles.


Former Indian Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Jr passed away at 88Indian Hockey legend Balbir Singh jr passes awayFormer Indian Hockey legend Balbir Singh Junior passed away at the age of 88 due to heart failure in Chandigarh. He was a member of the Indian Hockey team which won silver medal at the 1958 Asian games.
About Balbir Singh Jr:
i)Balbir Singh Jr was born in Jalandhar, Punjab on May 2,1932.   
ii)He is popularly considered as the nursery of Hockey players in India.
iii)He served in Indian army from 1962 and retired as Major in 1984.
iv)He debuted for India’s National Hockey Team in 1951 & also played for Services Hockey team, Indian Railways.


PM Narendra Modi Released 4 books on Life of BR Ambedkar Authored by Kishor MakwanaPM Modi releases four books based on Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar's lifeOn 14th April 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually participated in the Association of Indian Universities’ 95th Annual Meet and National Seminar of Vice-Chancellors. On the occasion he released 4 books based on Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s life, which were authored by Kishor Makwana.
4-Books: Dr. Ambedkar Jivan Darshan, Dr. Ambedkar Vyakti Darshan, Dr Ambedkar Rashtra Darshan, and Dr. Ambedkar Aayam Darshan.
Note- 14th April 2021 marks the 130th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, which is celebrated in India as Ambedkar Jayanti.
About B R Ambedkar:
i.He is the 1st Law Minister of India & popularly known as the “Father of Indian Constitution”.
ii.He was the inspiration behind the 1956 Dalit Buddhist movement in India.
iii.Books by B.R. Ambedkar – Annihilation of Caste,Who Were the Shudras?,The Buddha and His Dhamma,The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution,Castes in India.

Suresh Raina Authored His Memoir “Believe — What Life and Cricket Taught Me” With Bharat SundaresanSuresh Raina penned his Memoir “Believe — What Life and Cricket Taught Me” Co-authored by Bharat Sundaresan to be released by May, 2021.The book will be published by Penguin Random House.
Note – Memoir means a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge.
About the Book:
The Book is all about the Suresh Raina, it describes about his life, challenges he faced as a young cricketer.
About Suresh Raina:
i.He hails from Uttar Pradesh.
ii.He is the first Indian batsman to hit a century in all three formats(Test, ODI, T20I) of international cricket.
iii.He is also the 1st Indian player to score 6,000 and 8,000 runs in T20 cricket.
iv.He is the first cricketer in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to complete 5000 runs.
About Bharat Sundaresan:
He is a world-renowned, award-winning cricket writer currently based in Adelaide, Australia. He is the Australian correspondent and senior writer for Cricbuzz.He was well known for his book, “The Dhoni Touch”.

Paro Anand Authored the Book Titled “Being Gandhi”

Paro Anand authored the book on Gandhi, titled “Being Gandhi”.The book was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. Illustrations was given by Priya Kuriyan. Paro’s story captures the growing relevance of Gandhi’s philosophy and the need to rethink it over the course of a decade and with the plagues of social and political division.


World Art Day 2021 observed on 15th AprilWorld Art Day 2021

International Association of Art (IAA/AIAP) a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), a partner of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) celebrated the World Art Day on 15th April annually. The 1st World Art Day was officially celebrated on April 15th, 2012.

  • UNESCO New Delhi Office for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka offered a special webinar on 2021’s World Art Day.
  • Webinar Topic – “Shaping the Future for Artists”.

Why 15th April?
i.To honor “Leonardo da Vinci” a pioneer in Art, his birthday 15th April was selected as the World Art Day.
ii.Leonardo da Vinci is a World famous Painter, Sculptor born on 15 April 1452 in Italy.
iii.Some of his famous Works – Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Vitruvian Man.
About International Art Association(IAA/AIAP):
IAA is an NGO (a non-governmental organisation) working in official partnership with UNESCO.
Established – 1948 (Became Independent organization in 1954).
President – Bedri Baykam
Headquarter – Paris, France

>>Read Full News


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S.noCurrent Affairs 16 April 2021
1AIM signs SoI with Dassault Systemes Foundation for promoting STEM-based Innovation & Entrepreneurship
2Agriculture Ministry signs MoU with Microsoft India to enhance Farmers Income in 100 villages of 6 states
3AIM, AICTE announce partnership to empower ATL
4Government has operationalised 75, 532 Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres across India
5Oberoi Group signed an MoU with EESL for clean energy initiatives
6NGT Formed an 8-Member NTF to Combat Air Pollution
7IFC invests USD 100 mn in JC flowers India
8The first Digital Lending partnership of USFB was done with NIRA
9Axis Bank Allowed its Customers to make International Fund Transfer through Mobile App
10Oscar-Winning Producer, Guneet Monga Got the Second-Highest Civilian French Honour
11Claude Joseph appointed as new PM of Haiti
12GE Power India Planned to Acquire 50% equity stake in NTPC GE Power Services
13Principal Scientific Adviser to GoI, Vijay Raghavan launches MANAS App to promote Mental Wellbeing
14Ravishankar Prasad launches ‘NCSC Grievance Management Portal’ for Scheduled Caste Citizens
15India and Sri Lanka Conduct Joint Scientific Research on Nine Projects
16UAE plans to send its 1st Rover to Moon by 2022
17Former Indian Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Jr passed away at 88
18PM Narendra Modi releases 4 books on 130th Birth Anniversary of BR Ambedkar
19Suresh Raina Authored His Memoir “Believe — What Life and Cricket Taught Me” With Bharat Sundaresan
20Paro Anand Authored the Book Titled “Being Gandhi”
21World Art Day observed on 15th April