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India-Bahrain Navies undertake ‘PASSEX’ in the Persian Gulf under Operation SankalpOn March 17, 2021, the Indian Navy & Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Persian Gulf under Operation Sankalp. From India’s side ‘INS Talwar’ Warship took place in the exercise, while the RBNF was represented by the Corvette ‘Al Muharraq’.
- Aim – To enhance interoperability, strengthen Maritime cooperation, Reassure safety of Diaspora.
- It was initiated by the Indian Government in June 2019 for ensuring the Safety of Indian Merchant ships through the Strait of Hormuz (between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman).
- The operation is being carried out in close coordination with tall stakeholders including the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Crown Prince & Prime Minister – Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
Capital – Manama
Currency – Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
<<Read Full News>>
APEDA & NSIC Signed MoU to Empower Agri Entrepreneursi.On 17th March 2021, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd (NSIC) under the Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprise(MoMSMEs) to support and empower agri entrepreneurs.
ii.The MoU was signed by Dr Sudhanshu, APEDA secretary and P Udayakumar NSIC Director in charge of planning and marketing.
iii.Under this MoU both APEDA and NSIC will ensure cooperation in the areas that focus on gaining export potential of agricultural and processed food products manufactured by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
About Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA):
APEDA established under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December 1985.
Chairman– Dr. M. Angamuthu
Headquarters– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>
Overview of Kuwait Foreign Minister’s 2-day visit to IndiaKuwait’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah paid a 2-day visit to India from March 17-18, 2021 at the invitation of Dr S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India.
- The two sides released a Joint Statement on the establishment of a Joint Ministerial Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers.
- The Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) will be co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait & the Indian Foreign Minister (S. Jaishankar).
- JCM will act as an umbrella for all bilateral institutional engagements like Foreign Office Consultations and Joint Working Groups.
- New Joint Working Groups will be set up in areas like Trade and Investments, Defence and Security & Maritime Cooperation, Science, Technology, Information Technology, Education, Skills Development, Culture, Tourism and Hospitality.
India & Kuwait Trade Relationship
- India is amongst the Largest Trading partners of Kuwait. During 2019-20, Kuwait was the 10th Largest Oil Supplier to India (Top 3 Oil Suppliers to India – Iraq, USA & Nigeria), it met 3.8% of India’s energy needs.
Emir – Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Capital – Kuwait City
Currency – Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
<<Read Full News>>
India-US launched U.S. India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative
i.On March 17, 2021, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology stated that, India & United States (US) has launched the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum’s U.S. India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative during the launch ceremony organized by Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).
ii.Objective – This initiative will enhance the Science & Technology(S&T) relationship between India and the United States to solve problems of both countries.
iii.Through this Initiative, both the countries will share values of openness, transparency, and reciprocity and encourages innovation that will benefit India as well as US.
iv.USIAI Initiative will focus on AI cooperation in critical areas of India & US.It will serve as a platform to discuss opportunities, challenges, and barriers for bilateral Artificial Intelligence(AI) Research & Development(R&D) collaboration.
About Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF):
Executive Director – Dr. Nandini Kannan
Headquarter – New Delhi, Delhi
<<Read Full News>>
AIM signs SoI with AWS to Strengthen The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem With Cloud ComputingOn March 18, 2021, A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed between The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and Amazon Internet Services Private Limited(AISPL), a local legal Indian entity of Amazon Web Services(AWS) to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in India.
Objective: To empower school students with cloud computing skills, and enabling entrepreneurs to build innovative education technology (EdTech) solutions on the cloud.
Statement of Intent (SoI):
- As per the SoI AIM will leverage AWS Educate and AWS EdStart from AWS (Amazon Web Services)
- AWS Educate will introduce the cloud-related fundamentals to students at more than 7000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in India
- AWS EdStart is a virtual startup accelerator program that enables EdTech startups to develop innovative teaching and learning solutions.
About Amazon Web Services(AWS):
CEO– Andy Jassy
Headquarters– Seattle, Washington DC, USA
<<Read Full News>>
UNDP Launched ‘Sahi Disha’ Campaign to Celebrate Women’s Livelihoods in Rural Indiai.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched ‘Sahi Disha’ campaign to celebrate the livelihoods and entrepreneurship of women in rural India. The campaign aims to highlight the issues that affect the rural women’s opportunity to access jobs, livelihood and to establish enterprises to become self-reliant.
ii.The Disha initiative is a 5-year partnership between UNDP and IKEA Foundation.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States of America
<<Read Full News>>
Govt Considers To Set Up Ayush Export Promotion Council To Boost Global Trade
Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry informed that the AYUSH Ministry consulting with the stakeholders to set up an AYUSH export promotion Council(EPC) and the procedure to set up the council are being taken.
- Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry(FICCI) will coordinate with the Department of Commerce and the Indian Industry members interested in forming a corpus for the EPC.
- In December 2020, Union Minister, Piyush Goyal and AYUSH minister Shripad Naik jointly decided that both Ministries will work together to boost the export of AYUSH Products.
COVID-19 Crisis best opportunity for Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy: IRENA reportAccording to the report ‘World Energy Transitions Outlook: 1.5° C Pathway’ released by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the COVID-19 Crisis is an opportunity for countries across the world to disengage their economies from Fossil Fuels & accelerate their shift to renewable energy sources.
- Energy transitions are one of the few solutions for containing the rise of global temperature to 1.5° C & halting global warming.
- It calls for countries around the world to increase their efforts toward the energy transition without delay.
90% energy from Renewables by 2050
The report states that by 2050, 90% of total electricity needs will be supplied by renewables, followed by 6% from natural gas & remaining from nuclear.
Increased Energy Investments
- The report estimates that Energy transition investment will have to increase by 30% over planned investment to a total of USD 131 Trillion between 2021 & 2050, corresponding to USD 4.4 Trillion on average every year.
About the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Director General – Francesco La Camera
Headquarters – Abu Dhabi, UAE
<<Read Full News>>
World’s Most Dangerous Roads: South Africa Topped, India Ranked 4th; Norway Topped as World’s Most Safest Roads
i.According to the Study conducted by International driver education company, Zutobi, South Africa was ranked 1st in the World’s Most Dangerous Roads study, it was followed by Thailand. United States ranked 3rd.India was ranked 4thin the study. The Study was conducted among 56 Countries.
ii.Similarly, The Study states that, Norway has the World’s Safest Road & topped in the World’s Safest Roads Study, it is followed by Japan in the 2nd place & Sweden in 3rd Place.
iii.The Study has analyzed each country on the following five factors, giving each one a normalized score out of ten for each factor, before taking an average final score across all five factors.
iv.The 5 factors of the study are,
- Estimated road traffic death rate (per 100,000 population),
- Maximum motorway speed limit (mph),
- Seat-belt wearing rate (front seat),
- Road traffic deaths attributed to alcohol,
- Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for drivers (g/dl).
v.These estimates taken in the study were based on the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory data repository.
Zutobi is an international driver’s education company with courses in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, France, and Germany.
<<Read Full News>>
Singapore is Building World’s Largest Floating Solar Farms
Singapore, Asia’s biggest per capita carbon dioxide emitter, is building one of the world’s largest floating solar farms, as part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The solar power plant expands from the coast into the Johor Strait that separates Singapore from Malaysia.This project is being built by Sembcorp Industries.
BANKING & FINANCE
India at 8th position in ‘Market-cap’ Among World’s Top 10 Nations: BloombergAs per Bloomberg’s recent data on Market capitalization, India remained at the 8th position among the top 10 nations with a market capitalization of $2.8 trillion and its aggregate market capitalization increased 88% in dollar terms this fiscal and leads among the world’s top 10 nations by market value growth.
- This is the sharpest increase in aggregate market capitalization since FY11.
Market Capitalization (market -cap/m-cap):
- Market capitalization refers to the total dollar market value of a company’s outstanding shares of stock. Commonly referred to as “market cap,” it is calculated using a formula i.e.,
[Market cap = Price per share x Number of shares outstanding]
- The growth of the Indian market is not reduced by COVID- induced turmoil and economic uncertainties and remains raising.
- India’s benchmark Sensex surged 78% so far this fiscal year and became the best performer among the top 10 nations.
CEO – Mike Bloomberg
Headquarter – New York, United States (US)
<<Read Full News>>
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
UNCTAD expects India’s GDP to be Contracted 6.9% in 2020 and Grow 5% in 2021On March 18, 2021, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) released its Trade and Development Report 2020 in which it expected India’s GDP to have contracted 6.9%(-6.9%) in 2020 and grow 5% in 2021.
- Title of the trade report 2020 – ‘Out of the frying pan… Into the fire?’
- The report described the year 2020 as “Annus horribilis”
- As per the report the global GDP is contracted by 3.9%(-3.9%) in 2020 and growing at 4.7% in 2021.
Report of UNCTAD on India’s Growth Performance:
- India’s fall in Economic activity and growth is larger in 2020 than what UNCTAD have envisaged in mid-2020.
Report for 2021:
- Stronger recovery is anticipated for 2021 as India’s FY22 budget is pointed towards public investment especially in transport and infrastructure.
- It expected growth in the export sector in 2021as there will be a recovery in global demand.
About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
Establishment – 1964, by the United Nations General Assembly
Part of – UN Secretariat and the United Nations Development Group.
Headquarters -Geneva, Switzerland,
Member countries – 195
Acting Secretary-General – Isabelle Durant of Belgium (from 16 February 2021)
<<Read Full News>>
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
ACC Appoints MA Ganapathy IPS as DG of NSG & Kuldiep Singh as DG of CRPFOn 16th March 2021, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of M. A. Ganapathy, as the Director-General(DG) of National Security Guard(NSG).Kuldiep Singh has been appointed as the DG of Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF).
- M. A. Ganapathy Succeeds Outgoing DG, S S Deswal. Kuldiep Singh Succeeds AP Maheshwari.
Appointment of M.A.Ganapathy:
i.He was the 1986 batch Indian Police Service(IPS) officer of the Uttarakhand Cadre.
ii.He was serving as the DG of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security(BCAS).
iii.He will be serving as DG of NSG from the date of joining to 29th February 2024, the date of his superannuation or till further orders.
iv.Indo Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) Director-General S S Deswal has held the additional charges as the DG of NSG since the superannuation of A K Singh, DG of NSG on 30th September 2020.
v.Prior to S S Deswal, Anup Kumar Singh served as the Director General of NSG.Anup Kumar Singh succeeds Sudeep Lakhtakia.
Appointment of Kuldiep Singh:
i.Kuldiep Singh, 1986 batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre has been appointed as the DG of Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF).
ii.He was serving as the Special DG of CRPF, with additional charge as the DG of CRPF since the superannuation of Dr AP Maheshwari IPS, DG of CRPF on 28th February 2021.
iii.He will be serving as the DG of CRPF from the date of joining to 30th September 2022, the date of his superannuation or until further orders,
Samia Suluhu Hassan became Tanzania’s first woman presidentOn March 19, 2021, Samia Suluhu Hassan,61 sworn in as Tanzania’s first woman President by succeeding John Magufuli (2015-2021) at the State House in Dar es Salaam, which is the country’s largest city.
- She is the sixth President of Tanzania and 2nd female president within the East African Community.
- The inauguration was witnessed by the East African country’s chief justice Ibrahim Jumavowing.
- Tanzania’s former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1985-1995), Jakaya Kikwete (2005-2015), and the cabinet member Abied Karume (who is the first president of Zanzibar) were present at the event.
Note – Zanzibar is an autonomous region of Tanzania.
Capital – Dodoma
President – Samia Suluhu Hassan
Prime Minister -Kassim Majaliwa
Currency – Tanzanian shilling
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Data Patterns delivers ‘Indigenous Checkout system’ to ISRO for its ‘Gaganyaan’ MissionOn March 17, 2021, Data Patterns India Pvt Ltd handed over the Indigenously developed ‘Checkout System’ to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for its ‘Gaganyaan’ Mission (India’s 1st Human Space Flight Programme) at Chennai.
- A checkout system is used for performing health checks on all cable harness assemblies used in the crew module of ‘Gaganyaan’ Mission.
- The checkout system was received by K Xavier Raja, Deputy Director of HSFC (Human Space Flight Centre). HSFC is responsible for the implementation of the Gaganyaan project.
- ISRO’s ‘Gaganyaan’ mission is scheduled for launch in 2022-23.
- The INR 10, 000 Crore Gaganyaan Mission aims to send a 3-member crew to space for a period of 5-7 days by 2022-23 when India completes 75 years of Independence.
- India’s Gaganyaan Mission will make it just the 4th Nation to send a crew into space after Russia (1st), the USA & China.
- Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) is responsible for the implementation of the ‘Gaganyaan Mission’. It functions under ISRO.
About Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC):
Established – 2019
Director – Dr S Unnikrishnan Nair
Location – ISRO Headquarters Campus, Bengaluru, Karnataka
<<Read Full News>>
Indigenously Built Indian Naval Landing Craft Utility ‘L58’ Commissioned at Port BlairOn March 18, 2021, Indian Naval Landing Craft Utility (LCU) ‘L58’, the 8th and last ship of the LCU Mark IV Class was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The L58 (amphibious ship) has been indigenously designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
- LCU 58 will be based at Port Blair and will be under the command of Andaman & Nicobar Command (which is the sole Joint Services Command of India).
- Purpose – For transporting & deploying Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), armoured vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore.
- Commander Krishan K Yadav was appointed as the First Commanding Officer of the Ship.
- The Commissioning of ships is a significant achievement under the ‘Make in India’ & ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ Programme in the areas of warship design & construction.
- LCU L-58 is the 106th Warship built & delivered by GRSE, which is the highest number of warships delivered by any Indian Shipyard.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>
Sharath Kamal Becomes First Indian Paddler To Qualify For The 2020 Tokyo Olympic GamesOn 18th March 2021, Achanta Sharath Kamal, an Indian table tennis player, win over Muhammad Rameez (Pakistan) in the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament held in Doha, Qatar and became the first Indian Paddler to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. This marks the 4th appearance of Kamal at the Olympic games.
- He won over Muhammad Rameez in the second men’s singles round-robin match in the South Asia group secured a spot form him in the delayed Games which will begin in July 2021.
- Sutirtha Mukherjee, India’s second-highest-ranked female player has also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games following her win over Manika Batra, India’s top female player.
- Manika Batra is set to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo games because of her ranking.
About Achanta Sharath Kamal:
i.Achanta Sharath Kamal was born on 12th July 1982 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
ii.He won the gold in the 16th Commonwealth table tennis championship 2004 held at Kuala Lumpur and became the first Indian to achieve the feat.
iii.He also won the gold for men’s singles and men’s team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne.
i.He received the Arjuna Award in 2004.
ii.India honoured him with the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2019 for Sports.
Former Union Minister & BJP leader Dilip Gandhi passed away at 69On 17th March 2021, Dilip Kumar Mansukhlal Gandhi, former Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) leader passed away at the age of 69 in Delhi. He was tested positive for COVID-19 on 16th March 2021. He was born on 9th May 1951 in Pune, Maharashtra.
About Dilip Gandhi:
i.Dilip Gandhi served as a Member of Parliament(MP) for 3 terms, he was first elected as the member of Lok sabha in 1999 from the Ahmednagar constituency, Maharashtra
ii.He served as the Union Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Shipping from 2003 to 2004.
iii.He was re-elected as a member of Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014.
14th World Sleep Day – 19th March 2021i.The 19th March 2021 marks the observance of the 14th annual World Sleep Day.The World Sleep Day is annually observed on the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox. The day is aimed to celebrate sleep and create awareness about the importance of sleep and issues related to sleep, including the medicine, education and social aspects.
ii.The world Sleep day is annually organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society.
iii.The World Sleep Day 2021 is co-chaired by Lourdes DelRosso and Professor Fang Han
iv.The Slogan or theme of the 14th World Sleep Day is “Regular Sleep, Healthy Future”.
v.Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that affects the health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population.
<<Read Full News>>
Telangana FM Harish Rao presents State Budget for FY 2021-22 with an overlay of INR 2.3 Lakh CroreOn March 18, 2021, Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao presented the State Budget for the FY 2021-22 with an overlay of INR 2, 30, 825 Crore. Major Allocations were made towards Agriculture, Roads, Transport, Power, Irrigation & other infrastructure development projects.
- It is a tax-free Budget
- Due to the adverse impact of COVID-19, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Telangana has declined from 13.5% in 2019-20 to 1.3% in 2020-21.
- The budget for 2020-21 was over INR 1.82 Lakh Crore.
CM Dalit Empowerment Programme
Allocation of INR 1, 000 Crore for overall development of Scheduled Castes.
- INR 11, 728 Crore for Aasara Pension Scheme
- INR 2, 750 Crore for Kalyana Lakshmi & Shadi Mubarak
- INR 4000 Crore has been allocated for upgrading and modernizing schools run by the Telangana Government.
Chief Minister – K Chandrasekhar Rao
Governor – Tamilisai Soundararajan (currently given additional charge as LG of Puducherry)
<<Read Full News>>
Chinar Day Observed in Jammu and Kashmir
The Chinar Day was celebrated across Jammu and Kashmir on 15th March 2021. As a part of the Chinar Day celebration, The Urban Forest Division(UFD) of Srinagar organised programmes at the Shuhama Campus of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) and planted the Chinar saplings within the SKUAST premises.
- The government of J&K has launched a drive to protect the Chinars, the endangered heritage of the oriental plane trees of Kashmir and plant chinar trees, popularly known as Bune all across the J&K.
- The department is set to plant 200 chinar saplings beside the 12500 more saplings which shall be planted during 2021.
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 20 March 2021|
|1||India-Bahrain Navies undertake ‘PASSEX’ in the Persian Gulf under Operation Sankalp|
|2||APEDA & NSIC Signed MoU to Empower Agri Entrepreneurs|
|3||Overview of Kuwait Foreign Minister’s 2-day visit to India|
|4||India-US launched U.S. India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative|
|5||Atal Innovation Mission AIM signs SoI with AWS to Strengthen The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem With Cloud Computing|
|6||UNDP Launched ‘Sahi Disha’ Campaign to Celebrate Women’s Livelihoods in Rural India|
|7||Govt Considers To Set Up Ayush Export Promotion Council To Boot Global Trade|
|8||COVID-19 Crisis best opportunity for Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy: IRENA report|
|9||South Africa has world’s most dangerous roads; India in fourth place: Study|
|10||Singapore is Building World’s Largest Floating Solar Farms|
|11||India at 8th position in ‘Market-cap’ Among World’s Top 10 Nations: Bloomberg|
|12||UNCTAD expects India’s GDP to be Contracted 6.9% in 2020 and Grow 5% in 2021|
|13||Center Appoints MA Ganapathy IPS as DG of NSG & Kuldiep Singh as DG of CRPF|
|14||Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes Tanzania’s first woman President|
|15||Data Patterns delivers ‘Indigenous Checkout system’ to ISRO for its ‘Gaganyaan’ Mission|
|16||Indigenously Built Indian Naval Landing Craft Utility ‘L58’ Commissioned at Port Blair|
|17||Sharath Kamal Becomes First Indian Paddler To Qualify For The Tokyo Olympic Games|
|18||Former Union Minister & BJP leader Dilip Gandhi passed away at 69|
|19||14th World Sleep Day – 19th March 2021|
|20||Telangana FM Harish Rao presents State Budget for FY 2021-22 with an overlay of INR 2.3 Lakh Crore|
|21||Chinar Day Observed in Jammu and Kashmir|