Current Affairs 2021

CEO Satya Nadella appointed as Microsoft chairman [17 Jun 2021]

Microsoft Corp, named Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella as its new chairman. Nadella took over as the software giant's CEO in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.

India retains 43rd rank on IMD's World Competitiveness Index [17 Jun 2021]

India has retained the 43rd spot in the World Competitiveness Index compiled by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country has maintained the same rank for the past three years, and its position on the list has not slipped despite the COVID-19 jolt to the economy. Although India continues to be ranked 43rd among the 64 countries whose competitiveness has been analysed, IMD noted that New Delhi has made significant improvements in governance.

The 64-nation list was led by Switzerland, while Sweden has moved up to the second position (from sixth last year), Denmark has lost one place to rank third, the Netherlands has retained its fourth place and Singapore has slipped to fifth place (from first in 2020). At eighth, Taiwan reached the top-10 for the first time since the ranking began 33 years ago (moving up from 11th last year). The UAE and the USA remain in their same spots as last year (9th and 10th, respectively).

Kuldeep Singh appointed new Director General of CRPF [16 Jun 2021]

Senior IPS officer Kuldeep Singh appointed as Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He will continue as DG, CRPF up to September 30, 2022.

Mandatory Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery comes into force from 16th June [15 Jun 2021]

Mandatory Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery is going to come into force from tomorrow, 16th June 2021. Based on extensive consultations with stakeholders, the following decisions were taken-

  • Hallmarking will be initially be starting from.256 districts of the country which have Assaying marking centres.
  • Jewellers with annual turnover up to Rs. 40 lac will be exempted from mandatory Hall Marking.
  • Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India - Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will be exempted from mandatory Hall Marking.
  • Gold of Additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for Hall Marking.
  • Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery viz. Kundan, Polki and Jadau will be exempted from Hall Marking.
  • Jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without a hallmark from the consumer.
  • In order to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of Gold Jewellery, there would be No penalties till August end.

Shri Justice Sanjay Yadav appointed as Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court [10 Jun 2021]

The President of India, in exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Sanjay Yadav, Judge of the Allahabad High Court to be Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

RBI says MK Jain reappointed as Deputy Governor for next two years [10 Jun 2021]

Mahesh Kumar Jain's new two-year term as RBI Deputy Governor will begin on June 22. He has over 30 years of banking experience, was the MD of IDBI Bank in 2017 and Chennai-based Indian Bank in 2015.

Shri Anup Chandra Pandey takes over as new Election Commissioner [09 Jun 2021]

Shri Anup Chandra Pandey today assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. Shri Pandey joins the Election Commission of India as second Election Commissoner in a three- member body headed by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar.

HSBC appoints Hitendra Dave as India CEO [07 Jun 2021]

Global banking major HSBC announces that Hitendra Dave would be appointed as Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India on receipt of regulatory approval and has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer effective from June 7, 2021.

Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh AVSM, NM assumes charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff [01 Jun 2021]

Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, AVSM, NM assumed charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff on 01 Jun 2021. Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 1983 and specialized in Aviation. The Flag Officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor with Master Green instrument rating. He has flown HT-2, Kiran HJT 16, TS 11 Iskra, Hunter, Harrier Gr 3, Jet Provost, Chetak, Gazelle, Hawk and Mig 29 KUB aircraft during his illustrious career.The Admiral has held various challenging Staff, Command and Diplomatic assignments during his distinguished naval career and has had wide ranging experience onboard diverse platforms. He has commanded various frontline ships and Naval Air Squadrons including INS Himgiri, INS Ranvijay, INS Ranvir, INAS 551B, INAS 300 as well as the premier Air Base INS Hansa.

Lieutenant General Pradeep Chandran Nair, AVSM, YSM takes over as Director General Assam Rifles [01 Jun 2021]

Lieutenant General Pradeep Chandran Nair, AtiVishishtSeva Medal (AVSM), YudhSeva Medal (YSM) took over as the 21st Director General of the Assam Rifles (popularly known as Sentinels of the North-East) on 1st June 2021. He has rich experience of Assam Rifles and the North East, having earlier been an Inspector General and a Company Commander in Assam Rifles, besides having commanded Assam Rifles battalions as a Brigade Commander.

DRDO develops Critical Near Isothermal Forging Technology for aeroengines [28 May 2021]

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press. The technology has been developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a premier metallurgical laboratory of DRDO at Hyderabad. This is a crucial technology for establishing self-reliance in aero engine technology. With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero-engine components.

Cabinet approves Opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives [25 May 2021]

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives in 2021. India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity. Maldives occupies an important place in the 'Neighbourhood First Policy' and the 'SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Government of India. Opening of a Consulate General in Addu City will help augment India's diplomatic presence in Maldives and make it commensurate with the existing and aspired level of engagement.

Subodh Kumar Jaiswal appointed as new CBI Director [25 May 2021]

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, has based on the panel recommended by the Committee, approved the appointment of Shri Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, IPS (MH: 1985) as Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office or until further orders whichever is earlier.

Gautam Adani becomes Asia’s 2nd richest man with $67 billion net worth [21 May 2021]

Adani Group founder and chairman Gautam Adani has now become the second richest man in Asia after overtaking China’s Zhong Shanshan. Gautam Adani’s net worth stands at $67.6 billion, making him the second richest Asian and the 14th richest businessman in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gautam Adani now remains just a spot behind Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani, who is Asia’s richest man with a net worth of just above $76 billion. On the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mukesh Ambani is currently on the 13th spot, just a place above Gautam Adani.

A new meme cryptocurrency $STOPELON has been created [20 May 2021]

A new virtual coin has been minted. It has been named $STOPELON. The cryptocurrency has emerged just this week and the price has increased over 4,000 per cent in just a day — from $0.0000019 to $0.00009450. The currency has been created on the blockchain Binance Smart Chain and is currently trading at around $0.00005600 with a market capitalisation of nearly $30 billion.

Indian-Origin Chemist winners of the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize [19 May 2021]

Cambridge University chemists Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman were declared the winners of the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize, a prestigious global science and technology prize awarded for their development of revolutionary sequencing techniques which means DNA can now be read in super-fast times. The prize, awarded by Technology Academy Finland (TAF) at two-year intervals since 2004 - when Sir Tim Berners-Lee was honored for his discovery of the World Wide Web - to highlight the extensive impact of science and innovation on the wellbeing of society, is worth Euro 1 million. Sir Balasubramanian, an India-born British professor of medicinal chemistry, and Sir Klenerman, a British biophysical chemist, co-invented the Solexa-Illumina Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS), technology enabling fast, accurate, low-cost, and large-scale genome sequencing - the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism's make-up, which is proving crucial in humanity's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anti Covid drug 2-DG launched by Defence Minister and Health Minister [17 May 2021]

Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh and Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan jointly launched the new COVID drug 2-DG at DRDO Bhawan. The anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.

N Rangasamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Puducherry [07 May 2021]

AINRC leader N Rangasamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Puducherry at a brief ceremony held at Raj Nivas. Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Rangasamy, who has become Chief Minister for the fourth time.

MK Stalin takes oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu [07 May 2021]

Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, the DMK president who led his party to a huge victory in the Assembly polls was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 68-year old Stalin, for whom this would be the first stint as CM, in a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.

DRDO conducts maiden trial of Python-5 Air to Air Missile [28 Apr 2021]

Tejas, India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) in its air-to-air weapons capability on April 27, 2021. Trials were also aimed to validate enhanced capability of already integrated Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM on Tejas. The test firing at Goa completed a series of missile trials to validate its performance under extremely challenging scenarios. Derby missile achieved direct hit on a high-speed maneuvering aerial target and the Python missiles also achieved 100% hits, thereby validating their complete capability. The trials met all their planned objectives.

Shri Justice Rajesh Bindal to perform duties of the office of the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court [27 Apr 2021]

The President of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Rajesh Bindal, senior-most Judge of Calcutta High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from 29th April, 2021 following the retirement of Shri Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan, Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court. A notification in this regard has been issued by Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice.

MoU between the India and Bangladesh on the establishment of a framework of cooperation in the area of trade remedial measures [20 Apr 2021]

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Director General of Trade Remedies, Republic of India and the Bangladesh Trade & Tariff Commission, People's Republic of Bangladesh on the establishment of a framework of cooperation in the area of trade remedial measures signed on 27th March, 2021 at Dhaka. The primary objective of the MOU is to promote cooperation between the two countries in the area of Trade Remedies, covering the broad activities related to exchange of information, undertaking capacity building activities and activities in accordance with various provisions of World Trade Organization in the area of anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures in bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh.

Cabinet approves Amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021 [20 Apr 2021]

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gives ex-post facto approval for the Government amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021 (enacted on 28th March, 2021 as the Finance Act, 2021). The amendments were essential to clarify and rationalise the proposals further and address stakeholders concerns arising out of amendments proposed in the Finance Bill. The Government amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021 shall provide equity and inclusiveness to all the taxpayers by addressing stakeholders concerns arising out of amendments proposed in the Bill.The Government amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021 are tax proposals which shall generate timely revenue for the Government and streamline existing provisions by addressing grievances of the taxpayers.

DRDO develops SpO2 based Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System [19 Apr 2021]

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas. Developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO, the system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking in to a state of Hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases, if sets in. This automatic system can also prove to be a boon during the current Covid-19 situation.

K Madhavan named president of The Walt Disney Company India and Star India [14 Apr 2021]

The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday named K Madhavan as the president of The Walt Disney Company India and Star India with immediate effect. The move comes following the departure of Uday Shankar who had stepped down last year. In his new role, Madhavan will drive the strategy and growth of the media giant in India, with responsibility for the Disney, Star and Hotstar businesses and operations spanning across entertainment, sports and regional channels, and direct-to-consumer.

Sushil Chandra appointed next Chief Election Commissioner [13 Apr 2021]

Sushil Chandra was appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry said. He will assume charge on April 13, a day after incumbent CEC Sunil Arora demits office. A former CBDT Chairman, Chandra was appointed as an election commissioner on February 14, 2019, ahead of the Lok Sabha election. He would demit office on May 14, 2022.

Sputnik V has got Indian regulatory approval [13 Apr 2021]

India’s top drug regulatory body gave the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine developed by a Moscow laboratory permission for use in an emergency situation. The decision came hours after an expert panel of the regulator recommended emergency licensure to the vaccine. Sputnik V is now the third vaccine to be given such an approval in India after Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

CRMNEXT Wins the 2021 "Dream Company to Work For" Award Presented by Times Ascent [10 Apr 2021]

CRMNEXT is a leading global banking and insurance digital transformation and customer experience platform. It has to its credit the largest banking CRM implementation globally with over a million bankers and a billion customers managed on its platform. The award is a testament to CRMNEXT's exceptional working environment that empowers employees to push their boundaries with a holistic care and work enablement ecosystem, innovative technology stack and continuous learning model to meet the evolving needs of its customers. Times Ascent World HRD Congress is the largest HR event in the world, with over 1800 professionals across 133 countries in attendance this year. The awards highlight outstanding business achievements in categories such as HR Technology, Workplace Innovation and Diversity Inclusion, among others.

Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 notified [08 Apr 2021]

The Government of India has notified Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 vide Gazette notification under reference G.S.R. 225(E) dated 30th March, 2021. In India, the copyright regime is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 2013. The Copyright Rules, 2013 were last amended in the year 2016. The amendments have been introduced with the objective of bringing the existing rules in parity with other relevant legislations. It aims to ensure smooth and flawless compliance in the light of the technological advancement in digital era by adopting electronic means as primary mode of communication and working in the Copyright Office. A new provision regarding publication of a copyrights journal has been incorporated, thereby eliminating the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette. The said journal would be available at the website of the Copyright Office. In order to encourage accountability and transparency, new provisions have been introduced, to deal with the undistributed royalty amounts and use of electronic and traceable payment methods while collection and distribution of royalties. To reinforce transparency in working of copyright societies a new rule has been introduced, whereby the copyright societies will be required to draw up and make public an Annual Transparency Report for each financial year. The amendments have harmonised the Copyright Rules with the provisions of Finance Act, 2017 whereby the Copyright Board has been merged with Appellate Board. The compliance requirements for registration of software works have been largely reduced, as now the applicant has the liberty to file the first 10 and last 10 pages of source code, or the entire source code if less than 20 pages, with no blocked out or redacted portions.

ReNew Power commissions 110 MW solar capacity in Rajasthan [07 Apr 2021]

ReNew Power has commissioned a 110 megawatt (MW) solar generation facility in Rajasthan. As part of the project, ReNew has signed a power purchase agreement with Solar Energy Corporation of India at a tariff of Rs 2.49/kWh and will provide clean energy to the state. The solar project in Jaisalmer district is a part of an eventual 2300 MW of solar capacity that ReNew is bringing in Rajasthan.

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