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Current Affairs 16 March 2021

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

Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal- India’s 1st Centralized AC Terminal set to become operational in Bengaluru Indian Railways’ 1st fully centralised AC terminal in Bengaluru to begin‘Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal’ – India’s 1st Centralized Air-Conditioned Railway Terminal at Baiyappanahalli in Bengaluru, Karnataka is set to become operational soon.

  • It is being developed by the Indian Railways at a cost INR 314 Crore and has been named after one of India’s 1st Civil Engineers, Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya.
  • It was sanctioned in 2015-16 and is the 3rd Coach Terminal in Byappanahalli.

About Indian Railways:
CEO – Suneet Sharma
Head Office – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

India’s 1st dedicated Express Cargo Terminal launched at Kempegowda International AirportBengaluru-airport-launches-India’s-first-dedicated-express-cargo-terminalOn 12th March, 2021 India’s 1st dedicated Express Cargo Terminal, exclusively for export and import of international couriers was inaugurated in Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore. The 2,00,000 sq.ft Export Cargo Terminal will also accommodate international courier organisations like DHL Express & FedEx Express, under the Common-User Express Terminal that will be operated by Express Industry Council of India (EICI).
About Express Industry Council of India (EICI):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Vijay Kumar
Location – Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Area, Mumbai.
About Karnataka:
Festivals- Vijaya Utsav (Hampi Utsav), Karaga, Kambala (Buffalo Race).
Nicknames:
Rome of East – Mangalore
Scotland of India – Coorg
Silicon Valley of India – Bangalore
<<Read Full News>>

UP Govt Celebrates 3 Day-long ‘Kalanamak Rice Festival’Uttar Pradesh CM launches ‘kalanamak’ rice festivalOn March 13, 2021, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a three-day-long ‘Kalanamak rice festival’ in Siddharth Nagar.The festival was organized after the success of Strawberry and Jaggery festivals.

  • The rice festival event is being organised so as to promote, market and brand the selected products as One District One Product (ODOP) under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Local for Vocal’ campaign.
  • To promote the production, processing, packaging, and branding of Kalanamak Rice, the UP Government has declared the rice as the One District One Product(ODOP) of Siddharth Nagar in 2018.

About the Rice variety Kalanamak:

  • It is one of the finest varieties of aromatic rice that are grown in India, Kalanamak is also called Buddha Rice.
  • Nutritional benefits: It is rich in antioxidants, omega-3, and omega-6, 12% iron, 21.5%zinc and helps in regulating blood-related problems, and is suitable for diabetic patients.
  • It is a rice variety that has been cultivated since 600 BC under 22,000 hectares of land in Siddharthnagar and surrounding areas, currently, it is being grown on 5000 hectares.

About One District One Product(ODOP):

  • Uttar Pradesh government was the first state of India to launch the concept of ODOP in 2018
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry is now working on an institutional mechanism to promote the ODOP scheme across India.
  • The ODOP product could be a perishable Agri produce, cereal-based product, or a food product widely produced in a district and their allied sectors.

Indian Railways Integrated Rail Madad Helpline ‘139’

Indian Railways has integrated all railway helplines into a single number ‘139’, which is now the main ‘Rail Madad’ Helpline, for quick grievance redressal and enquiry mechanism during train journeys for passengers.

Harsh Vardhan addresses the inaugural session of Techbharat 2021

On March 6, 2021, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan addressed the inaugural session of 2nd edition of TechBharat 2021, e-conclave of HealthTech & Edutech sectors. Laghu Udyog Bharati and IMS Foundation have organized the 2nd edition of the conclave. In the Union Budget 2021-22, ₹2,23,846 crore budget outlay was allocated in health and well-being, “highest ever funding for the health sector”.

Indian Navy Deploys Women Officers On Warship After 23 Years

On 8th March 2021, International Women’s Day, For the first time in 23 years since 1998, the Indian Navy has deployed 4 women officers onboard its warships. 2 of the 4 officers were posted on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the other 2 were deployed on the tanker ship INS Shakti.

  • The women officers were first posted on the maritime force vessels in 1998 and the decision was reversed due to logistical and other reasons.
  • Recently Indian Navy has posted Lieutenant Commander Karabi Gogoi as the first women defence attache abroad in Moscow, Russia.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India’s Regime type has turned into ‘Electoral Autocracy’ – Swedish Democracy Report 2021'India Now An Electoral Autocracy' Swedish Firm V-Dem InstituteAccording to the ‘Autocratization Turns Viral: Democracy Report 2021’ released by Swedish-based V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute states that India’s regime type has turned into ‘Electoral Autocracy’ in 2020 from ‘Electoral Democracy’ in 2010. Hungary & Turkey have also been demoted as ‘Electoral Autocracy’.

  • India has registered a 23%-point drop on the Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) scale marking one of the most dramatic shifts among all countries in the world over the past 10 years.
  • Based on the LDI Index, the top 3 democratic countries in the world are Denmark, Sweden & Norway.
  • Liberal Democracies have declined over the past decade (2010-20) from 41 countries to 32 countries.
  • This is the 5th Annual report from the V-Dem Institute and is based on a data set of 202 countries.

Click here to read the full report
About V-Dem Institute:
Director – Staffan I. Lindberg
Location – Gothenburg, Sweden
<<Read Full News>>

India ranked highest in workplace satisfaction: JLL HPI IndexIndia-ranks-highest-in-workplace-satisfactioni.According to JLL’s (Jones Lang LaSalle)’s Human Performance Indicator (HPI) Index, India ranked highest in workplace satisfaction at 98 percent followed by China at 97 percent.
ii.As per the report, India leads other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries with 81 per cent of high performers practising flexible working, including flexible hours and work-from-home.
iii.Technology workers (53%) and young professionals aged 25 to 34 (37%) make up the majority of High Performers. As much as High Performers were champions of flexible work, they felt that the office was a critical factor to performance.
About Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL):
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Chief Executive Officer & President – Christian Ulbrich
<<Read Full News>>

US becomes India’s 2nd Biggest Oil Supplier overtaking Saudi Arabia;Iraq TopsUS-Becomes-India's-Second-Biggest-Oil-Supplier,-Saudi-Plunges-Fourth-SpotAccording to trade data released by Reuters, the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia as India’s 2nd Biggest Oil Supply in February, 2021.  Iraq continues to be India’s Largest supplier despite a 23% decline in purchases to a five-month low of 867, 500 BPD (Barrels Per Day).

  • India’s imports from America increased to 48% to a record 545, 300 BPD in February, 2021 accounting for 14% of India’s overall imports last month
  • Saudi Arabia slipped to No.4 Position for the 1st time since January 2006. Nigeria rose to 3rd Position and UAE slipped to 5th Position.
  • Totally, India shipped 3.92 million BPD of Oil in February, 2021 (decline of 18% from January).

Fact
India is World’s Third Largest Oil Importer & Consumer (after USA, China)

Position

Country

1 Iraq
2 USA
3 Nigeria
4 Saudi Arabia
5 UAE

About Reuters:
Reuters is an International News Organization owned by Thomson Reuters
President – Michael Friedenberg
Headquarters – London, UK
<<Read Full News>>

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

India became the World’s 4th largest Forex Reserve by surpassing RussiaIndia beats Russia to no 4 spot on forex kitty rankingsAs per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, India’s Foreign exchange (Forex) reserves to become the world’s fourth-largest by surpassing Russia.India’s foreign currency holdings fell by $4.3 billion to $580.3 billion and Russia’s forex holdings were $580.1 billion.As of March 2021, International Monetary Fund(IMF)table, China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan, Switzerland, India, and Russia.

  • Most of the foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars, as it is the most traded currency in the world.

Benefits of having a strong forex reserves position:

  • This will lead to more investments through foreign investors and credit rating companies
  • India now has enough reserves to cover roughly 18 months of imports; this is due to the rare current-account surplus, rising foreign direct investment, and inflows into the local stock market.

Last year Performance:
In 2020, the RBI bought a net $88 billion in the spot forex market,this made the Indian rupee the worst performer among Asia’s major currencies and earned India a place on a US Treasury watchlist for currency manipulation.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF): 
It was conceived in July 1944 at the United Nations Bretton Woods Conference in the United States.
Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States (US)
Managing Director : Kristalina Georgieva
Membership: 190 countries
The largest borrowers: Argentina, Egypt, Ukraine, Pakistan
<<Read Full News>>     

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

World Bank Economist Deepak Mishra Appointed as Director & Chief Executive of ICRIER World Bank's Deepak Mishra appointed as ICRIER director, chief executiveOn 13th March 2021, Deepak Mishra the lead Economist and Practice Manager at the World Bank was appointed as the new Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER), the economic think Tank of India.
Deepak Mishra will take over as the Director and Chief Executive from Rajat Kathuria, who has been serving as the Director and Chief Executive of ICRIER since 1st September 2012.
About Deepak Mishra:
i.Deepak Mishra a native of Odisha has served as the World Bank’s Country economists of India based in Delhi from 2001 to 2004.
ii.He has worked closely with the government of India and also with other states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab.
iii.Prior to his appointment in the World Bank, he has worked at Tata Motors, Federal Reserve Bank and University of Maryland.
iv.He has published various research , the journal of international economic national sessions.
About Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations(ICRIER):
Chairman– Pramod Bhasin
Headquarters– New Delhi

Government reconstitutes Advisory Committee for Studying Sarasvati River under the Chair of Prahlad Singh PatelGovt reconstitutes panel for studying Sarasvati riverThe Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) released a notification stating that it has reconstituted an Advisory Committee for Multidisciplinary Study of the River Sarasvati (also known as Ghaggar-Hakra River).It will be headed by Union Minister for Culture (Currently- Prahlad Singh Patel).

  • It has been reconstituted for the next two years (2021-23), after the earlier term’s panel ended in 2019 (it was constituted in 2017).
  • The committee will review the work done by the previous panel and then formulate a plan.

River Sarasvati 

  • Considered a Mythical river, it is among the trio of India’s holy rivers along with Ganga & Yamuna. It is believed to have run through the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan.
  • It is said to have disappeared due to tectonic disturbances, impacting its tributaries.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):
It functions under the Ministry of Culture
Director General – V Vidyavathi
Head Office – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>      

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer “Fugaku” by Japan, Now Fully Operational

“Fugaku” the Japanese supercomputer that topped the Top500 list for 2 consecutive years is now fully operational. The supercomputer that was developed for 6 years by Japanese scientific research institute RIKEN and Fujitsu was used in projects to combat COVID-19 pandemic. Japan’s Research Organization for Information Science and Technology (RIST) has selected 74 projects that will use the supercomputer in FY2021. This will work towards the Japanese government’s vision of an ultra-smart Society 5.0.

HP Launched World First PCs with Plastic Waste in Ocean

HP(Hewlett-Packard) has made the World’s first PC using plastic waste from the ocean.
To build on HP’s sustainability commitment, The HP Pavilion line-up (HP Pavilion 13, HP Pavilion 14, and HP Pavilion 15 laptops) uses the post-consumer recycled and plastic waste in Ocean in the construction of speaker housing.

  • The Pavilion series is set to keep around 92000 plastic bottles out of the ocean and landfills.
  • The outer boxes and fibre cushions used for the packaging of the new PCs are 100% sustainably sourced and recyclable.

SPORTS

Bhavani Devi becomes 1st Indian Fencer to qualify for 2020 Tokyo OlympicsBhavani Devi becomes first Indian fencer to qualify for OlympicsChadalavada Anandha Bhavani Devi who hails from Tamil Nadu became the 1st ever Indian Fencer to qualify for an Olympics. She was assured of qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Hungary lost to South Korea in the Quarter-finals of Team event of 2021 Fencing Sabre World Cup being held at Budapest, Hungary.

  • Bhavani Devi will be a part of the women’s individual sabre event at Tokyo 2020 & She qualified through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method.
  • 2 Individual spots were available for grabs for the Asia-Oceania region based on World Rankings as of April 5, 2021. She is ranked 45th & hence occupied one of the two available slots based on the ranking.
  • Bhavani Devi, a Sabre Fencer is also an 8-time National Champion.
  • The Tokyo Olympics 2020 is set to take place July 23, 2021 – August 8, 2021.
  • She was the first Indian to bag a silver medal at the 2014 Asian Championship U23 category in Philippines and  first Indian to win a gold medal at the senior Commonwealth Fencing Championship in Canberra in the sabre event in 2019.

Fact
Competitive Fencing is one of the 5 activities which have been featured in every modern Olympic Games (since 1896), the other four being athletics, cycling, swimming & Gymnastics.
About International Fencing Federation (FIE):
It is the International Governing body of Olympic Fencing
President – Alisher Usmanov
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland

OBITUARY

Padma Awardee Painter Laxman Pai Passed away at 95
painter Laxman Pai dies in GoaOn March 14,2021, Padma Bhushan recipient and Goa’s veteran artist Laxman Pai passed away at the age of 95 in Goa.

  • The renowned painter was born in Goa in 1926, he is well known for his contemporary paintings he is also the former principal of the Goa College of Art. He received the third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan award in 2018.

Awards and recognitions:
He was honoured with several prestigious awards, such as
Padma Bhushan(2018), Padma Shri(1985) ,Nehru Award & Gomant Vibhushan Award(2016), Goa State Award(1987), Lalit Kala Akademi Award (3 times 1961, 1963, 1972), and Mayo Medal for his contribution in the field of art.

Veteran Kathakali Guru Padma Shri Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair Passed Away at 105Noted Kathakali artist Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair passes awayOn 15th March 2021, Veteran Kathakali performer and Guru, Padma Shri Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair passed away at the age of 105 in his residence in Cheliya, Koyilandy in Kozhikode, Kerala. He was born on 16th June 1916 in Malabar district, Madras Presidency, British India(present Kozhikode, Kerala).
About Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair:
i.He founded the Bharatiya Natyyakalayalam, the first school of dance in North Kerala in 1945 and in 1983 he established Cheliya Kathakali Vidyalayam in Kozhikode.
ii.He has won several honours for his contribution to the art form of Kathakali, which includes, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Award in 1979, Kerala Kalamandalam award in 2001, Kala Ratna award in 2009, Mayilpeeli award and Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore award.
iii.He was honoured with India’s 4th highest civilian award Padma Shri in 2017 for his contribution to Kathakali.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan’s Children’s book – “Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma”

New children's book titled 'Prince with a PaintbrushUnder Westland’s ‘Red Panda’ imprint, an illustrated book for children titled “Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma” written by Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan will be published in April
Objective: It aims to inspire young readers to learn about the famed artist and how he made his entry and mark in the art world.

  • Srinivasan has earlier authored children’s books like “Indi-Alphabet” and “How Many Lines in a Limerick?”

Points to be noted about Raja Ravi Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906):

  • He was a celebrated Indian painter and artist, one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art.
  • Considering his vast contribution to Indian art, the Government of Kerala has instituted an award called Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram, which is awarded every year to people who show excellence in the field of art and culture.
  • On his 65th death anniversary (29 April 1971), India post issued a commemorative postal stamp depicting Ravi Varma and his famous painting ‘Damayanti and Swan’
  • In 2013, a crater on Mercury was named in the honor of this greater Indian painter.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Mathematics 2021 – March 14International Day of Mathematics 2021i.International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is annually observed across the globe on 14th March to celebrate the beauty and importance of mathematics and its essential role in everyone’s life. The day also marks the birth anniversary of renowned mathematician and physicist Albert Einstein and death anniversary of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
ii.The theme of the International Day of Mathematics 2021 is “Mathematics for a Better World”. 
iii.The International Day of Mathematics is led by the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) and the International Mathematical Union.  
iv.Prior to the recognition of UNESCO in 2019, The International Day of Mathematics was observed as Pi Day. The first pi day was observed on 14th March 1988 which was organised by Physicist Larry Shaw.
<<Read Full News>>

International Day of Action for Rivers 2021 – March 14
International Day of action for riversi.The International Day of Action for Rivers which was formerly known as “International Day against Dams, for Rivers, Water, and Life” is annually observed across the globe on 14th March to create awareness about the importance of rivers.
ii.14th March 2021 marks the 24th edition of the International Day of Action for Rivers.
iii.The theme of International Day of Action for Rivers 2021 is “Rights of Rivers”.
iv.International Rivers, an ecological organisation located in Oakland, California, USA has initiated the celebration of International Day of Action for Rivers.
v.The river experts from around 20 countries decided to observe the 14th March of every year as the Day of Action for Rivers.
Ministry of Jal Shakti:
Union Minister– Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Minister of State– Rattan Lal Kataria
<<Read Full News>>

World Consumer Rights Day 2021 – March 15World Consumer Rights Day 2021i.World Consumer Rights Day is annually celebrated across the globe on 15th March to highlight the power of consumers and their rights for a fair, safe and sustainable marketplace for everyone.
ii.The world Consumer Rights day is coordinated by Consumers International, the membership organisation for consumer groups across the globe.
iii.The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2021 is “Tackling Plastic Pollution”.
iv.The campaign under “tackling plastic pollution” will create awareness and encourage consumers across the globe to adopt and promote sustainable practices.
v.In 1983, the Consumer International portal decided to proclaim the 15th March as World Consumer Rights Day.
<<Read Full News>>

STATE NEWS

Haryana CM presents State Budget for FY 2021-22 with an overlay of INR 1.55 Lakh CroreHaryana govt presents Rs 1.55 lakh cr budgetHaryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar who also holds the Finance Portfolio presented the state budget for FY 2021-22 with an overlay of INR 1, 55, 645 Lakh Crore. The areas of focus were health, agriculture & infrastructure.

  • The INR 1, 55, 645 crore allocated for FY 2021-22 is an increase of 13% over FY 2020-21 of INR 1, 37, 738 Crore.
  • The budget has proposed setting up Special Education Zones (SEZs) to promote technology based learning in government schools.

Fiscal Indicators

  • Capital Expenditure – INR 38, 718 crore
  • Revenue Expenditure – INR 1, 16, 927 crore
  • Projected Fiscal Deficit – 3.93% (which is well under the 4% limit of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act)

Major Announcements

  • A special campaign – ‘Har Khet Swasth Khet’ announced to focus on soil health and facilitating cropping choices based on soil quality.
  • Old Age Samman allowance increases to INR 2, 500 per month from April 1, 2021.
  • INR 700 Crore has been allocated for promoting technology based education and for installation of digital classrooms, among other facilities.

Click here to read the full budget
About Haryana
Tribes – Bazigars, Babaria, Gandhila
<<Read Full News>>

Punjab partners with UN & other global agencies to launch 8 schemes for WomenPunjab-to-join-hands-with-UN,-other-global-agencies-to-empower-womenPunjab Government has partnered with United Nations (UN) & other agencies for empowering women. He also launched 8 schemes for women to mark the International Women’s Day (March 8). They are aimed at safeguarding women from crimes, protecting their rights & introducing gender sensitisation curriculum.
Partnering Agencies

  • The International agencies are UN Women, UNDP (United Nations Development Fund), UN Population Fund, J-PAL (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) & FUEL (Friends Union for Energizing Lives).

Gist of Schemes 

  • MoU with UN Population Fund for Capacity building of state departments.
  • Partnership with UNDP to eliminate anaemia & malnutrition among women and children.
  • MoU with J-PAL for boosting gender sensitisation curriculum
  • MoU with FUEL to impart skills to youth in line with ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ scheme.
  • Handing over of appointment letters for 2, 407 master cadre women teachers, launch of Sanja Shakti helpdesks & 181 Sanjh Shakti helpline for women at all police stations.

About Punjab:
Chief Minister – Captain Amarinder Singh
Capital – Chandigarh

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 16 March 2021
1 India’s 1st Centralized AC Terminal set to become operational in Bengaluru
2 India’s 1st dedicated Express Cargo Terminal launched at Kempegowda International Airport
3 UP Govt Launched a 3 Day-long ‘Kalanamak Rice Festival’ after the success of Strawberry and Jaggery festivals.
4 Indian Railways Integrated Rail Madad Helpline ‘139’
5 Harsh Vardhan addresses the inaugural session of Techbharat 2021
6 Indian Navy Deploys Women Officers On Warship After 23 Years
7 India’s Regime type has turned into ‘Electoral Autocracy’ – Swedish Democracy Report 2021
8 India ranks highest in workplace satisfaction: JLL HPI Index
9 US becomes India’s 2nd Biggest Oil Supplier overtaking Saudi Arabia
10 India became the World’s 4th largest Forex Reserve by surpassing Russia
11 World Bank Economist Deepak Mishra Appointed as Director & Chief Executive of ICRIER
12 Government reconstitutes Advisory Committee for Studying Sarasvati River
13 World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer “Fugaku” by Japan, Now Fully Operational
14 HP Launched World First PCs with Plastic Waste in Ocean
15 Bhavani Devi becomes 1st Indian Fencer to qualify for Olympics
16 Padma Awardee Painter Laxman Pai Passed away at 95
17 Veteran Kathakali Guru Padma Shri Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair Passed Away at 105
18 Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan’s Children’s book – “Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma”
19 International Day of Mathematics 2021 – March 14
20 International Day of Action for Rivers 2021 – March 14
21 World Consumer Rights Day 2021 – March 15
22 Haryana CM presents State Budget for FY 2021-22 with an overlay of INR 1.55 Lakh Crore
23 Punjab partners with UN & other global agencies to launch 8 schemes for Women