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Current Affairs 17 March 2021

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 17 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

Atal Innovation Mission signs SoI with Aster DM Healthcare to transform Health Care Innovations in IndiaAtal Innovation Mission partners with Aster DM HealthcareAtal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with Aster DM Healthcare to change and improve health care innovations & outcomes in India

  • Aster Digital Health Incubator (ADHI), a unit of Aster DM Healthcare Group  will also support AIM’s initiatives such as Atal Incubation Centers (AICs), Established Incubation Centres (EICs), Atal Community Innovation Centres (ACICs) & Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs).

Mission

  • To promote innovation and entrepreneurship among aspiring entrepreneurs in the area of digital health care.
  • To engage with AICs, EIC, ATLs across India with focus on digital primary care & establishing a rich ecosystem of digital health entrepreneurship.

About   NITI Aayog:
CEO – Amitabh Kant
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Maharashtra lead in usage of Drip Irrigation : Ministry of Agriculturelead is usage of drip irrigationAccording to data presented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to Lok Sabha,  4 states namely Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Maharashtra have more than half of the net cultivated farmlands under micro-irrigation in India .

  • The data also shows that 27 States  (including UTs) have less than 30% micro-irrigation system out of which 23 have fewer than 15% micro-irrigation.
  • The Totalnet irrigated area in India is 68, 649 Thousand Hectares, out of which lands covered under micro-irrigation is 12, 908.44 Thousand Hectares.
  • The data have been taken during the period of 2005-06 to 2020-21 (as on February 3, 2021).

Fact

  • India has set a target of covering 100 Lakh Hectares in 5 years under micro-irrigation.
State Net Irrigated Area* Areas Covered under micro-irrigation
Drip Irrigation Sprinkler Irrigation %
Sikkim 16 6.35 5.26 73
Andhra Pradesh 2, 719 1, 388.13 519.17 70
Karnataka 3, 104 752.82 1, 148.70 61


*Area are in thousand hectares
About  Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW):
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha MP representing Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Barmer, Rajasthan)
<<Read Full News>>

MG Motor partners with IIT Delhi for Research in Electric, Connected & Autonomous VehiclesMG Motor - IIT Delhi for research in electric, autonomous technologiesOn 15th March, 2021 MG Motor India partnered with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi’s Centre for Automotive Research and Tribology (CART) for enhanced research in deployment of Electric, Connected & Autonomous Vehicles in India’s Urban landscape. This partnership for research in CASE mobility (Connected – Autonomous – Shared – Electric) was made through IIT-Delhi’s Industrial Interface Organisation, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT).
i.The Centre for Automotive Research and Tribology (CART) at IIT Delhi will conduct high level research in Electric Vehicles (EV).
About MG Motor India:
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
President & MD – Rajeev Chaba
Founded – 2017
About IIT-Delhi:
Established – 1961
Director – V. Ramgopal Rao
<<Read Full News>>

INS Jalashwa reaches Comoros to deliver 1,000 tonnes of rice:Mission Sagar-IV

On 14 March 2021, Indian Naval Ship(INS) Jalashwa, the largest amphibious ship of Indian Navy reached Port Anjouan, Comoros to deliver 1,000 Metric Tonnes of rice as part of Mission Sagar-IV.

  • Mission Sagar was India’s initiative to deliver Covid-19 related assistance to the countries in the Indian Ocean region, which was launched on 10 May 2020.
  • The capital and currency of Comoros is Moroni and Comorian franc respectively.

CSIR-NIO to Launch 90-day Cruise Missile

A 30-member team of Scientists & Researchers from CSIR-NIO (National Institute of Oceanography) will spend 90 days on the research vessel Sindhu Sadhana travelling over 10, 000 nautical miles in the Indian Ocean. The aim of the mission is to study about the internal working of the body of the ocean at a cellular level. Click here to read the news.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

New focus on SDGs needed to rebuild after COVID-19: ADB reportNew focus on SDGs needed toAsian Development Bank(ADB)’s report titled “ADB’s Support for the Sustainable Development Goals: Enabling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through Strategy 2030” states that, a renewed focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be essential as countries seek to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic.
About the Report:
i.The report also highlights ADB projects and programs that help countries achieve the SDGs.
ii.The ensuing crisis is estimated to have pushed 162 million people in the region back into poverty and economic growth in developing Asia contracted for first time in 60 years.
iii.The report explains ADB’s institutional approach to integrating 17 SDGs and their associated targets into its strategies, programs and financing under its long-term strategy in 2030 through its seven operational priorities.
About Asian Development Bank(ADB):
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarter – Metro Manila, Philippines
<<Read Full News>>

India’s Import of arms decreased by 33% due to Indigenisation: SIPRI ReportIndia's import of arms decreases by 33According to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India’s import of arms decreased by 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20 due to its increased push for ‘Make-in-India’ initiative and other measures to boost the domestic defence industry.

  • The most affected countries due to decline in India’s imports were Russia & USA.
  • Globally, the five largest arms exporters in 2016-20 were US, Russia, France, Germany & China while top importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia & China.
  • India’s Top 3 Arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (49% imports), France (18%) & Israel (13%).

Fact
India has set a target of INR 1.75 Lakh Crore (USD 25 Billion) turnover in Defence manufacturing by 2025.
India’s Export level

  • According to SIPRI, India accounted for 0.2% of share of global arms exports during 2016-20.
  • India was the 24th Largest Exporter of major arms.
  • The major recipients of India’s recipients were Myanmar, Sri Lanka & Mauritius.

About Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI):
Director – Dan Smith
Headquarters – Stockholm, Sweden
<<Read Full News>>

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI insisted all banks implement the image-based CTS by September 30RBI asks banks to implement image-based Cheque Truncation System in all branches by Sep 30On March 15, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) the apex monetary institution asked all the banks in India to implement the image-based Cheque Truncation System (CTS) under respective grids in all its branches by September 30, 2021, to faster the settlement of cheques resulting in better customer service.

  • About 18,000 bank branches are still outside any formal clearing arrangement hence, it is proposed to bring all such branches under the CTS image-based clearing mechanism by September 2021.

Pan-India Coverage of CTS:

  • On February 5, 2021, RBI had announced Pan-India coverage of CTS by bringing all branches of banks in the country under an image-based CTS clearing mechanism.
  • Now the banks have been asked to inform the RBI, the roadmap to achieve Pan-India coverage of CTS, and submit a status report before April 30, 2021.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Key Appointments in RBI – Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister appoints the governor and deputy governors.
Section 7 in The RBI Act, 1934, empowers the government to issue directions to the RBI governor in the public interest
Shaktikanta Das 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 11 December 2018
<<Read Full News>>

SEBI approved Paytm UPI handle to enable payment mandated for IPO applications Sebi approves Paytm UPI handle for IPO applicationsOn March 16, 2021, The Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has approved Paytm UPI handle to enable fast and seamless payment mandates for IPO applications to benefit millions of users to invest in capital markets through various brokerage platforms using their @Paytm UPI Handle.

  • As per the latest National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) report, PPBL registers the lowest technical decline rate of 0.02% as compared to all UPI remitter banks and 0.04% as compared to all UPI beneficiary banks
  • Similar to Paytm Money, @Paytm UPI will soon be activated across all brokerage platforms

Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL):

  • PPBL has entered into a partnership with Paytm Money to enable payment mandates for IPO applications.
  • It aims to open over 3.5 lakh demat accounts by year-end and expects 60% of users to be from small cities.

Paytm Money is aiming to bring 10 million Indians to equity markets by the financial year 2022.
About Paytm(pay through mobile) and its launches over years:
Founded in August 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in Noida, New Delhi as a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge platform.

  • November 2017 – Paytm Payments Bank
  • March 2018 – Paytm Money
  • May 2019 -Paytm partnered with Citibank to launch Paytm First credit card
  • July 2020 –  Partnered with Tata Starbucks allowing its customers to order food online during COVID-19.

<<Read Full News>>

NPCI Launched ‘UPI-Help’ Feature on BHIM UPI app
i.National Payments Corporation Limited (NPCI), launched ‘UPI-Help’ on BHIM UPI, a part of its Digi-Help stack.This Feature will enhance the hassle-free experience on issue resolution for BHIM UPI app users.
ii.Initially, this feature will be available for the customers of State Bank of India (SBI), AXIS Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. Customers of Paytm Payments Bank and TJSB Sahakari Bank will also be able to use UPI-Help soon.
iii.It will enable users to use their app to Check status for pending transactions, Raise complaints for transactions that have not been processed or money not credited to the beneficiary etc.
About National Payments Corporation Limited (NPCI):
MD & CEO – Dilip Asbe
Headquarter – Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

LIC of India  launched an individual life assurance savings plan ‘Bachat Plus’
LIC launches new savings plan Bachat Plus
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has launched Bachat Plus, a Non-Linked, Participating,Individual, Savings Plan which offers a combination of protection and savings  which provides financial support for the family of the deceased policyholder any time before maturity.

  • The Minimum Basic Sum Assured is Rs 1,00,000/- with no upper limit.
  • The maturity period of the plan is about five years.
  • The minimum policy term suitable is 10 years and maximum of 25 years under all the options.

The different modes of premium payment 
Single Premium Payment: 
Under this the applicants may pay the premium in a single lump sum
Limited Premium Payment: 
This mode enables the applicants to avail the 5-year limited premium for paying.
About Life Insurance Corporation(LIC)
Establishment -1956
Chairman -M R Kumar
Managing Director – Siddhartha Mohanty, Vipin Anand, Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Raj Kumar
<<Read Full News>>

Vayana Network Partnered with CRIF India to Launch GBS, a Tech-enabled Tools for MSMEsVayana Network, CRIF India partner to launch tech-enabled tool for MSMEsi.Vayana Network, a leading Supply chain financing platform has partnered with CRIF Solutions India, a global FinTech company and launched Good Business Score(GBS), a tech-enabled tool to support the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) in India to effectively measure and manage their businesses.
ii.The GBS is based on the ongoing GST Data, from parameters like frequency, recency, the value of actual transactions and business dependency across customers are derived. 
iii.This will act as a point of reference for larger corporates, financial institutions or lenders.
About Vayana Network:
Founder & CEO– R. N. Iyer
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards (2020): Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish Received Top Honours63rd Grammy Awards Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish bag top honoursi.On 14th March 2021, The 2021 GRAMMY Awards officially known as the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Award (2020) was presented over the hybrid ceremony. The award recognised the recordings released between 1st September 2019 and 31st August 2020. Trevor Noah, an award-winning comedian from South Africa hosted the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards from Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, United States.
ii.The awards were presented under 83 categories and the 63rd Grammy Awards for Best Immersive Audio Album will be announced next year in addition to the 64th Grammy nominations.
iii.American Singer and Songwriter Taylor Swift won the award for the Best Album of the year for her album “Folklore”. 
iv.American pop star, Billie Eilish O’Connell won the record of the year award for her song “Everything I Wanted”. 
v.Beyonce won 4 awards and broke the record of most ever Grammy wins by female artists with 28 Grammys.
About Grammy Awards:
The Grammy Awards are presented by the Recording Academy since 1958. 
The award recognises and celebrates excellence in the music community.
<<Read Full News>>

Renew Power,World’s 1st Clean Energy Company & 2nd Indian firm added to WEF Global Lighthouse NetworkRenew Power becomes part of WEF Global Lighthouse Network

On March 16,2021 India’s leading Renewable energy company “ReNew Power,” one of the two Indian companies has been named the Global Lighthouse Company by World Economic Forum(WEF).With this recognition, ReNew Power becomes World’s first clean energy company to be recognised as a Lighthouse by World Economic Forum.

  • WEF Global Lighthouse Network recognizes companies using new technologies to achieve environmentally sustainable, community-supportive, profitable growth.

Reason of Recognition
i.ReNew’s Hubli facility was specifically nominated as a Global Lighthouse for its ground-breaking work in the development and deployment of advanced analytics and machine learning solutions to increase the yield of ReNew’s wind and solar assets.
ii. The technology deployment helped ReNew improve employee productivity by 31% and reduce downtime for its assets by 31%, without incurring any additional capital expenditure.
First Indian company Recognised

  • Tata Steel Kalinganagar (TSK) is the first Indian manufacturing plant was included in the WEF’s Global Lighthouse Network in the year 2019.

WEF Global Lighthouse Network
It is a group of 69 factories that serve as a platform to develop, replicate, and scale innovations, creating opportunities for cross-company learning and collaboration while setting new benchmarks for the global manufacturing community.
World Economic Forum(WEF)
Headquarters  –  Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland
Executive Chairman – Klaus Schwab
ReNew Power
Chairman and Managing Director  – Sumant Sinha
Headquarters – Gurgaon(Gurugram, Haryana)

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

Centre Appoints High-Level Team led by Dr. SK Singh to Review Medical Care Arrangements for Haridwar Kumbh MelaCentre appoints team to review Medical Care & Public Health for Kumbh MelaA 3-member high-level team led by Dr S K Singh, Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been appointed by the Government of India to review the Medical care and public health arrangements for the Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, Uttarakhand which will start on 1st April 2021.
Members of the high-level team:

  • Dr SK Jain, Additional Director, NCDC.
  • Dr Meera Dhuria, Deputy Director, NCDC.

The Mandate of the High-Level team:
i.The 3-member team will focus on the status of implementation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Kumbh Mela which was issued by the team in the context of implementing preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
ii.The team will also review the implementation of its field-level recommendations given to Uttarakhand during the teams visit.
Highlights of Kumbh Mela:
i.Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years in rotation at the four holy places namely: Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain and Nasik.
ii.The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ‘Kumbhmela’ on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from 4-9 December 2017.

SPORTS

India to host 2021’s Asian Boxing Championship in May at New DelhiIndia to host Asian Boxing Championships 2021On 15th March, 2021 International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced that 2021’s Edition of Asian Boxing Championship will be held between May 21-31 at New Delhi, India. This will be the 1st boxing tournament in Asia in 2021, acting towards evaluating boxers’ readiness for the Olympic games.
2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships:
For the 1st time in the tournament’s history both men & women fought in the same championship.
Host – Bangkok, Thailand
About International Boxing Association:
Founded – 1946
President – Umar Kremlyov
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
<<Read Full News>>

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Indra Nooyi, Former CEO of PepsiCo, to Publish her Memoir Titled “My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future” Family and Our FuturePadma Bhushan awardee Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo is set to publish her memoir titled “My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future”. The book is set to be published by Portfolio books on September 28. The book will feature both the personal and professional life of Indra Nooyi.
About the book:
i.The book features the life of Indra Nooyi from her childhood in India to her life at Yale University as an immigrant to her life as a person of colour in the elite corporate world.
ii.The book also features her work-life balance between being a mother of 2 and working at PepsiCo.
About Indra Nooyi:
i.Indra Nooyi, an Indian American, worked at PepsiCo for around 24 years.
ii.She served as the CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo for 12 years from 2006 to 2018.
iii.She stepped down as CEO of PepsiCo in October 2018 and in February 2019 she gave up her seat on the board.
iv.She has been serving as the Board member of Amazon.com Inc since 2019.
v.She was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2007 for trade and Industry.

Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra released the eBook “Dawn Under the Dome”Swati Pandey with Orchida MukherjeeOn 15th March 2021, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the governor of Maharashtra released the ebook    “Dawn under the Dome”   on the history of the Mumbai General Post Office(GPO) Building, the grand old heritage building. The book was authored by Swati Pandey, the PostMaster General of Mumbai in collaboration with Orchida Mukherjee.
Key People:
Chief Postmaster General, Maharashtra and Goa Circle H.C. Agrawal was present during the release.
Facts about Mumbai GPO Building:
i.The General Post office(GPO) building of Mumbai was modelled on Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur.
ii.It was designed by the architect’s John Begg and George Wittet.
iii.The construction of the building began on 1st September 1904 and completed on 13th March 1913. The building was constructed at a cost of Rs.1809000.
iv.The Mumbai GPO building symbolizes the beauty and grandeur of the Indo Saracenic architecture style.

Jahnavi Barua Released her 3rd Novel Titled “Undertow”A book titled 'Undertow' by Jahnavi BaruaJahnavi Barua, Bengaluru based author has released her 3rd Novel titled “Undertow”. The story of the novel is set in Assam which touches on various themes like home, family, self-love and others. The book was published by Penguin Viking. 
About the book:
i.The book portrays the story of Loya, a 25-year-old who is on a journey to discover herself.
ii.Loya leaves her home in Bengaluru and sets off to Assam to study Asian elephants(Elephas Maximus) and to connect with her grandfather Torun Ram Goswami.
iii.The book features the bond between mother-daughter and the complexity of human nature.
About Jahnavi Barua:
i.Jahnavi Baru’s debut book “Next Door”, a collection of short fiction, published by Penguin India in 2008.
ii.Her 2nd novel titled “Rebirth” published in 2010 was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize.

Tisca Chopra unveiled the cover of her second book “What’s up with me”

Bollywood actress and author, Tisca Chopra, unveiled the cover of her second book “What’s up with me” a friendly, practical and empathetic guide for pre-teen girls and their parents published by Red Panda. “Her maiden venture was a book titled “Acting Smart: Your Ticket To Showbiz”.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Vaccination Day 2021 – March 16National Vaccination Day 2021i.The National Vaccination Day, also known as National Immunisation Day, is annually observed across India on 16th March to create awareness about the importance of vaccination. The government of India aims to raise awareness about the vaccination against poliovirus and other deadly viruses.
ii.The National Vaccination day 2020 aims to eradicate both polio and the COVID-19.
iii.The day was first observed on 16th March 1995, the day on which the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme became operational.
iv.On 16th January 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the COVID vaccination in India.
<<Read Full News>>

STATE NEWS

NMCG, UPJN & GA Infra Private Limited sign Tripartite Agreement for Development of STPs in Moradabad, UPAgreement signed for development of Sewage Treatment Plants in UP’s MoradabadNational Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam (UPJN) & GA Infra Private Limited-Lahoti Buildcon Limited have signed an Tripartite Agreement for development of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) at  Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.

  • Aim – To eliminate flow of untreated sewage from Moradabad city into River Ganga.
  • Total Cost of the project – INR 99.68 Crore rupees.
  • Lending for these projects will be provided by SBI Capital.
  • NMCG also approved other projects for addressing Sewage Problems in Moradabad.

River Ramganga

  • NMCG also approved the project for ‘Pollution Abatement Works for River Ram ganga at Bareilly’ for construction of STP of 65 MLD which are now under tender evaluation stage.
  • River Ramganga is a critical polluting tributary of river Ganga.

About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):
Director General – Rajiv Ranjan Mishra
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no  Current Affairs 17 March 2021
1 Atal Innovation Mission signs SoI with Aster DM Healthcare to transform Health Care Innovations in India
2 Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Maharashtra lead in usage of Drip Irrigation : Ministry of Agriculture
3 MG Motor partners with IIT Delhi for Research in Electric, Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
4 INS Jalashwa reaches Comoros to deliver 1,000 tonnes of rice:Mission Sagar-IV
5 CSIR-NIO to Launch 90-day Cruise Missile
6 New focus on SDGs needed to rebuild after COVID-19: ADB report
7 India’s Import of arms decreased by 33% due to Indigenisation: SIPRI Report
8 RBI asks banks to implement image-based Cheque Truncation System in all branches by Sep 30
9 Sebi approves Paytm UPI handle for IPO applications
10 ‘UPI-Help’ Feature Launched in BHIM UPI app
11 LIC launches new savings plan Bachat Plus
12 Vayana Network Partnered with CRIF India to Launch GBS, a Tech-enabled Tools for MSMEs
13 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards (2020): Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish Received Top Honours
14 Renew Power becomes part of WEF Global Lighthouse Network
15 Centre Appoints High-Level Team led by Dr. SK Singh to Review Medical Care Arrangements for Haridwar Kumbh Mela
16 India to host 2021’s Asian Boxing Championship in May at New Delhi
17 Indra Nooyi, Former CEO of PepsiCo, to Publish her Memoir Titled “My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future”
18 Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra released the eBook “Dawn Under the Dome”
19 Jahnavi Barua Released her 3rd Novel Titled “Undertow”
20 Tisca Chopra unveiled the cover of her second book “What’s up with me”
21 National Vaccination Day 2021 – March 16
22 NMCG, UPJN & GA Infra Private Limited sign Tripartite Agreement for Development of STPs in Moradabad, UP