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Current Affairs 25 March 2021

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 25 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

Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports extends Khelo India Scheme till 2025-26

Khelo India Scheme extended till 2025-26Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has decided to extend the Khelo India scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The Ministry has furnished an Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) memorandum to the Ministry of Finance for the extension of the scheme.

  • INR 8750 Crore has been estimated as financial implication of the new Khelo India Scheme in the EFC Memorandum.
  • During the Union Budget of 2021-22, an amount of INR 657.71 Crore was allocated in the Budget Estimate (B.E.) for the year 2021-22 under the Khelo India Scheme.

Khelo India:

‘Khelo India-National Programme for Development of Sports’ was launched in October, 2017 with an aim to strengthen the entire sports ecosystem for promoting the twin objectives of mass participation & promotion of excellence in sports across India.

About Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports:
Minister of State (IC) – Kiren Rijiju (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Arunachal West, Arunachal Pradesh)
<<Read Full News>>

Net-Zero emissions in India’s energy systems achievable by 2050: TERI & Shell reportNet zero emission energy transition achievable by 2050According to the report by ‘India:Transforming to a net-zero emissions energy system’ released by TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) & Shell (otherwise known as Royal Dutch Shell plc), the Net Zero emissions in energy system in India is achievable by 2050.Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog released the report.

  • The report is one of the first assessments of the challenges that India would face if India were to move towards Net-zero emissions energy system.

Factors needed to achieve the target

  • Suitable Policy and innovation driven context for deploying clean energy technologies on a massive scale.
  • Development of new fuels, such as liquid biofuels and biogas, as well as hydrogen produced from Electrolysis.
  • Carbon Removals (Technology & nature-based solutions) will have a major role in moving towards zero emissions.

About The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI):
Director General – Dr Vibha Dhawan
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Shell:
Global CEO – Ben Van Beurden
Headquarters – The Hague, Netherlands
<<Read Full News>>

India plans to Conduct Airborne Radar Survey in Himalayan GlaciersIndia to conduct airborne radar surveysIndian govt. is planning to conduct airborne radar survey in the Himalayan region to estimate the thickness of Glaciers at Lahaul-Spiti basin of Himachal Pradesh. The pilot project will then be extended to Indus, Ganga & Brahmaputra sub-basins.
Technology used – Ground Penetration Radar (GPR), to assess the depth of Glacier.
Initiated by – National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Science.
Note- Currently, India is ranked as the 7th Most Vulnerable Country in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.

  • This move comes at the backdrop of the Glacier Outburst in February 2021, leading to flooding in Rishi Ganga river at Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.
  • The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) data estimates 33% of India’s thermal electricity and 52% of hydropower are dependent on Himalayan rivers.

Key Points on Himalayas:
i.It is the World’s Youngest Mountain Range.
ii.Himalayas are classified as 3 parts: Himadri (greater Himalaya), Himachal (lesser Himalaya) & Shiwaliks (outer Himalaya).
iii.Major Himalayan RiversIndus, Jhelum, Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Saraswati, Ganga, Yamuna & Brahmaputra.
iv.Siachen Glacier, the 2nd longest Glacier in the World is located in the Karakoram range of India.
About National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR):
Headquarters: Vasco da Gama
Director: Muthalagu Ravichandran
<<Read Full News>>

Applied Materials India inked R&D pact with IISc IISc, Applied Materials India ink R&D pactApplied Materials India, the local subsidiary of US materials engineering company Applied Materials Inc., has signed a research and development (R&D) pact with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Karnataka.

  • This pact is a part of the Industry Affiliate Program of the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE)
  • IISc Bengaluru and Applied Materials India will work closely with CeNSE to explore new applications and solutions in the field of advanced materials.

Objective of the pact:

  • To offer a ‘world-class infrastructure’ to take solutions from ‘lab to fab’ and provide a much-needed impetus to semiconductor technology and manufacturing in the country.

Kind of collaborations with other Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs):

  • In 2018, Applied Materials India partnered with IIT Madras to boost research in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science with applications in semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.
  • In 2019 it celebrated its 15-years of collaboration with IIT Bombay in the field of nanoelectronics and energy.

Applied Materials India, Country President – Srinivas Satya
About Indian Institute of Science(IISc):
Establishment – 1909
Director – Prof. Govindan Rangarajan
Institute Location – Bengaluru, Karnataka

Manipur emerged as Champion State for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana

With active cooperation from the state government of Manipur, Van Dhan Vikas Yojana has been successfully implemented, turning Manipur into the Champion State for the scheme. Van Dhan Yojana was launched in October 2019 in Manipur, with the successful establishment of 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in the state. This constitutes 1500 self-help groups for marketing & providing value-addition to the tribal, minor forest produces.

  • Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UN WWDR Report 2021 underlines decrease of Per Capita Reservoir Capacity of WaterEvery person may have to live on less water as per capita reservoir capacity decreasesAccording to the 2021 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (UN WWDR 2021) titled ‘Valuing Water’, Each person on the planet may have to live on less Water as per capita reservoir capacity is decreasing.

  • The World population is set to increase to 9 Billion by 2040, but the projected reservoir volume is stabilising around 7, 000 billion cubic metre.
  • The report is published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on behalf of UN-WATER.
  • The production of the report is coordinated by UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme(WWAP).

Key Points

  • As per the report, the world’s 400 river basins identified water shortage risks in parts of Africa, Australia, Northern China, India, Spain & Western parts of the USA.
  • The report estimates that 140 Low and Middle-income countries need to spend $114 billion per year to access safe drinking water and sanitation.

Causes of Low Reservoir Expansion

  • Sedimentation was one of the main reasons for a decrease in the storage capacity of existing reservoirs.

About UN-Water:
Chair – Gilbert F. Houngbo
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
<<Read Full News>>

MoS Communications, Shri Sanjay Dhotre Represented India at the WSIS Forum 2021World Summit on Information Society Forum 2021On March 22, 2021, Minister of State(MOS) for Communications, Shri Sanjay Dhotre represented India at the ‘World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2021’which is one of the world’s largest annual gatherings of the ‘ICT for development’ communities.
Key points addressed by Shri Sanjay Dhotre:
The Minister highlighted the policies and programs undertaken by his Ministry such as,

  • Arogya Setu platform is used to monitor and alert the health status of citizens.
  • CovidSavdhan system used for targeted messaging in a specified area,
  • Frameworks facilitated for Work from Home and Work from Anywhere.
  • Public Wi-Fi is effectively used under the PM-WANI scheme enabling effective service delivery for the citizens across the country.
  • Telecom infrastructure development in remote areas through the flagship program BharatNet, nearly 6,00,000 villages are being connected through the laying of more than 4,00,000 Km length of optical fibre cable and use of satellite communication services

About Ministry of Communication:
Union Minister – Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad (Constituency – Patna Sahib, Bihar)
Minister of State – Shri Sanjay Dhotre (Constituency – Akola, Maharashtra)
<<Read Full News>>

BANKING & FINANCE

SEBI Amended the Valuation Norms on Perpetual BondsSebi amends 100-yr valuation rule for AT-1 bondsOn March 22, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) amended the valuation rule of Perpetual Bonds (Additional Tier-1(AT-1) and Tier-2 Bonds), under the intervention of the Finance Ministry, to modify its recent framework on Perpetual Bonds.

  • As per the amendments, the deemed residual maturity of Basel III additional tier-1(AT-1) bonds are to be 10 years until March 31, 2022, and would be increased to 20 and 30 years over the subsequent six-month period.
  • On March 10, 2021, SEBI came out with a framework to modify Mutual Fund’s investment and perpetual bonds maturity.

About the Framework 

  • It capped debt mutual fund exposure to perpetual bonds, which include AT-1 bonds and tier-2 bonds.
  • It had also said that the maturity of all perpetual bonds should be treated as 100 years from the date of issuance for valuation.

About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Regional offices – Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Delhi
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi
<<Read Full News>>

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Fitch Ratings raised India’s FY22 GDP growth estimate to 12.8% from 11%Fitch raises India's FY22 GDP growth projectionFitch Ratings, an American credit rating agency in its latest Global Economic Outlook(GEO)-March 2021 has revised India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth estimate to 12.8% for FY22 from 11% due to the stronger carryover effect, and better virus containment.
India’s growth forecast by Fitch:

  • GDP of the fourth quarter in FY21 has surpassed its pre-pandemic level and the country is recovering faster from the COVID-19 induced recession in the second quarter of 2020 than expected.
  • In manufacturing sector, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remained elevated and led to more gains in February 2021.
  • It predicts that RBI will not cut its policy rate and forecasts a Short-term growth outlook with a more limited decline in inflation.

Global GDP Prediction:

i.It expects global GDP to expand by 6.1%in 2021, which is revised up from 5.3% in their GEO, December 2020.
ii.They also revise the world GDP declined by 3.4% in 2020 from their previous forecast of a 3.7% decline.

About Fitch Ratings:
President– Ian Linnell
Headquarter– New York, United States
<<Read Full News>>

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS 

Overview of 67th National Film Awards for the year 201967th National Film Awards announcedOn March 22, 2021, the 67th edition of annual National Film Awards  was announced, it bestows honours on films and artists for the year 2019.
The National Film Awards are given out by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation which comes under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
i.The awards are categorised in three sections

  • Feature Films,
  •  Non-Feature Films &
  • Best Writing on Cinema.

ii.The awards were announced by Jury heads – N. Chandra, Chairman, Central Panel, Shri Arun Chaddha, Chairman, Non Feature Films Jury, Shaji N Karun, Chairman, Most Film Friendly State Jury & Saibal Chatterjee, Chairman Best Writing on Cinema Jury.
iii.Feature and Non-Feature Films certified by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between 1 January 2019, and 31 December 2019, were eligible for the film award categories.

Notable Awards

  • Best Non-Feature Film – An Engineered Dream (Hindi Film)
  • Best Feature Film – Marakkar-Arabi Kadalinte-Simham (Malayalam)
  • Best Children’s Film award – Kastoori (Hindi)
  • Best Arts and Culture Film – Shrikshetra-Ru-Sahijata (Odia)
  • Most Film Friendly State – Sikkim (Medal – Rajat Kamal)
  • Best Cinematography –  Gireesh Gangadharan for Malayalam film Jallikattu

About Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC):
Chairperson – Prasoon Joshi
Head Office  – Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS 

Center to Set Empowerment Committee for Manufacturing in High-tech SectorsGovt to set up empowered committeeCentral Govt. of India has notified to set-up an Empowerment Committee to discuss and enhance manufacturing of products in High technology areas in India. The 10-member committee will be headed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry(Currently –  Piyush Goyal).The committee will be serviced by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Motive- To facilitate investments and promote manufacturing in technology-intensive sectors including semiconductors.
10 Members Committee:
4-members from Government side
Cabinet Secretary – Rajiv Gauba, National Security Advisor – Rajinder Khanna, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), additional secretary – Ministry of External Affairs.
6-members from various fields of Technological Expertise

  • N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons
  • Baba Kalyani, Chairman of Bharat Forge
  • Pawan Goenka, MD & CEO of Mahindra Groups
  • Sridhar Vembu, CEO of ZOHO Corp
  • Anshuman Tripathi, Semiconductor expert

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS        

Adani Ports Acquired 58.1% in Gangavaram Port for Rs. 3,604 Crore

On March 23, 2021, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ) Ltd, a subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group acquired a 58.1% stake in Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) belongs to DVS Raju & Family for around Rs 3,604 crore.

Background:

  • On March 3, 2021, Adani port made an agreement to acquire 89.6% of GPL i.e. (31.5% from Warburg Pincus and 58.1% from DVS Raju & Family)
  • As per the agreement it acquired the 31.5% stake from Warburg Pincus on March 17, 2021.
  • GPL has a paid-up equity share capital of 51.7 Cr shares of which 58.1 % is owned by DVS Raju and Family (Promoter), 10.4 % by the Andhra Pradesh government, and 31.5% by Warburg Pincus.

Purpose of the Acquisition:

  • The acquisition is in line with the Company’s strategy of East Coast to West Coast parity(Pan-India cargo presence).
  • It will provide access to growth from new hinterland markets as it has coverage in resource-rich and industrial belt in Eastern, Central & Southern India.

About Gangavaram Port Limited(GPL):

  • GPL is all-weather, deep water, the multi-purpose port which is located in the northern part of Andhra Pradesh next to Vizag Port.

About Ports in India:

  • India has a coastline spanning 6 kilometres, forming one of the biggest peninsulas in the world.
  • According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, around 95 per cent of India’s trading by volume and 70 per cent by value is done through maritime transport.
  • It is serviced by 13 major ports (12 Government-owned and one private) and 187 notified minor and intermediate ports.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

POWERGRID Launches E-Tendering Portal “PRANIT”POWERGRID Launches Certified E-Tendering Portal “PRANIT”

E-Tendering Portal ‘PRANIT’ was launched by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a central PSU under the Ministry of Power. This e-portal was established to minimize the paperwork and ease of operation and expects the tendering process to become more transparent.
i.It has been certified by Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
ii. With this, POWERGRID becomes the only organization in India to have an eProcurement solution on SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), complying with all applicable requirements relating to security and transparency as specified by STQC.
iii. POWERGRID is making a number of innovative developments within the SAP SRM framework to continue digitization.
About PowerGrid:-
It is an Indian central public sector unit and a Maharatna company owned by the Ministry of Power , Government of India.POWERGRID also operates a telecom business under the name POWERTEL.
Chairman & Managing Director – Shri Kandikuppa Sreekant
Headquarters – Gurgaon , Haryana
Established in -1989

ISRO demonstrates Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 Metres for the 1st Time
ISRO makes breakthrough demonstration of free-spaceFor the 1st time in India, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully demonstrated free-space Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 Metres. The free-space QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) was demonstrated at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

  • It is a major milestone achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data communication using quantum technologies.
  • Technology – QKD is the technology behind Quantum Communication Technology.
  • Quantum Cryptography is based on the laws of Quantum Physics will be easier than conventional cryptosystems used for data-encryption rely on the complexity of mathematical algorithms.

Next Step

  • The demonstration is a major breakthrough towards ISRO’s goal of demonstrating Satellite-Based Quantum Communication (SBQC).
  • In the next step, ISRO plans to demonstrate the technology between 2 Indian ground stations.

About Space Applications Centre (SAC):
It is an institution of research under ISRO
Director – Nilesh M. Desai
Headquarters – Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Established – 1972
Founder – Vikram Sarabhai
<<Read Full News>>

Russia Launches 38 Satellites from 18 countries into orbit on Soyuz-2.1a RocketRussia Launches 38 SatellitesOn March 22, 2021, Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) launched 38 Satellites from 18 Countries into orbit onboard its Soyuz-2.1a Rocket. The rocket was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

  • The satellites belong to 18 countries including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and Brazil.
  • One of the satellites was ‘Challenge-1’ which is the 1st ever satellite to be made completely in Tunisia. It was created by the Telnet telecommunications group.
  • The Primary payload of the mission was the 500 Kg CAS500-1 remote-sensing satellite belonging to South Korea.

About Russia:
President – Vladimir Putin
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Russian Rouble
<<Read Full News>>

ENVIRONMENT

New species of Diatoms named ‘Epithemia agharkarii’ discovered in the Mula River ARI scientists discover new species of diatomsThe study led by researchers from the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) discovered a new species of Diatoms in the Mula River, Pune, Maharashtra. They named the species Epithemia agharkarii after S P Agharkar who was the founder-director of the institute ARI.

Features of Epithemia agharkarii:

  • Diatoms are found all along the Mula river, in which the Epithemia agharkarii was found thriving on submerged stones located downstream Mulshi dam, indicating its preferred ecosystem to be freshwater reserves.
  • The microbes measured 16 to 38 micrometre in length and 12.5 to 17.5 micrometre in width.
  • Researchers from Savitribai Phule Pune University, Museum of Natural History and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Colorado, USA and Harbin Normal University, China, were collaborated in this study
  • They have concluded that Epithemia agharkarii is endemic to the northern Western Ghats region of peninsular India.

About Diatoms:

  • Diatoms are single-celled algae that grow in nearly all kinds of water bodies including rivers, lakes, and streams. These microorganisms contribute to generating oxygen in the atmosphere.

About Mula River:
Location – Pune, Maharashtra
Dam on the River -Mulshi Dam
About Agharkar Research Institute (ARI):
Establishment – 1946
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
Chairman -Dr. D. R. Bapat Krishibhushan

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Tuberculosis Day observed on 24th MarchWorld Tuberculosis Day 2021World Tuberculosis Day is observed annually on 24th March. It is observed to raise awareness about the global epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB).

  • 2021 Theme – ‘The Clock is Ticking
  • It is one of the 11 official Global Public Health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • In 1982, on the 100th Anniversary of Robert Koch’s presentation about TB, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed to observe 24th March as World TB Day.
  • It is on 24th March, 1882 that Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the cause of Tuberculosis – the TB Bacillus.

Targets to End TB

  • India has set an ambitious goal to achieve “End Tuberculosis” by reducing the incidence of new TB cases by 80% by 2025.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Healthcare for TB reduced by 21% in 2020: WHO
According to preliminary data compiled by the WHO from over 80 countries, healthcare for TB reduced by 21% in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic.

Kerala’s TB eradication programme bags award
Kerala won Bronze Medal in the Union Health Ministry’s Sub National Certification of Efforts towards Elimination of TB. Estimated incidence of TB decreased by 37.5% in Kerala between 2015-20 (an annual decline rate of 7.5%). Even the global figures for annual incidence of TB reduction has never been more than 2-3%.
About International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD):
President – Professor Guy Marks
Headquarters – Paris, France
<<Read Full News>>

STATE NEWS

Arunachal Pradesh signs MoU with TRIFED to Implement MSP for MFP Scheme and Van Dhan YojanaTRIFED signs MoU with Government of for The Implementation of MSPOn 19th March 2021, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state of Arunachal Pradesh for implementing its flagship program, “Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & development of value chain for MFP’ scheme and Van Dhan Yojana.
Objective- To improve the livelihood of Tribal artisans & Forest dwellers.

  • Under the MoU, 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be set up in Arunachal in 2021.

About Arunachal Pradesh:

  • The state shares Geographical boundaries with China, Myanmar, Bhutan along with Indian states of Assam & Nagaland.
  • State bird of Arunachal Pradesh, ‘Great Hornbill’ is under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

About Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED):
Managing Director– Pravir Krishna
Established– 1987
Headquarter– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 25 March 2021
1 Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports extends Khelo India Scheme till 2025-26
2 Net-Zero emissions in India’s energy systems achievable by 2050: TERI & Shell report
3 India plans to Conduct Airborne Radar Survey in Himalayan Glaciers
4 Applied Materials India inked R&D pact with IISc
5 Manipur emerged as Champion State for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana
6 UN WWDR Report 2021 underlines decrease of Per Capita Reservoir Capacity of Water
7 MoS Communications, Shri Sanjay Dhotre Represented India at the WSIS Forum 2021
8 SEBI Amended the Valuation Norms on Perpetual Bonds
9 Fitch Ratings raised India’s FY22 GDP growth estimate to 12.8% from 11%
10 Overview of 67th National Film Awards for the year 2019
11 Center sets Empowerment Committee for Manufacturing in High-tech Sectors
12 Adani Ports Acquired 58.1% in Gangavaram Port for Rs. 3,604 Crore
13 POWERGRID Launches Certified E-Tendering Portal “PRANIT”
14 In a 1st of its kind, ISRO demonstrates Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 Metres
15 Russia Launches 38 Satellites from 18 countries into orbit on Soyuz-2.1a Rocket
16 New species of Diatoms named ‘Epithemia agharkarii’ discovered in the Mula River
17 World Tuberculosis Day observed on 24th March
18 Arunachal Pradesh signs MoU with TRIFED to Implement MSP for MFP Scheme and Van Dhan Yojana