Current Affairs 2021

CMD, NHPC lays the foundation stone of head regulator works of Indo-Nepal Link Canal [08 Dec 2020]

Shri A.K. Singh, CMD, NHPC, India’s premier hydropower company and a PSU under Ministry of Power, laid the foundation stone of head regulator works of Indo-Nepal Link Canal at Barrage of 94.2 MW Tanakpur Power Station of NHPC located in Banbasa, Distt Champawat (Uttarakhand) on 8th December 2020. The 1.2 km long Indo-Nepal canal is being constructed under ‘Mahakali Treaty’ signed between India and Nepal.

Indian-origin health expert Anil Soni appointed first CEO of The WHO Foundation [08 Dec 2020]

Indian-origin global health expert Anil Soni has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of the newly launched The WHO Foundation, which works alongside the World Health Organization to address most pressing health challenges across the world. Soni will assume his role as The WHO Foundation’s inaugural Chief Executive Officer on January 1 next year. In his new role, Soni will accelerate the Foundation’s "work to invest in innovative, evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in delivering on its mission to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all".

Invest India The Winner of the Investment Promotion Award 2020 [07 Dec 2020]

The United Nations (UNCTAD) has declared Invest India- the National Investment Promotion Agency of India- as a winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award. The award ceremony took place on 7th December 2020 at UNCTAD Headquarters in Geneva. The award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements and best practices of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) across the globe. The evaluation was based on UNCTAD’s assessment of work undertaken by 180 Investment Promotion Agencies.

Indian village teacher Ranjitsinh Disale wins Global Teacher Prize 2020 [04 Dec 2020]

A Maharashtra government school teacher from Solapur has bagged the Varkey Foundation's top Global Teacher Prize-2020 worth $1 million (Rs 7.40 crore), according to an official announcement made in London. He was honoured for having "transformed the life chances" of girls at the Zilla Parishad Primary School in Paritewadi, in Maharashtra state.

15-year-old Indian-American becomes TIME's first-ever 'KId of the Year' [04 Dec 2020]

Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year-old Indian-American has become TIME magazine's first-ever 'Kid of the Year' for her "astonishing work" in a range of fields, including cyberbullying and treatment to contaminated water. She was selected from a list of 5,000 nominees for 'Kid of the Year' award that was inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg who was TIME magazine's 'Person of the Year' in 2019.

Kotak-Hurun releases list of India's 100 richest women in 2020 [04 Dec 2020]

Kotak Wealth Management, a division of Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak), and Hurun India has announced its 2020 list of India's 100 richest women. IT major HCL Technologies' Roshni Nadar Malhotra has topped a list of the richest women in the country with a networth of Rs 54,850 crore, followed by Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw at Rs 36,600 crore, the report said.

ADB, India sign $50 million loan to boost West Bengal’s digital platforms for public finance reforms [02 Dec 2020]

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $50 million policy-based loan to improve financial management procedures and operational efficiencies aimed at achieving more fiscal savings, promote informed decision making, and improve service delivery in the state of West Bengal. The signatories to the West Bengal Public Finance Management Investment Programme were Dr. C. S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India, and Mr. Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission who signed for ADB.

Successful Test Firing of BrahMos by Indian Navy [01 Dec 2020]

BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile in Anti-Ship mode was successfully test fired today at 0900 hrs against a decommissioned Ship. The test firing was carried out by Indian Navy. The missile performed highly complex manoeuvres and hit Bull’s eye of the target. BrahMos is the supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by DRDO and NPOM of Russia as a Brahmos Aerospace joint venture, which became Brahmos Aerospace Private Limited. The missile has established itself as a major force multiplier in modern-day complex battlefields with its impeccable anti-ship and land-attack capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities and has been deployed in all the three wings of the Indian Armed Forces. The first launch of Brahmos took place in 2001 and till date numerous launches have taken place from various ships, Mobile Autonomous Launchers and Su-30 MKI aircraft, making it a versatile weapon.

ADB, India sign $132.8 million loan to strengthen Meghalaya’s power distribution Sector [01 Dec 2020]

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $132.8 million loan to strengthen and modernize the distribution network and improve the quality of power supplied to households, industries, and businesses in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya.The signatories to the Meghalaya Power Distribution Sector Improvement Project were Dr. C. S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank & ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India, and Mr. Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission who signed for ADB.

56th Raising Day of Border Security Force (BSF) [01 Dec 2020]

The Border Security Force (BSF) is celebrating its 56th Raising Day today. On this occasion, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai took the salute of the BSF Raising Day Parade-2020 held at the Chhawla Camp here. The programme was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff,General Bipin Rawat, BSF Director General Shri Rakesh Asthana, senior officers of Central Armed Police Forces and the Police and other dignitaries.

Justice Department celebrates Constitution Day with Preamble reading following the lead of President of India [26 Nov 2020]

On the occasion of the 71st Constitution Day or Samvidhan Divas, a special function was organized by the Department of Justice. The programme started with reading of the Preamble at 11 AM, led by the President of India via live telecast from Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Cabinet approves FDI of Rs. 2480.92 crore in M/s. ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited [25 Nov 2020]

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the FDI proposal no. 4930 for acquisition of 12.32% of the equity share capital (on a fully diluted basis) of M/s ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited by M/s ATC Asia Pacific PTE Limited as a result of exercise of put option by M/s Tata Tele Services Limited (TTSL) and Tata Sons Private Limited (TSPL). This would lead to foreign direct investment inflow of Rs. 2480.92 crore. With this approval the cumulative FDI of M/s ATC Asia Pacific PTE Limited (ATC Singapore) into ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited (ATC India) will be Rs. 5417.2 crore in financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21.

Cabinet approves Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Limited [25 Nov 2020]

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (LVB) with DBS Bank India Limited (DBIL). On 17.11.2020, to protect depositors' interest and in the interest of financial and banking stability, on RBI's application under section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, LVB had been under moratorium for a period of 30 days. In parallel, RBI, in consultation with Government, superseded the Board of Directors of LVB and appointed an Administrator to protect the depositors' interest. After inviting suggestions and objections from the public and stakeholders, RBI prepared and provided a scheme for the bank's amalgamation for the Government's sanction, well in. advance of end of the period of moratorium so that restrictions on withdrawal faced by the depositors are minimised. With the approval of the scheme, LVB will be amalgamated with DBIL from the appointed date, and with this there will no further restrictions on the depositors regarding withdrawal of their deposits.

Meghalaya moving fast to achieve 100% household tap water connections despite all odds [23 Nov 2020]

Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the Government of Meghalaya has decided to provide Functional Household Tap Connections to all rural homes in the State by 2023. There are 5.90 lakh rural households in 6,415 villages in the State and out of these, balance 5.83 lakh households are planned to be provided tap connection. The primary focus under the Mission is ‘service delivery’ and ‘functionality’. Every family is to be provided with potable water of prescribed quality, in adequate quantity on regular and long-term basis. This needs the local communities to own their water supply systems and lead the implementation from the planning stage to the operational & maintenance stage. The mission is being implemented in such a manner that local communities through their Gram Panchayats or its sub-committees namely Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) plan, implement, approve, operate and maintain their own water supply systems.

Exercise Malabar 2020 Concludes in Arabian Sea [20 Nov 2020]

The 24th edition of MALABAR maritime exercise, hosted by Indian Navy (IN) in two phases, concluded in the Arabian Sea on 20 Nov 20. Phase 1 of the exercise involving participation by Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN), was conducted off Visakhapatnam in Bay of Bengal from 3-6 November 2020. The second phase was conducted in the Arabian Sea from 17-20 November 2020.

Ariel Space Mission adopted by the European Space Agency [15 Nov 2020]

The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally adopted Ariel, the explorer that will study the nature, formation and evolution of exoplanets. As of now the existence of more than 4,000 exoplanets is considered confirmed, while there are thousands of other candidate exoplanets that need further observations to say for certain if they are exoplanets. Proxima Centauri b is the closest exoplanet to Earth and is four light-years away and inhabits the “habitable zone” of its star, which means that it could possibly have liquid water on its surface.

Lewis Hamilton’s road to his seventh title [15 Nov 2020]

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton took a record-equalling seventh world championship and became Formula One’s most successful driver of all time after winning a wet and slippery Turkish Grand Prix.

Fifteen Asian countries sign world’s biggest trade deal [15 Nov 2020]

Asia Pacific nations including China, Japan and South Korea on Sunday signed the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement, encompassing nearly a third of the world’s population and gross domestic product. Top officials from 15 nations that also include Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations inked the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP - nearly a decade in the making -on the final day of the 37th Asean Summit hosted virtually by Vietnam.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he pulled out over concerns about how RCEP would affect the livelihoods of Indians, particularly the most vulnerable. India, though, will be allowed to rejoin the trade pact.

QRSAM Missile System Achieves Major Milestone [13 Nov 2020]

Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) System has achieved a major milestone by a direct hit on to a Banshee Pilotless target aircraft at medium range & medium altitude. The missile launch took place from ITR Chandipur on 13th Nov 2020 at 1550 hrs off the Odisha Coast. The missile is propelled by a single stage solid propellant rocket motor and uses all indigenous subsystems. The Missile is canisterised for transportation and launch using a mobile launcher capable of carrying 6 canisterised missiles. All QRSAM weapon system elements like Battery Multifunction Radar, Battery Surveillance Radar, Battery Command Post Vehicle and Mobile Launcher were deployed in the flight test. The system is capable of detecting and tracking targets on the move and engaging target with short halts. The system is designed to give air defence coverage against strike columns of Indian Army.

Vaishno Devi Shrine Board wins Centre’s water conservation award [12 Nov 2020]

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has bagged the first prize for water conservation management in the category of best institution, resident welfare association and religious organisation for successful campus usage, from the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti. The award was announced during the two-day 2nd National Water Award-2019 ceremony.

20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State [10 Nov 2020]

20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State was held on November 10, 2020 (in Video Conference Format). The Meeting was chaired by the President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi led the Indian delegation. Other SCO Member States were represented by their Presidents, while India and Pakistan were represented at the level of Prime Minister. Other participants were: Secretary General of the SCO Secretariat, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, the Presidents of the four Observers (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia) of the SCO. This was the first SCO Summit held in Virtual Format and third meeting that India participated after becoming a full member in 2017.

14th Foundation Day Celebrations at NIPER-Hyderabad [10 Nov 2020]

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad celebrated its 14th Foundation Day in a befitting manner. On this occasion, Shri V. K. Saraswat, Padma Bhushan, Member, NITI Aayog, Chancellor, JNU & Former DG, DRDO attended as the chief-guest.

Mumbai Indians won thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) [10 Nov 2020]

Defending champions Mumbai Indians thrashed Delhi Capitals by five wickets to retain their title and win the tournament for a record five times. No other team has won IPL more than thrice. This event was held in Dubai.

Malayalam author S Hareesh wins the JCB Prize for Literature 2020 [08 Nov 2020]

The winner of the JCB Prize for Literature 2020 has been announced. And this year S Hareesh has won for his novel, Moustache which been translated into English by Jayasree Kalathil and published by HarperCollins India. The winner was announced by Lord Bamford, Chairman, in a virtual awards ceremony. The book was chosen among the five books in the shortlist which consisted of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu, Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi and These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light by Dharini Bhaskar.The JCB Prize for Literature is regarded as the richest literary prize in India. As per the norm, the Malayalam author will receive a ?25 lakh cash prize and the translator will receive an additional ?10 lakh.

ISRO launches latest earth observation satellite EOS-01, 9 others lifts off [07 Nov 2020]

India successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine customer satellites on board its Polar rocket from the spaceport. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

CCI approves acquisition of General Insurance Business of Bharti AXA by ICICI Lombard [02 Nov 2020]

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of General Insurance Business of Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited (Bharti AXA) by ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited (ICICI Lombard) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002. ICICI Lombard is a general insurance company registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and is engaged in providing a comprehensive and well-diversified range of general insurance products, including motor, health, fire, personal accident, marine, engineering and liability insurance, through multiple distribution channels. Bharti AXA is a general insurance company registered with the IRDAI and is a joint venture held by Bharti General Ventures Private Limited (51%) and Societe Beaujon (49%). It is engaged in providing general insurance products, including motor, health, travel, crop and home insurance to its customers.

PM to release commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO [16 Oct 2020]

On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16th October 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi release a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the long-standing relation of India with FAO. Prime Minister will also dedicate to the Nation 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops. The journey of FAO in making the vulnerable classes and masses stronger, economically and nutritionally, has been unparalleled. India has had a historic association with FAO. Indian Civil Service Officer Dr. Binay Ranjan Sen was the Director General of FAO during 1956-1967. The World Food Programme, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, was established during his time. India’s proposals for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023 have also been endorsed by FAO.

Cabinet approves Rs. 5718 crore World Bank aided project STARS [14 Oct 2020]

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister,  has approved Implementation of the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project with a total project cost of Rs 5718 crore with the financial support of World Bank amounting to US $ 500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crore). STARS project would be implemented as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education(MOE). Setting up and support to the National Assessment Centre, PARAKH as an independent and autonomous institution under Department of School Education and Literacy, MOE.

Atal Innovation Mission collaborates with CGI to promote Innovation across schools [13 Oct 2020]

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) with CGI India in order to further rev up the innovation across the schools. As part of continuous support to AIM’s one of its kind Atal Tinkering Lab initiative, AIM and CGI India which is one among the largest IT and business consulting services firms has collaborated for creating a successful and innovative workforce from the ATL schools. AIM is the flagship programme of the Government of India that promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across country. Its ATLs are accessed by over 2.5 million school kids in India. ATL is a dedicated innovation workspace set-up at schools where students get access to do-it-yourself (DIY) kits and learn to tinker and create innovative solutions using the latest technologies.

India and ADB Sign $300 Million Loan to Develop Rajasthan’s Secondary Towns [12 Oct 2020]

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $300 million loan to finance inclusive and sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in 14 secondary towns of the state of Rajasthan. The signatories to the Rajasthan Secondary Towns Development Sector Project were Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India, and Mr. Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.

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