Current Affairs 2021

DRDO develops Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships from missile attack [06 Apr 2021]

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard the naval ships against enemy missile attack. Defence Laboratory Jodhpur (DLJ), a DRDO laboratory, has indigenously developed three variants of this critical technology namely Short Range Chaff Rocket (SRCR), Medium Range Chaff Rocket (MRCR) and Long Range Chaff Rocket (LRCR) meeting Indian Navy’s qualitative requirements. The successful development of Advanced Chaff Technology by DLJ is another step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. Recently, Indian Navy conducted trials of all three variants in the Arabian Sea on Indian Naval Ship and found the performance satisfactory. Chaff is a passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology used worldwide to protect naval ships from enemy’s radar and Radio Frequency (RF) missile seekers. The importance of this development lies in the fact that very less quantity of chaff material deployed in the air acts as decoy to deflect enemy’s missiles for safety of the ships.

Indian Navy Ships and Aircraft to participate in exercise La Perouse [05 Apr 2021]

Indian Navy Ships INS Satpura (with an integral helicopter embarked) and INS Kiltan alongwith P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft are participating, for the first time; in multi-lateral maritime exercise La Pérouse, being conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region from 05 to 07 Apr 2021. The Indian Navy ships and aircraft will exercise at sea with ships and aircraft of French Navy (FN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and United States Navy (USN) during the three day exercise at sea. The exercise La Pérouse, led by French Navy, has participation by FN Ships Tonnerre, an amphibious assault ship and frigate Surcouf. United States Navy is represented in the exercise by amphibious transport dock ship Somerset. Her Majesty’s Australian Ships (HMAS) Anzac, a frigate and tanker Sirius have been deployed by RAN for participation in the exercise while Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) is represented by the destroyer Akebono. In addition to the ships, integral helicopters embarked onboard ships will also participate in the exercise.

DRDO lab develops light weight Bullet Proof Jacket [01 Apr 2021]

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab Defence Materials and Stores Research and Development Establishment (DMSRDE), Kanpur has developed light weight Bullet Proof Jacket (BPJ) weighing 9.0 kilogrammes, meeting the qualitative requirements of Indian Army. The Front Hard Armour Panel (FHAP) jacket was tested at Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh and met relevant BIS standards. The importance of this vital development lies in the fact that each gram of BPJ weight reduction is crucial in enhancing soldier comfort while ensuring the survivability. This technology reduces the weight of the medium sized BPJ from 10.4 to 9.0 kilogrammes. Very specific materials and processing technologies have been developed in the laboratories for the purpose.

Rajinikanth conferred with 51st Dadasaheb Phalke award [01 Apr 2021]

Actor Rajinikanth received the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award on April 1. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic. The jury which comprised Asha Bhonsle, Mohanlal, Subhash Ghai, Biswajeet Chatterjee and Shankar Mahadevan.

Asha Bhosle chosen for Maharashtra Bhushan award [25 Mar 2021]

Maharashtra Govt. announced legendary singer Asha Bhosle as the winner of the Maharashtra Bhushan Award, the state Goverment's highest award. The award , instituted in 1996 by the Maharashtra Government to acknowledge distinguished work and achievements of renowned person from the state, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize and a citation.

Gandhi Peace Prize for the Year 2019 [22 Mar 2021]

The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019 is being conferred on (Late) His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman. Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by Government of India since 1995, the 125th Birth Anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex. The Jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Sh Narendra Modi ,and comprises of two ex-officio members, namely the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha. Two eminent members are also part of the Jury, namely Shri Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Shri Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.

Gandhi Peace Prize for Year 2020 [22 Mar 2021]

The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by Government of India since 1995, the 125th Birth Anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex. The Jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Sh Narendra Modi ,and comprises of two ex-officio members, namely the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha. Two eminent members are also part of the Jury, namely Shri Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Shri Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organization.

Lok Sabha passes Insurance Amendment Bill 2021, FDI raised to 74% [22 Mar 2021]

The Lok Sabha has passed the Insurance Amendment Bill 2021 leading to a hike in foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the sector to 74 percent. Rajya Sabha had passed the Bill on March 18. This came as a stark contrast to the previous FDI hike that took seven years to be passed in 2015 hiking the limit from 26 percent to 49 percent. During the debate on this bill in the Lok Sabha on March 22, opposition leaders including INC's Manish Tiwari raised questions on why the government was keen to pass a bill that it was against earlier. Responding to these questions, finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that there was an urgent need in the insurance industry for the FDI limit to be hiked to 74 percent so that there is adequate capital available for the expansion of insurers.

IIT Kharagpur Wins the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0 [22 Mar 2021]

A team of four undergraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur emerged as winners at the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0, sponsored by Cushman and Wakefield, KI and IA: Interior Architects. The team comprised of Siddhant Samarth (Third Year Undergraduate, Department of Civil Engineering), Pratim Majumdar (Third Year Undergraduate, Department of Chemical Engineering), Rishita Raj (Second Year Undergraduate, Department of Mechanical Engineering) and Utkarsh Agrawal (Third Year Undergraduate, Department of Manufacturing Science and Engineering), and were guided by Prof. Jenia Mukherjee (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences). The team from IIT Kharagpur was one of the four teams to progress into the final round out of 1300 teams all over the world and were pitted against the University of Washington, New York University and the University of Denver in the final round hosted online on 18th March 2021. This is the first time that a squad from India has emerged as winners in the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge since the inception of the competition in 2015.

Sridhar Vembu, Padma Shri and founder CEO of Zoho appointed to the National Security Advisory Board [20 Mar 2021]

Padma Shri Shridhar Vembu, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zoho was appointed to the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). NSAB consists of a group of top national security experts outside the government. The members are generally senior retired officials, civilian and military academics and distinguished members of civil society.

Swarnim Vijay Varsh 2021 [20 Mar 2021]

As part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh 2021 Celebrations at Kolkata, Indian Navy conducted a maiden Operational Demonstration on the Hooghly River on 20 Mar 21. This unique event displayed the maritime prowess of assets and personnel who sail the high seas as well as operate along the coast. Two Waterjet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC), four Navy Patrol Boats, one each Sea King and Chetak helicopter, a Marine Commando (MARCOS) team and a Coast Guard Air Cushion Vessel (CG ACV) demonstrated in the ‘Op Demo’. The Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal Shri Jagdeep Dhankar graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn as first woman President of Tanzania [19 Mar 2021]

Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the President of Tanzania, become the first woman President of Tanzania. She assumed the charge as President of the country after the sudden death of her predecessor John Magufuli from an illness.

NTPC conferred ‘Role Model’ award at 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21 [18 Mar 2021]

NTPC Ltd , a Public Sector Undertaking under Ministry of Power has been conferred the prestigious ‘Role Model’ Award at the 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21. The award was presented in the virtual conference “Learn from the Achievers”. This award is the highest level of recognition in the field of Human Resources by Confederation of Indian Industry. Since the institutionalization of CII National HR Excellence Award, this is only the second time when the award of Role Model has been conferred to any organization. NTPC is the only PSU to have received this prestigious award.

Manipur emerges as the model state for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana [18 Mar 2021]

The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes. One major scheme that has contributed to increasing employment and income generation among the tribal population is the Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme, a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme. Since its inception as the nodal agency working in the area of tribal upliftment, TRIFED has been implementing several programmes and initiatives. The focus of these initiatives is to make India self-reliant under the Atma nirbhar Abhiyan, with the motto, Go Vocal for Local Go Tribal – Mera Van Mera Dhan Mera Udyam.Manipur, in particular, which has emerged as the Champion state where the Van Dhan programme has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribals. Since the time that the programme was launched in the State in October 2019, 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras have been established. These constitute 1500 SHGs and are benefitting 30,000 tribal entrepreneurs, who are involved in collection, processing, value adding, packaging and marketing of value added products from Minor Forest produce.

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan appointed as Chairman of ‘Stop TB Partnership Board’ [17 Mar 2021]

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has been appointed Chairman of theStop TB Partnership Board. The Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB. The participation of a wide range of constituencies gives this global body the credibility and the broad range of medical, social and financial expertise needed to defeat TB. The Partnership’s vision is a TB-free world. The appointment of Dr Harsh Vardhan as the Chair of this prestigious global body is a proud recognition of India’s political commitment to eradication of TB. TheUnion Health Minister will hence serve a three year term,commencing July 2021, as the Chair of the Board of Stop TB Partnership. Established in the year 2000, the ‘Stop TB Partnership’ is mandated to eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem. The organization was conceived following the meeting of the First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Tuberculosis Epidemic held in London in March 1998. In its inaugural year itself, the Stop TB Partnership through the Amsterdam Declaration gave a call for collaborative action from ministerial delegations from 20 countries that bear the highest burden of TB. It has 1500 partner organizations which include international, non-governmental and governmental organizations and patient groups. The Secretariat is based at Geneva, Switzerland.

Bihar become first state in India to come up with Ethanol policy [17 Mar 2021]

Bihar Cabinet gave its nod to Bihar's own ethanol policy, called Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, making Bihar the first state in the country to have its own Ethanol policy. The new policy would permit ethanol production in Bihar from all feed stocks permitted by National Biofuels, 2018, and subsequently by National Biofuels coordination committee.

M. A. Ganapathy appointed Director General of National Security Guard [16 Mar 2021]

M. A. Ganapathy appointed as Director General of National Security Guard. He has been appointed as NSG DG up to February 29, 2024.

Indian Origin Naureen Hassan appointed as first VP & COO of Federal Reserve Bank [15 Mar 2021]

Indian origin Naureen Hassan has been appointed as the first Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the New York based Federal Reserve System.

Ajay Malhotra becomes the first Indian Chairperson of the advisory committee of UNHRC [15 Mar 2021]

Ajay Malhotra has become the first Indian elected as the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). HIs three-year term on the committee will expire on September 20, 2023.

Ligia Noronha appointed as Assistant Secretary General of UN [14 Mar 2021]

Ligia Noronha, Indian Economist has been appointed as the Assistant Secreatry General and Head of the Newyork office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Mumbai emerge Champion of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21 [14 Mar 2021]

Mumbai clinched Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21 as it prevailed over Uttar Pradesh by six wickets in the final match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.

India's Mithali Raj becomes only second International woman cricketer to Achieve 10000 runs in all International cricket format [12 Mar 2021]

Mithali Raj became the second woman and the first Indian woman to score 10000 runs in international cricket. She joined England legend Charlotte Edwards in the elite club of 10000 runs across formats in woman's cricket.

Prime Minister inaugurates Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav from Sabarmati Ashram; flags off Dandi Padyatra [12 Mar 2021]

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the ‘Padyatra’ (Freedom March) from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad and inaugurated the curtain raiser activities of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (India@75). Governor of Gujarat Shri Acharya Devvrat, Union MoS (I/C) Shri Prahalad Singh Patel and Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani and Gandhi Ashram trustees were among those present on the occasion.

Indo-Uzbekistan Field Training Exercise 'DUSTLIK ' commences in Ranikhet(Uttarakhand) [10 Mar 2021]

The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise “DUSTLIK II” commenced today in Foreign Training Node Chaubatia, Ranikhet (Uttarakhand). This is the Second Edition of annual bilateral joint exercise of both armies. It will continue till 19th March 2021. The first edition of the exercise was held at Uzbekistan in Nov 2019. 45 Soldiers each from Uzbekistan and Indian Army are participating in the exercise. Both contingents will be sharing their expertise and skills in the field of counter terrorist operations in mountainous/rural/urban scenario under UN mandate. The exercise will culminate into a 36 hours joint validation exercise scheduled from 17 to 18 March 21. The validation exercise will be a test bed for the soldiers of both armies as they would be undergoing the challenges of actual operations in such scenarios.

INS Karanj - third Kalvari class Submarine commissioned at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai [10 Mar 2021]

Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj has been commissioned at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai through a formal commissioning ceremony. Admiral VS Shekhawat PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Retd), former Chief of the Naval Staff, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 Indo – Pak war, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. Six Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France. INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Command’s arsenal.

G. P. Samanta appointed as the new CSI for a term of 2 yrs [10 Mar 2021]

G. P. Samanta as an advisor in the Department of Statistics and Information Management(DSIM), Reserve Bank of India was appointed as the 4th Chief Statistician of India(CSI) for a term of two years. The CSI will also hold the post of the Secretary of the Ministry of Statistics and program Implementation. In addition to the function of Secretary of MoSPI the CSI will also be the head of the National Statistical Organization and Secretary of National Statistical Commission.

Thomas Bach re-elected President of International Olympic Committee(IOC) until 2025 [10 Mar 2021]

The executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) re-elected Thomas Bach for an additional term of 4 years as the president of IOC until 2025. He was the only candidate of the IOC presidential election which was held during the 137th IOC session held in Athens.

The Maitri Setu (Friendship Bridge) has been inaugurated between India and Bangladesh [09 Mar 2021]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Maitri Setu along with Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina between India and Bangladesh.The 19km long bridge joins Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.

PM inaugurates ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh [09 Mar 2021]

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated 'Maitri Setu' between India and Bangladesh through a video conference. He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects in Tripura. The Governor and the Chief Minister of Tripura were present.

India's first forest healing centre Inaugurated in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand [08 Mar 2021]

India's first forest healing centre was inaugurated by noted environmentalist Joginder Bist in the pine-dominated forest located at Ranikhet in Kalika Uttarakhand. The forest is inspired by the Japanese technique of forest healing bathing (shinrin yoku) and ancient Indian traditions It is themed on be silent, go slow, think less, and feel more.

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