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Current Affairs 17 April 2021

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Hardeep Singh Puri launches EatSmart Cities Challenge & Transport4All ChallengeHousing & Urban Affairs Minister launches EatSmart Cities ChallengeOn April 15, 2021, Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing & Urban Affairs virtually launched 2 Challenges during an online event. They are EatSmart Cities Challenge & Transport 4 All Challenge (T4All).

  • All Smart Cities, capital cities of States/UTs and cities with a population of more than 5 Lakh are eligible to take part in the 2 challenges.

EatSmart Cities Challenge

  • To motivate Smart Cities to develop a plan which supports a healthy, safe and sustainable food environment.
  • It has been launched in partnership with Smart Cities Mission.
  • It is an initiative under the ‘Eat Right India’ Movement (of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)).

Transport 4 All (T4All) Challenge

  • To develop digital solutions for making public transport safe, affordable, comfortable and reliable for all.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched the Challenge in collaboration with Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
  • The initiative will help cities to recover from the Mobility crisis caused by COVID-19.
  • The focus of the 1st Edition of the challenge will be on digital innovation.

About Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA):
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha, Uttar Pradesh)
>>Read Full News

CSC Tie Up with Tata Power to Set Up Solar-powered Micro Grids and Water PumpsCSC, Tata Power tie-up to provide solar-powered micros gridsOn April 15, 2021, The Common Services Center (CSC), the government’s e-governance services arm made a partnership with Tata Power to set up solar-powered microgrids and water pumps in rural areas across the country.
About the partnership in brief:

Objective: To provide clean and sustainable energy to households and businesses in rural areas.
Affordable Power through Micro grids:

  • Under the partnership, Tata Power planned to set up 10,000 micro grids in rural areas with support from CSC’s village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs).
  • The VLE’s will be trained to install and maintain the micro grinds and they also will connect the rural citizens and MSME units.
  • Pilot program: The micro-grids has been piloted in five villages of Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh

Water Pumps: Tata Power will also provide solar water pumps(rental) to 6000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)
Employment creation: As per the partnership, 3.75 lakh CSCs will be involved in supplying solar water pumps to farmers and help in setting up micro grids.
About CSC and its structure:
It is an Information and Communication Technologies(ICT) enabled front end service delivery point, formed under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), in May 2006 to offer web-enabled e-governance services for G2C (government-to-citizen) and other B2C (business-to-citizen).
Managing Director of CSC- Dinesh Tyagi
>>Read Full News

Overview of French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to IndiaFrench Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to IndiaMr Jean-Yvesh Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs France paid an official visit to India from April 13-15, 2021.
i.During the visit, Mr Le Drian held a meeting with the External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

  • Participated in a panel discussion on Climate Change with Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of MoEFCC.
  • Participated in Raisina Dialogue 2021 hosted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs.

Major Events

  • France has agreed to be part of the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI). IPOI was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) & French National Space Agency (CNES) signed an agreement for cooperation concerning India’s 1st Human Space Mission ‘Gaganyaan’.
  • MeitY Startup Hub (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) & La French Tech, Bengaluru have launched the Indo-French Tech Programme for supporting the Indo-French startup collaboration.
  • Indo-French Accelerator program was launched for boosting the collaboration between India & France in the field of innovative technology.

About France:
President –  Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency – Euro, CFP franc
>>Read Full News

MeitY Launches 3 Initiatives of National Internet Exchange of IndiaSecretary MeitY Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney inaugurates three new initiatives-servicesOn April 15, 2021, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) launched 3 New Initiatives of the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). They are

  • IP Guru – IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) Expert Panel,  NIXI Academy & NIXI-IP-Index
  • Through these initiatives, NIXI aims to play a supporting role for IPv6 awareness and adoption in India along with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) & MeitY.
  • IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), it intends to replace IPv4. 

IP Guru  (IPv6 Expert Panel)

  • It will provide technical support to Indian entities who are planning to migrate/adapt to IPv6. It is a joint effort of DoT, MeitY to promote IPv6.

NIXI Academy

  • It was created to educate technical/non-technical people in India about IPv6.


  • The portal will showcase the IPv6 adoption rate in India and across the world.


  • It is a not for profit Organization under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 and was registered on 19th June 2003.
  • It was set up to facilitate improved internet services in India.

About National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI):
CEO – Anil Kumar Jain
Headquarters – New Delhi
>>Read Full News

President of India promulgates Tribunal Reforms Ordinance, 2021Govt issues tribunal reforms ordinancePresident Ram Nath Kovind promulgated ‘The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021’. The ordinance dissolves existing appellate authorities under 9 acts and transfers their functions (hearing appeals) to High Courts.
i.The ordinance was issued by the Ministry of Law & Justice.
ii.The Nine Laws (Replacement of Appellate Authorities/Tribunals)

  • Cinematograph Act, 1952; Trade Marks Act, 1999; Copyright Act, 1957; Customs Act, 1962; Patents Act, 1970; Airports Authority of India Act, 1994; Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002; Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999; Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001

Amendment to Finance Act, 2017
The ordinance also amends Section 184 of the Finance Act 2017, it introduces provisions related to the composition of Search-cum-selection committees and term of office of tribunal members in the Act itself.
About Ministry of Law & Justice
Union Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad (Lok Sabha – Patna Sahib, Bihar)
>>Read Full News

India extends NPR 42.95 Million Grant Assistance to Nepal India extends NRs 42-95 million grant assistance to NepalIndia has extended NPR 42.95 Million (~ INR 2.69 Crores) grant assistance to Nepal for construction of a New Building for a School in Udaypur district of Nepal.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian Embassy & Nepal Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) for the grant assistance.
  • It will be taken up as a High Impact Community Development Project (HICDPs) scheme under the Nepal-Bharat Maitri Development Partnership programme.

Nepal Inaugurates Roads built under Indian Grant
Nepal inaugurated 10 Roads (length of 300 Kms) which were built with Indian grant assistance of NPR 800 Crores (~ INR 501 Crores).

  • The roads were constructed to strengthen the road infrastructure in Terai region of Nepal.
  • The roads also called as Hulaki Rajmarg(also known as Postal Highway) were implemented under the ‘Indian Government Funding and Government of Nepal implementation’ modality.

About Nepal
President – Bidya Devi Bhandari
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency – Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
>>Read Full News

INS Sarvekshak conducts Hydrographic Surveys in Mauritius 

Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship, is deployed in Mauritius for conducting Hydrographic surveys. The ship carried out deep sea surveys in the coast of Port Louis.

  • Facilities of Ship – Deep Sea Multi-Beam Echo Sounder, Side Scan Sonars and a fully automated digital surveying & processing system.
  • Previously, the ship has conducted surveys under foreign cooperation in Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Kenya.


RBI set up RRA 2.0 to Streamline its Regulations and Reduce ComplianceRBI sets up RRA 2-0On April 15, 2021, RBI has formed the second Regulations Review Authority (RRA) named RRA 2.0 to Streamline its Regulations and Reduce Compliance.

  • RBI has set up the first RRA for one year i.e. from April 1, 1999, to April 1, 2000, in order to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems of RBI based on the feedback from the public, banks and financial institutions.
  • Y.V. Reddy, the Deputy Governor of that time has been appointed as the first head of RRA.

About RRA 2.0:

  • After two decades, the second RRA i.e. the RRA 2.0 was formed to undertake a review of RBI’s regulations and compliance procedures, in order to make them more effective.
  • It was also set up for a period of one year from May 01, 2021, unless its tenure is extended by RBI.
  • M. Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor was appointed as the head of RRA.

About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao
>>Read Full News

Citi bank to withdraw consumer banking business in IndiaCitibank to exit India consumer banking business as part of global rejigOn 15th April 2021,the multinational investment bank, Citi bank headquartered in New York has announced to exit its consumer banking operations in India.

i.As a part its global restructuring process Citi bank has decided to close its operations in consumer banking in 13 countries which includes Australia, Bahrain, China, India,  Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
ii.This exit has been made mainly to focus on the banks in Asia and EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) regions across four wealth centers viz Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London.
About Citi Bank:
It was founded in 1812 as a city bank of New York, USA. It is the 1st National city bank of  New York
Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Jane Fraser
Headquarters: New York, USA
About Citi bank India:
Head quarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO, Citi India and Regional Head for South Asia: Ashu Khullar
Establishment: 1902

RBL Bank partners with Mastercard to offer first of kind payment solutionRBL Bank and Mastercard partner to offer payment functionality in IndiaOn 15th April 2021 RBL Bank announced its partnership with Mastercard to provide first of its kind payment solution in India through the Pay by bank app. It iis a mobile based consumer friendly payment solution.
NOTE: Through this payment solution – the Pay by Bank app , customers of RBL bank will be able to do contactless transactions both in store and online across the world.
About RBL Bank:
Incorporated in :1943 under the Indian Companies Act,1913.
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) : Vishwavir Ahuja
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharastra.
Tagline: Apno ka Bank.
The bank’s name was changed from “The Ratnakar Bank Limited” to “RBL Bank Limited” in August 2014.
About Mastercard:
Executive Chairman: Ajay Banga
Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Michael Miebach
Headquarters: New York, USA
>>Read Full News

ETMONEY launched India’s first Aadhaar-based SIP paymentETMONEY launches India's first Aadhaar based SIP paymentsETMONEY launched India’s first Aadhaar-based Systematic Investment Plan(SIP) payments feature. This feature will enable anyone to start a SIP online and make automatic payments using a simple Aadhaar based One-Time Password (OTP) verification.
About the Aadhaar based SIP payment feature:
Objective: To make investments more seamless and accessible to the widest section of Indian society.
OTP verification feature:
The Aadhaar-linked SIP payment will enable more Indians to invest regularly through SIPs as more than 100 crore bank accounts are linked in Aadhar and as the payment is done through OTP verification, it makes the online investment easier.
Easier payment mandates: 
As SIPs will do monthly investments through automated payment, the new feature will set up the users SIP mandates (automated SIP payment) easily through their Aadhaar linked bank accounts.
Establishment – 2015
Head office –  Gurugram, Haryana
Founder & CEO –  Mukesh Kalra
>>Read Full News

SBI General Insurance signed a Corporate Agency Agreement with UBKGBSBI General Insurance announces Corporate Agency tie upIn April 2021, SBI General Insurance has signed a Corporate Agency Agreement with Uttarbanga Kshetriya Gramin Bank(UBKGB) to retail its insurance products.
Purpose of the agreement:

  • Through this agreement, SBI General Insurance’s products will be distributed in West Bengal through UBKGB.
  • SBI General Insurance will offer a comprehensive range of general insurance products and through which the UBKGB will offer them to its customers
  • UBKGB has 142 branches in West Bengal.

About Uttarbanga Kshetriya Gramin Bank (UBKGB)
Establishment – 1977
Headquarters – West Bengal
Chairman – D. S. Rathour
About SBI General Insurance:
MD & CEO – Prakash Chandra Kandpal
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Suraksha aur Bharosa dono


Facebook Initiates Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement in India
Facebook signs first deal to buy renewable energy in India

Facebook made an agreement to buy renewable energy in India, the company’s first deal in South Asian nations.It will purchase from a 32-megawatt wind power project, located in Karnataka.
i.Facebook and Mumbai-based CleanMax joined hands on for supplying renewable power into India’s electrical grid.The projects will be owned by CleanMax and Facebook will acquire the power off the grid using environmental attribute certificates, or carbon credits.
iii. According to the information provided by International Energy Agency, Data centers driving tech companies like Facebook consumes as much as 1% of the world’s total energy.
Similar projects by Facebook In Singapore–  Facebook has initiated similar kinds of partnerships with energy providers in Singapore such as Sunseap Group, Terrenus Energy and Sembcorp Industries that can produce 160 MW of solar power.
iv.The electricity produced from these plants will power Facebook’s first Asian data centre that is set to start operations in 2022.

  • Facebook CEO – Mark Zuckerberg
  • Facebook’s head of renewable energy– Urvi Parekh


Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar & Virat Kohli featured in Wisden Almanck’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade listVirat Kohli named Wisden Almanack’s ODI cricketer of the 2010sFamous Cricketing Magazine, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, has named 5 best cricketers for each decade, starting from 1970’s to 2010’s to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1st One-Day International (ODI) match.
i.The list featured 3 Indian cricketers – Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar & Virat Kohli.
ii.Apart from them, England all-rounder Ben Stokes was declared the ‘Cricketer of the Year’ for a 2nd successive time.
Note – 1st ever ODI match was played between Australia & England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 5 January 1971.
About Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack:
Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack popularly known as the “Bible of Cricket” is an annual publication founded in 1864.
Origin- London, England
>>Read Full News

Birla Cellulose Limited Won the UN’s National Innovative and Sustainable Supply Chain AwardAditya Birla Group's cellulose arm bags maiden UN award for sustainabilityi.On 16th April 2021, Birla Cellulose Limited, largest global man made cellulosic fibre producer, a part of the Aditya Birla Group won the first edition of National Innovative and Sustainable Supply Chain Award presented by the Global Compact Network India (GCNI), the Indian Local Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
ii.In January 2021, The National Innovative and Sustainable Supply Chain Award was launched by GCNI in partnership with Accenture (Knowledge Partner), ICCo (Sustainability Partner0 and FM Logistic India (Presentation Partner).
About Global Compact Network India (GCNI):
Executive Director- Shabnam Siddiqui
Head Office- New Delhi
>>Read Full News

Suman Chakraborty to get GD Birla Award for Scientific Research

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur’s Professor Suman Chakraborty has  been selected for the 30th GD Birla Award for Scientific Research for his  outstanding contribution to engineering science and its applications in developing technologies for affordable healthcare.

  • This award was Instituted in 1991 by KK Birla Foundation to recognise eminent Indian scientists below the age of 50 for their outstanding contributions  in the field of science or technology with a cash prize of ₹5 lakh.

Indian Origin Businessman Yusuffali MA honoured with UAE’s Top Civilian Award

Indian Origin Businessman Yusuffali MA along with 11 other individuals were awarded with “Abu Dhabi Award” UAE’s top Civilian Award during the 10th edition of Abu Dhabi Awards held at Abu Dhabi, UAE.

  • Yusuffali MA is the Chairman & Managing Director of Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group that operates a chain of hypermarkets & retail companies.


Ayushmann Khurrana Appointed as the Indian Brand Ambassador of TecnoTECNO ropes in Ayushmann Khurrana as its Indian brand ambassadorTecno, global smartphone brand has appointed Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana as its Indian Brand ambassador. The 2021 initiative of Tecno aims to push the envelope of technology democratisation with innovation, new age smartphones.

  • He will be spearheading the new Tecno Spark 7 campaign launched in India on 9th April 2021.
  • He will feature in the campaigns across Spark, Pova, Camon smartphone series.

Ayushmann Khurrana:
In September 2020, Ayushmann Khurrana was appointed as United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF)’s advocate for the Children’s Rights Campaign “For Every Child”.
About Tecno Mobile – India:
CEO– Arijeet Talapatra
Headquarters- Noida, Uttar Pradesh

US President Joe Biden Nominated Bill Nelson To Serve As Next NASA Administrator

United States (US) President, Joe Biden had nominated former Astronaut, Bill Nelson to serve as next Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In May 2019, he was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council by former Administrator Jim Bridenstine. He was elected to the US Senate three consecutive times from 2001 to 2019. 


Bharti Airtel’s Nettle Infrastructure Investment acquires 100% stake in OneWeb India

Nettle Infrastructure Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has acquired 100% stake (10, 000 shares) in OneWeb India Communications Pvt Ltd.

  • It is an all-cash deal for an undisclosed sum.
  • Launched in February 2020, OneWeb is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator, co-owned by Bharti Global and the UK Government.
  • UK-based Network Access Associates Ltd, a OneWeb group company is seeking FDI approval for investment in OneWeb India Communications Private Ltd.
  • OneWeb is aiming to launch fast broadband services in India by June 2022.

About Bharti Airtel
Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquarters – New Delhi
About One Web
CEO – Neil Masterson
Executive Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom


ICC bans Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak for 8 years; Babar Azam – ICC No.1 ODI batsmanFormer Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak bannedThe International Cricket Council (ICC) banned former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak for 8-years from all forms of cricket for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
i.During his tenure as the coach of Zimbabwe cricket team from 2016 to 2018 he leaked the team’s internal information, mainly during the 2018 Tri-Series between Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

ICC Men’s ODI Ranking:
i.Pakistan ODI captain, Babar Azam, replaced Indian Captain Virat Kohli to become the ICC Men’s No.1 ODI Batsman.
ii.With 865 points, Babar Azam is 8 points ahead of Virat Kohli.
iii.Virat Kohli dominated in the ODI standings continuously for 1,258 days.
ICC announced Player of the Month for March 2021:

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar – India – Men’s Player of the Month
  • Lizelle Lee – South Africa – Women’s Player of the Month

About International Cricket Council (ICC): 
CEO– Manu Sawhney
Chairman- Greg Barclay
Headquarters– Dubai, UAE


G.V.G.Krishnamurty Ex Election Commissioner passed away at 86Former Chief Election Commissioner newOn 14th April 2021 Former Election Commissioner G.V.G.Krishnamurty passed away due to age related ailments in New Delhi.He was born on 19 November, 1934 in Chirala, Andhra Pradesh (A.P.).
About G.V.G.Krishnamurty:

i.G.V.G.Krishnamurty became the Election Commissioner of India in October 1993 and continued in service till 1999.
ii.Before being appointed as the Election Commissioner he worked in the Central Law Ministry of Government of India from 1960 to 1992.
iii.He was also one of the founding members of the Indian Society of International Law.


World Voice Day 2021 – April 16World Voice Day 2021 newi.The World Voice Day is annually observed across the globe on 16th April to celebrate the phenomenon of voice and to encourage the people across the globe to seek help to train their voices.
ii.The theme of the World Voice Day 2021 & the campaign is “One World Many Voices”.
iii.The theme was chosen by the Voice Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery(AAO-HNS).
iv.The World Voice Day was first observed as the Brazilian Voice Day on 16th April 1999 by the Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice.
v.In 2002, the AAO-HNS established the 16th April of every year as the World Voice Day
>>Read Full News


Goa Gets first of its kind Advanced Antiquities Management System in IndiaGoa gets Advanced Antiquities Management Systemi.The Directorate of Archives and Archaeology(DAA), Government of Goa inaugurated the Advanced Antiquities Management System(AAMS) in India, the first of its kind facility in India for the storage of antiquities.
ii.AAMS is a huge container with 8 trays with a capacity of 350Kg each is housed at DDA, Panaji, Goa.
iii.It was developed by Shailendra Phatak of  I-Tech Business Solutions, Pune, Maharashtra at a cost of Rs.27 lakh.
iv.At present, the database of the facility provides information on 83 antiquities.
About Directorate of Archives and Archaeology (DAA), Goa:
The Directorate of Archives and Archaeology (DAA) in Goa is the oldest Archives in India.
Established on 25th February 1595.
>>Read Full News


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 17 April 2021
1Hardeep Puri launches EatSmart Cities Challenge & Transport 4 All Challenge
2CSC Tie Up with Tata Power to Set Up Solar-powered Micro Grids and Water Pumps
3Overview of French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to India
4MeitY Launches 3 Initiatives of National Internet Exchange of India
5President of India promulgates Tribunal Reforms Ordinance, 2021
6India extends NPR 42.95 Million Grant Assistance to Nepal
7INS Sarvekshak conducts Hydrographic Surveys in Mauritius
8RBI set up RRA 2.0 to Streamline its Regulations and Reduce Compliance
9Citi bank to withdraw consumer banking business in India
10RBL Bank partners with Mastercard to offer first of kind payment solution
11ETMONEY launched India’s first Aadhaar-based SIP payment
12SBI General Insurance signed a Corporate Agency Agreement with UBKGB
13Facebook signs first deal to buy renewable energy in India
14Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar & Virat Kohli featured in Wisden Almanck’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade list
15Birla Cellulose Limited Won the UN’s National Innovative and Sustainable Supply Chain Award
16Suman Chakraborty to get GD Birla Award for Scientific Research
17Indian Origin Businessman Yusuffali MA honoured with UAE’s Top Civilian Award
18Ayushmann Khurrana Appointed as the Indian Brand Ambassador of Tecno
19US President Joe Biden Nominated Bill Nelson To Serve As Next NASA Administrator
20Bharti Airtel’s Nettle Infrastructure Investment acquires 100% stake in OneWeb India
21ICC bans Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak for 8 years; Babar Azam – ICC No.1 ODI batsman
22G.V.G.Krishnamurty Ex Election Commisioner passed away at 86
23World Voice Day 2021 – April 16
24Goa Gets first of its kind Advanced Antiquities Management System in India