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Important Current Affairs 17th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

NATO leaders declared China a global security challenge

•NATO leaders declared that China poses a constant security challenge and is working to undermine global order. This is a message in sync with US President Joe Biden’s efforts to get allies to speak out with a more unified voice against China’s trade, military and human rights practices.

•The NATO leaders said that China’s goals and ‘assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security. The warning to China comes as Biden has stepped up his effort to rally allies to put up a unified voice about China’s human rights record. Biden has also criticised China’s trade practices and its military’s increasingly assertive behaviour that has unnerved US allies in the Pacific.

Satya Nadella as new chairman of Microsoft

•Microsoft Corp, named Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella as its new chairman. He took over as the software giant’s CEO in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.  He is credited with bringing new energy to the company, founded in 1975. The company also appointed former chairman John Thompson as a lead independent director.

•The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Gates stepped down from the board, saying he would focus on philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities.

NATIONAL

Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech

•Prime Minister, Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech. VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events of Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016. PM Modi was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech 2021, which has been organised from 16-19 June 2021 in Paris. During his address, PM Modi invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars: Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness.

•Other prominent speakers of the event include the President of France Mr. Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez, and Ministers/MPs from various European countries.

•VivaTech is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos, a leading French media group.

•The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem.

•It includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions and startup contests.

IIT Bombay Hosts Conference of BRICS Network Universities 2021

•The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) is hosting a three day virtual “Conference of BRICS Network Universities”. This conference is being held as a part of India’s Chairmanship of the 13th BRICS Summit in 2021. The basic objective of BRICS Network University is enhancing educational cooperation in general, and especially in the realm of research and innovation. The theme of the Conference of BRICS Network Universities is “Electric Mobility”.

•The event will see 18 experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China and S. Africa deliver keynotes on various aspects of electric mobility like traffic management, hydrogen technology, hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and linkage between e-mobility and livelihoods.

•Around 100 students, researchers and faculty from the BRICS Network Universities of the five-member countries will participate in the conference.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the Global Yoga Conference 2021

•Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare addressed the inaugural ceremony of Global Yoga Conference 2021. The event was organised by ‘Mokshayatan Yog Sansthan’ along with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India &Indian Council for Cultural Relations to mark the occasion of the 7th International Day of Yoga which falls on 21st June 2021.

•Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted how Yoga has helped people during COVID restrictions on public activities. The benefits of Yoga in immunity building and management of stress are well documented with evidence. With programmes like this Global Yoga Conference, more people shall be drawn into the fold of practising Yoga and related activities.

Raja Parba- Odisha’s Famous Festival celebrated

•Raja Parba festival celebrated in Odisha. It is a 3-days unique festival in which the onset of monsoon and the earth’s womanhood is celebrated by the state. It is believed that during this time the Mother Earth or Bhudevi undergoes menstruation. The fourth day is the day of the ‘purification bath’. During 3 days, women don’t work.

•This festival is synonymous with varieties of cakes (pithas). Thus, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has also launched a special programme named ‘Pitha on Wheels’. Different kinds of pithas such as ‘Poda Pitha’, ‘Manda’, ‘Kakara’, ‘Arisha’, ‘Chakuli’ and ‘Chandrakala’ have been made available on ‘Pitha on Wheels’ (kiosks on wheels). These vehicles selling traditional cakes have been stationed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Sambalpur.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Mukesh Sharma appointed honorary member of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group

•Mukesh Sharma, a faculty at IIT Kanpur, has been appointed as an honorary member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Air Pollution and Health – Technical Advisory Group (GAPH-TAG). Members of the Technical Advisory Group are selected across the globe and appointed by the Director-General, WHO. Sharma, associated with the civil engineering department at IIT Kanpur and an air quality expert, has melded rigorous research with policy engagement.

•The Technical Advisory Group is an advisory body to provide technical guidance and inputs to support the WHO’s efforts and work in the fields of air pollution and health issues.

•It also helps with how member countries could achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG) related to air pollution and health such as SDGs 3.9.1, 7.1.2 and 11.6.2.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021: 17 June

•World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, and highlight methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.

•“Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

•In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to market public awareness of the difficulty. The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI allows prepaid mobile recharges through Bharat Bill Payment System

•According to RBI, The scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will be expanded by August 31 this year by adding ‘mobile prepaid recharges as a biller category. BBPS is an interoperable platform for recurring bill payments operated by the National Payments Corporation of India.

•In May, 213.59 million bill payment transactions were carried out through the BBPS channel. BBPS was started in 2014 as a platform for repetitive bill payments.

Federal Bank enlists Infosys for Oracle CX implementation

•Federal Bank has expanded its strategic collaboration with Oracle and Infosys, to offer an enhanced customer experience through Oracle CX (Customer Experience) platform. The collaboration will focus on creating a comprehensive integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution across marketing, sales, customer service, and social listening to strengthen Federal Bank’s operations, and to deliver connected, data-driven, and intelligent customer experiences across all touchpoints.

•Federal Bank will launch a 360-degree view of the customer portfolio in a single application for its users, to achieve a ‘Single Source of Truth’. These services will help improve productivity and customer satisfaction by using the financial, biographical, and demographical information of customers. Oracle will co-innovate by partnering with the broader ecosystem of Infosys.

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Important Current Affairs 13th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Indian and Indonesian Navies conducted Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the southern Arabian Sea

• The Indian and Indonesian Navies conducted Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the southern Arabian Sea with a focus on further improving their interoperability. The exercise was aimed at improving interoperability and understanding between both the friendly navies.

• From the Indian Navy, INS Sharda, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) with a Chetak helicopter participated in the exercise. From the Indonesian Navy, KRI Sultan Hasanudin, a 90m Corvette took part in the exercise.

• PASSEXes are regularly conducted by IN with units of Friendly Foreign Countries. The last PASSEX between IN and the Indonesian Navy was conducted on 13 Mar 21 between INS Kalpeni, IN Dornier and KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda.

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli loses vote of confidence in House of Representatives

• Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has lost the vote of confidence in the House of Representatives. K P Sharma Oli got 93 votes in his favour while 124 voted against him. In the 275-member House of Representatives, he required at least 136 Votes to win the trust vote in the lower of the House of Representatives.

• After the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) withdrew its support from the government, PM Oli faced a vote of confidence. In January, K P Sharma Oli was expelled from the primary membership of the Nepal Communist Party for his decision to dissolve the Parliament.

World’s First Unmanned Vessel named “Mayflower 400”

• World’s First Unmanned Vessel named “Mayflower 400” is set to Navigate Across the Atlantic. It has been built by the marine research organization ProMare in collaboration with IBM. It will begin its transatlantic voyage on May 15, 2021, to track aquatic mammals, analyze plastic in the water, and study marine pollution.

• Mayflower 400 is a completely autonomous ship. It is a 15-m-long trimaran that weighs 9 tons. It is powered by Artificial Intelligence and the Sun’s energy via solar panels.

• ProMare invested $1 million along with global contributions in the form of technology from India, the United States, and Switzerland to build the ship.

Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated after the air strikes

• The Israeli military has bombarded rockets in different areas in Gaza. It is the most intense airstrikes in Gaza since 2014. Hamas had red hundreds of rockets towards Israel on Monday. After that, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza.

• The Gaza-based Palestinian group, Hamas, had red rockets towards Israel in protest of the clash between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in Jerusalem. It is the third holiest place for Muslims.

NATIONAL

Delhi Police launched vehicle helpline ‘COVI Van’ for senior citizens

• Delhi Police has launched a helpline number for senior citizens who are struggling with their essential needs amid C-19-19. South District Police of the national capital has launched a COVI Van Helpline (012- 26241077) for senior citizens in the neighbourhood amid the coronavirus situation here.

• The information of commencement of COVI Van has been disseminated in the Greater Kailash -1 area through beat officers and Residents Welfare Association (RWA).

• All the precautions including – sanitisation, gloves, masks and social distancing – will be taken while and after every visit.

Puducherry becomes ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT

• Puducherry has achieved the target of 100% piped water connection in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). Earlier, Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have provided tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission. So, Puducherry is the fourth State/UT to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission.

• Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in partnership with States/ UTs to provide safe tap water to every rural home by 2024. The State of Punjab and the UTs of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have covered over 75% of rural homes with assured tap water supply.

IREDA conferred with the Green Urja Award

• Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) has been conferred with the “Green Urja Award” for being the Leading Public Institution in the Financing Institution for Renewable Energy this year by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). IREDA gets the award for the pivotal and developmental role it plays in Green Energy Financing.

• Despite the pandemic time, IREDA has ended the year 2020-21 ended on a strong note and disbursed the second-highest (from the date of inception) amount of loan amounting to Rs. 8827 crore, which indicates that IREDA has the ability to translate this problem into an opportunity.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ram Karan Ambassador to African

• Ram Karan Verma has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Central African Republic.

• Earlier, Verma, a 1987 Indian Foreign Services (IFS) was the Ambassador of India to the Democratic Republic of Congo with residence in Kinshasa.

• He also served as the Director (Central Europe) at headquarters in the Ministry of External Affairs previously.

PESB appointed Arun Kumar Singh as next CMD of BPCL

• The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), the government’s head-hunter, has picked Arun Kumar Singh as the chairman and managing director of state-run oil refining and marketing firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

• Arun Kumar Singh is currently director, marketing at BPCL and holding additional charge of Director, Refineries. His selection will have to be ratified by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet led by prime minister Narendra Modi.

RANKING

Pune ranked first on health infra Parameters

• Pune is ranked first while Delhi-NCR is at the lowest position among eight major cities in health infrastructure-related parameters, including number of hospitals beds, air-water quality and sanitation, according to a report by Housing.com.

• The real estate portal, which is owned by US-based News Corp and its Australian group firm REA, on Wednesday released its report titled ‘State of Healthcare in India’.

• The report ranks health infrastructure in India’s most urbanised eight cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai Metropolitan Region(MMR) and Pune — on the basis of Housing.com’s City Health Card.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Jana Small Finance Bank has announced the launch of the “I choose my number”

• Jana Small Finance Bank has announced the launch of the “I choose my number” feature for all its customers across India. This new feature gives the bank’s existing and new customers the option to select their favourite numbers as their savings or current account number.

• The bank will allow its customers to choose their favourite numbers as the last 10 digits of their bank account, savings or current.

• The allocation of the account number chosen by the customer will be subject to the availability of the requested number.

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Important Current Affairs 11th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Kami Rita of Nepal, scaled Everest 25th time

• Nepalese climber, Kami Rita has scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak.

• Rita, 51, first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then. He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success of the hundreds of climbers.

NATIONAL

Mahesh Nagar is the New Name of ‘Miyon ka Bara’ station in Jodhpur

• The name of Miyon ka Bara railway station in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur has been changed to Mahesh Nagar after getting an approval from various departments.

• Earlier, in August 2018, the name of the village was officially changed from Miyon ka Bara to Mahesh Nagar. The Union Home Ministry had approved the change of name and conveyed the decision to the Rajasthan government in 2018.

NITI Aayog has released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce

• The NITI Aayog has released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’. NITI Aayog has released the report in collaboration with Mastercard. Report identifies the various challenges faced in accelerating digital financial inclusion in India and also provides recommendations for making digital services accessible to its 1.3 billion citizens.

• The report includes strengthening the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for NBFCs and banks.

• Digitizing registration and compliance processes and diversifying credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs and etc.

SPORTS

Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam Wins ICC Players of the Month for April 2021

• Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has been named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for April 2021 for his consistent and stellar performances across all formats in the recently concluded series against South Africa. The ICC Player of the Month Awards recognise and celebrate the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.

• Along with Babar, Australian women’s team wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy also bagged the ICC Women’s Player of The Month accolade for her incredible performances during the month of April. Healy’s consistency with the bat has played a significant role in Australia’s dominance. Healy has shown her class in all conditions and against all types of bowling in the recent series against New Zealand.

Arzan Nagwaswalla First Parsi in Indian cricket team after Farokh Engineer

• Arzan Nagwaswalla, a 23-year-old left-arm seamer from Gujarat, has been picked as a reserve player in the Indian Test squad for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. Arzan Rohinton Nagwaswalla, hailing from a Parsi community in a village near the Maharashtra border, is the first Parsi cricketer to break into the national team since 1975 and the only active Parsi cricketer.

• Farokh Engineer played his final Test for India in 1975, while Diana Edulji’s last game in the women’s team came in July 1993. The youngest member of a Parsi community from the village of Nargol, Nagwaswalla is the first Parsi cricketer to break into the Indian men’s team since 1975.

German Alexander win his 2nd Madrid Open title 2021

• German Alexander Zverev earned his second Mutua Madrid Open title 2021 when he defeated Matteo Berrettini 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-3 to lift his fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy.

• He won his first Madrid title in 2018 in a final against Thiem. The win gave him his fourth Masters 1000 title, and first in three years. He will be trying to improve from his fourth-round exit last year at the French Open.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

SpaceX will launch ‘DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon’

• Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is set to launch the “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon”, the first-ever commercial lunar payload, paid entirely in the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. The satellite is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of 2022 onboard the Falcon 9 rocket. The dogecoin-funded mission is led by the Canadian company Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC).

• SpaceX will carry a 40-kilogram cube satellite dubbed as DOGE-1, as rideshare on a Falcon 9 rocket.

• The payload will obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on board with integrated communications and computational systems.

• This launch will make DOGE the first crypto in space as well as the first meme in space.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Technology Day 2021: 11th May

• National Technology Day is celebrated on 11 May across India. This day marks the successfully tested Shakti-I nuclear missile at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. This day will be focusing on rebooting the economy through Science and Technology. It also highlights the achievements of our scientists and engineers in the field of science and technology and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option.

• Every year, National Technology Day is celebrated across India on 11 May to memorize the anniversary of Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test held on 11 May 1998. Shakti also knows as the Pokhran Nuclear Test was the first nuclear test code-named ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May 1974.

International Day of Argania 2021: 10 May

• In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 10 May the International Day of Argania. The resolution, submitted by Morocco, was co-sponsored by 113 member states of the United Nations and adopted by consensus. The argan tree (Argania Spinosa) is a native species of the sub-Saharan region of Morocco, in the southwest of the country, which grows in arid and semiarid areas.

• The argan tree is typically a multipurpose tree that supports income generation, increases resilience and improves climate adaptation, playing a very important role in achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – at the local level.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

International Film Festival New York: Anupam Kher Won best actor award

• Anupam Kher won the Best Actor award for his performance in the short film Happy Birthday at the New York City International Film Festival.

• The film has been directed by Prasad Kadam and produced by FNP Media. Besides Anupam, Happy Birthday stars Aahana Kumra. The film also won the Best Short Film award at the festival.

RANKING

Global Prime Residential Index released by Knight Frank

• London-based property consultant Knight Frank has ranked New Delhi and Mumbai in 32nd and 36th positions respectively in the Global Prime Residential Index. While Bengaluru moved down by four places in Q1 2021 and is ranked 40; Delhi and Mumbai dipped one place each in the same period.

• Three Chinese cities – Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou lead the index this quarter. Shenzhen recorded the strongest performing world region with a growth of 18.9%, while New York was the weakest performing market with negative 5.8% growth. Some of the world’s top metropolises, New York, Dubai, London, Paris and Hong Kong are seeing prices soften. New York was the weakest-performing global city during the period.

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Important Current Affairs 10th May 2021

NATIONAL

Yash Raj Films launched relief scheme

• Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films has announced a relief scheme under the 'Yash Chopra Saathi Initiative,' named after the founder filmmaker, to help daily wagers employed on movie sets.

• This would include ration kits to families of four and Rs. 5000 to accounts of women, and senior citizens.

Centre Released nearly Rs. 9000 cr to Panchayats

• The Department of Expenditure has released an amount of ₹8,923.8 crore in advance to 25 states for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry of finance said on Sunday.

• "The amount released on Saturday is the first instalment of the ‘Untied Grants’ for the year 2021-22. It may be utilised by the RLBs, among other things, for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it will augment resources to the three tiers of Panchayats for fighting the contagion.

ESIC installed oxygen generation plant

• The Employees State Insurance Corporation, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has installed oxygen generation plants at its two hospitals in Delhi NCR area. These include a 440 litres per minute (LPM) capacity plant at the ESIC Hospital and Medical College in Faridabad and another plant of 220 LPM capacity at ESIC Hospital in Jhilmil, New Delhi yesterday.

• Labour Ministry said this will enable these hospitals to augment the availability of ICU and Ventilator beds. The Corporation is actively helping fight the battle against Covid-19 by quickly converting its 30 hospitals all over the country into Covid dedicated facilities. These hospitals have around 4200 beds, including 300 ICU beds and 250 ventilator beds.

IIT Madras develops blockchain-based system

• Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, have come up with an innovative way to digitise healthcare information systems using blockchain-based technology.

• The blockchain-based medical data and information exchange system for a mobile phone application called ‘BlockTrack’ is claimed to be a first-of-its-kind innovation in the country. It’s being field-tested currently at the IIT’s hospital.

• According to a press release from IIT-M, BlockTrack aims to securely digitise healthcare information systems while ensuring the protection of sensitive personal information and medical records by decentralising the control and ownership of patient data, through a blockchain-based innovation.

SPORTS

Aryna Sabalenka wins her Maiden Madrid Open Women’s singles title

• In tennis, the world number seven, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, defeated world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia to win the 2021 Madrid Open women’s singles title. This Sabalenka’s 10th career WTA singles title, second WTA title of the season and first on clay court. Madrid Open is a professional WTA tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. Sabalenka beat Australian player Barty with 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.

• In the women’s doubles final, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, from the Czech Republic, defeated Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Demi Schuurs of France 6-4, 6-3.

OBITUARY

Olympic gold Medalist MK Kaushik dies

• Former India hockey player and coach MK Kaushik died of Covid-19 in New Delhi on Saturday. He was 66. Kaushik passed away hours after his former India teammate Ravinder Pal Singh died of Covid-19 in Lucknow on Saturday.

• MK Kaushik, a gold-medal winning member of the Indian hockey team from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, was battling severe lung issues and he was put on ventilator support at a hospital in the capital city.

IMPORTANT DAYS

BRO celebrates 61st raising day on 7th May

• The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was formed on 7 May 1960, with the primary goal of securing India’s borders and developing infrastructure in remote areas of India’s north and northeastern states. On 7 May 2021 BRO celebrated its 61st Raising Day (foundation day).

• It is a leading road construction agency under the Ministry of Defence.

• Its primary role is to provide road connectivity in India’s border areas. It also creates upgrades and maintains infrastructure along borders to meet India’s overall tactical and strategic goals.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

PM Modi Participates in Virtual India-EU Leaders’ Meeting

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting, held in a hybrid format. The India-European Union Leaders’ Meeting is hosted by Portugal. Portugal currently holds the chair of the grouping. PM Modi attended the event at the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr Charles Michel.

• The leaders of all the 27 EU Member States, as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission, participated in the meeting. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB to end coal, gas financing

• The Asian Development Bank will no longer finance coal mining or oil and natural gas production and exploration, it announced in a draft policy statement on Friday, a move welcomed by environmental groups.

• The multilateral development bank, which focuses on eradicating poverty in Asia, provided no timeline for its commitment. It also laid out conditions under which fossil fuel projects would continue to receive funding, such as where no other cost-effective technology was available.

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Important Current Affairs 9th May 2021

NATIONAL

Prahlad Singh Patel Participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting

• Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in Italy on 4th May 2021. This dialogue aimed to collaborate in protecting tourism businesses, jobs and taking initiatives to frame policy guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism.

• He also conveyed India’s support for the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by UNWTO as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.

SPORTS

Japan’s Naomi Osaka wins 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards

• World number two tennis player Naomi Osaka of Japan has been named “Sportswoman of the Year” at the 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards. This is Osaka’s second Laureus Sports Awards. In 2019, she won the “Breakthrough of the Year” award.

• In the men’s category, World number two Rafael Nadal of Spain won the 2021 “Laureus Sportsman of the Year” title. This is the second title for Nadal, who also claimed the prestigious award in 2011.

Lewis Hamilton won the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) won the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, held on 09 May 2021. This win is the fifth successive Spanish Grand Prix title of Lewis Hamilton and the third win of this season.

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing-Netherlands) came second followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) at third position. The race was the fourth round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

OBITUARY

Veteran Composer of Western classical music in India Vanraj Bhatia Passed Away

• The veteran Music Composer Vanraj Bhatia, who was the best-known composer of Western classical music in India, has passed away after a brief illness. His work ranged from composing music for advertisement films, feature films, mainstream films, television shows, documentaries etc.

• Bhatia Also won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the television film Tamas (1988), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Creative and Experimental Music (1989) and India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri (2012).

Renowned Sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra Passed Away Due to C-19

• Eminent sculptor, architect, and Rajya Sabha member, Raghunath Mohapatra has passed away while undergoing treatment for C-19.

• Hailing from Odisha, Mohapatra was awarded Padma Shri in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 2001 and Padma Vibhushan in 2013 for his pioneering contributions to the world of art, architecture and culture.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Himanta Biswa Sarma is the new chief minister of Assam

• Himanta Biswa Sarma has been named as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam on May 08, 2021. He will replace incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal. He will take the charge of the office with effect from May 10, 2021.

• The BJP party won a second straight term in the 2021 assembly polls in the state. The party won 60 seats in the 126-member Assam assembly. Mr Sarma joined the BJP six years ago in 2015, after quitting the Congress.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Actress Kalki Koechlin Debut Book Titled ‘Elephant In The Womb’

• Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin is making her debut as an author, with her first book titled “Elephant In The Womb”.

• The book, which is yet to be released, is an illustrated non-fiction book on motherhood. It is illustrated by Valeriya Polyanychko and published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI). The book narrates about pregnancy and parenting for mothers, expectant mothers, and “anyone even thinking about motherhood”.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI constituted an advisory group to assist RRA 2.0

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an advisory group to assist the second Regulatory Review Authority (RRA 2.0), which was set by the central bank on May 01, 2021 to streamline regulations and reduce the compliance burden of regulated entities.

• The Advisory Group will be headed by SBI Managing Director S Janakiraman.

RBI excludes Lakshmi Vilas Bank from second schedule of RBI Act after the merger

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has excluded Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act after it was merged with DBS Bank India Ltd (DBIL) last year. A bank mentioned in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act is known as ‘Scheduled Commercial Bank’.

• Last year in November, the government had approved the merger of crisis-ridden Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India. The RBI had also superseded the board of the LVB and appointed T N Manoharan, former non-executive chairman of Canara Bank, as the administrator of the bank for 30 days.

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Important Current Affairs 8th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Serum Institute to invest £240 million for vaccine business in UK

• Serum Institute of India (SII) is expanding its vaccine business in the United Kingdom with an investment of £240 million. The serum has already started phase one trials in the UK of a one-dose nasal vaccine for C-19, in partnership with Codagenix INC. This was a part of the £533 million of new Indian investment in the UK in growing sectors such as health and technology.

• Serum’s investment will support clinical trials, research & development and possibly manufacturing of vaccines. This will help the UK and the world to defeat the C-19 pandemic and other deadly diseases.

NATIONAL

CBSE launched new mobile Application

• Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has launched a new mobile application for psycho social wellness of students and parents. The new app namely CBSE Dost for Life has been designed for students of classes 9 to 12 and it can be used for counselling sessions from 10th of this month.

• Making a departure from the existing practice of counselling through toll free number across the country, convenience and utility of students and parents with in the safe home environment. Through this app, live counselling sessions will be conducted free of cost on Monday, Wednesday and Friday by the trained counsellors.

OBITUARY

Singer Anup Bhattacharya passed Away due to C-19

• Freedom fighter and Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra musician Anup Bhattacharya passed away in Dhaka on Friday. He was 77.

• Anup Bhattacharya was recognised as an exceptional Tagore singer. He also composed Baul songs and modern Bangla songs.

• During the liberation war of Bangladesh he worked as the composer and music director at Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. Some of his patriotic songs like Teer Hara Ei Dheu-er Sagor, Rokto Diye Naam Likhhechhi, Purbo Digonte and Nongor Tolo Tolo inspired the liberation war fighters during 1971.

Senior Journalist Shesh Narayan Singh Passed Away due to C-19

• Veteran senior journalist Shesh Narayan Singh has passed away while undergoing treatment for C-19.

• He was 70. A columnist, political commentator and an expert on foreign policy, Shesh Narain Singh had a career spanning over two decades.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2021: 8 May

• The World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is observed every year on 8 May. The day aims to celebrate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to reduce the suffering of people and enabling them to lead a dignified life with independence, humanity, impartiality, universality, unity and neutrality.

• Theme 2021 World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day: ‘Unstoppable’

• The day also marks the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant (8 May 1828), who was the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He was the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.

World Migratory Bird Day 2021: 08 May

• World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is observed globally on 8 May. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of migratory birds and the importance of international cooperation to conserve them.

• “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day. The 2021 World Migratory Bird Day theme is an invitation to people everywhere to connect and re-connect with nature by actively listening to – and watching birds – wherever they are. At the same time, the theme appeals to people around the world to use their own voices and creativity to express their shared appreciation of birds and nature.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India & European Investment Bank Sign contract for Pune Metro Rail

• The Government of India (GoI) and European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the finance contract for the second tranche of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail project through a virtual signing ceremony. EIB had approved the total loan of Euro 600 million to fund the Pune Metro Rail project.

• The signing ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. Francisco Andre, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Portugal and H.E. Werner Hoyer, President EIB. K. Rajaraman, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed the loan on behalf of the Government of India and Christian Kettel Thomsen, Vice-President, signed the loan on behalf of EIB.

Rolls-Royce and HAL Sign MoU for Supporting Engine Business

• Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Rolls-Royce have signed an MoU to establish packaging, installation, marketing, and services support for Rolls-Royce MT30 marine engines in India.

• Through this MoU, Rolls-Royce and HAL will expand their long-standing partnership in India and work together in the area of marine applications for the first time. This partnership will leverage the rich experience of HAL’s IMGT (Industrial and Marine Gas Turbine) Division that works on marine gas turbines with Indian shipyards.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Meghan Markle’s New Children’s Book ‘The Bench’

• Meghan Markle will be releasing her new book, titled The Bench, on June 8, which was inspired by a poem she wrote to her husband, Prince Harry, on his first Father’s Day as a dad to son Archie.

• The book, with Watercolour illustrations by Christian Robinson, began as a poem that Markle says she wrote for Harry on the first Father’s Day after Archie was born.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Kotak Mahindra Bank to to facilitate digital transactions on eNAM platform

• Kotak Mahindra Bank announced that it has been selected as a digital payments partner by the National Agriculture Market (eNAM), a pan-India electronic trading portal for farm produce. KMBL will enable and facilitate online transactions for all stakeholders on the eNAM platform, including farmers, traders and farmer producer organisations (FPOs).

• Under this initiative, Kotak will provide payment, clearing and settlement services on the eNAM platform to facilitate trade between a buyer and seller of Agri produce. Kotak has integrated its payment system and portal directly with the payment interface of eNAM, to enable quick and safe transactions for Agri participants who have joined the platform.

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Important Current Affairs 7th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India, France and Australia hold Foreign Ministerial Dialogue

• The first-ever India-France-Australia Trilateral Foreign Ministerial Dialogue was held in London, UK, on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar from India, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne.

• The France, India, Australia trilateral meet was launched in September 2020 at Foreign Secretaries’ levels but has been elevated to ministerial level within one year of its inception. It has three joint priorities which are maritime security, environment, and multilateralism.

NATIONAL

Nation’s first ‘Drive in Vaccination Center’ unveiled in Mumbai (Maharashtra)

• The Nation’s first ‘Drive in Vaccination Center’ was inaugurated by MP Rahul Shewale in Mumbai. This center has been set up in the parking lot of Kohinoor Square Tower at Dadar. This first of its kind ‘Drive-in Vaccination Center’ facility has been made available to the citizens at a time when people with disabilities are facing difficulties in getting to the vaccination center.

• The center also provides transportation facilities to the citizens who do not have their own vehicles. The vaccination has been started and the facility is available for all sections of society. MP Rahul Shewale informed that this facility will be provided in other multi-parking lots in the city, after assessing the success of this first project.

Odisha government announced Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana for journalists

• Odisha government has announced Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana for journalists. Odisha has declared the journalists as frontline Covid warriors. It will benet more than 6500 journalists of the state.

• Under the Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana, a health insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh will be provided to each Journalist. Under the scheme, financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh will be provided to the families of journalists who died from C-19 while performing duty.

OBITUARY

Rashtriya Lok Dal Founder Ajit Singh Passed Away

• Former Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) founder and leader Ajit Singh has passed away battling C-19. He was the son of former Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh.

• Ajit Singh had served as Minister of Commerce & Industry under Prime Minister V. P. Singh; Minister of Food Processing Industries in P. V. Narasimha Rao’s cabinet; Minister of Agriculture in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government and Minister of Civil Aviation in Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Former Personal Secretary, V Kalyanam Passed Away

• Mahatma Gandhi’s former personal secretary V Kalyanam passed away. He was Gandhi’s personal secretary from 1943 to 1948, when the Mahatma was assassinated.

• Kalyanam was preserving letters written by Gandhiji, a cheque bearing his sign and other literature associated with him. He was proficient in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and English. A staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he was also associated with Rajaji in the 1960s.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

THDCIL has appointed Vijay Goel as CMD

• THDC India Ltd has announced that Vijay Goel assumed as chairman and managing director. His appointment will come into effect from May 1, 2021. He joined the company in 1990 as a senior personnel officer (SPO) from NHPC Ltd. He has more than 35 years of varied experience in the field of human resource management.

• During his tenure as general manager, he was also in charge of corporate communications, law and arbitration functions. His key areas of interventions are policy formation, manpower planning, establishment and estate functions, employee relations, compliance of labour laws and overall formulation and implementation of policies. He played a vital role in putting in place initial HR systems immediately after the establishment of the THDCIL.

MK Stalin takes oath as Tamil Nadu CM

• DMK chief MK Stalin was sworn in as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday along with 33 members of his Cabinet. The event at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai was a simple ceremony due to C-19 restrictions in place. Stalin's wife Durga Stalin and son Udhyanidhi Stalin and sister Kanimozhi were present during the ceremony. Udhyanidhi Stalin had made his political debut this year and won from Chennai's Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni assembly seat.

• Political strategist Prashant Kishor was also present at the event. Stalin, who's 69-year-old, has assumed the office as Chief Minister for the first time. Stalin was also sworn in as the home minister of the state. He'll also hold other portfolios like administrative and police service, special programmes and welfare of differently-abled persons. Stalin's Cabinet, including him, is 34-member strong and he has retained senior leaders like Duraimurugan and over a dozen will be ministers for the first time.

N Rangasamy takes oath as Puducherry CM

• AINRC Chief N Rangasamy will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Union Territory of Puducherry at a brief ceremony on Friday. The oath of office will be administered by Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at a brief session on the precincts of Raj Bhawan. 

• Notably, Rangasamy alone would be inducted as Chief Minister today although he would be heading an NDA dispensation which has the BJP as the other constituent. However, the swearing in of other ministers, including those from BJP will take place in the next few days.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Oil and Gas PSUs inks MoU for Shri Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand

• The top Oil and Gas PSUs of India, including Indian Oil, BPCL, HPCL, ONGC and GAIL, have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with the Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust, for Construction and Redevelopment of Shri Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand as a Spiritual Smart hill Town.

• These PSUs will contribute Rs. 99.60 crore in the first phase of the project.

• Phase I will include developmental activities such as river embankment work, building all-terrain vehicular path, building bridges, beautifying existing bridges, establishing gurukul facilities with accommodation, creating toilet and drinking water facilities, installing streetlights, mural paintings etc.

• The initiative is part of the Government’s effort to boost tourism by attracting more tourists, which in turn would strengthen the economy of the state. The rejuvenation work of Shri Badrinath Dham is expected to be completed within a span of three-year time.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Former Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir Gita Mittal to be awarded

• Former Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal has been declared as one of the two recipients of the Arline Pacht Global Vision Award for 2021.

• The announcement was made by International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) which instituted the award in 2016.

Singer Pink bags Icon Award at Billboard Music Awards

• Singer Pink will be honoured with the Icon Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs). The award aims to recognize artists who have achieved success on the Billboard charts and left an indelible impact on music.

• Pink joins previous honourees that include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Garth Brooks.

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Important Current Affairs 6th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World’s largest aeroplane, designed to transport hypersonic vehicles

• The world’s largest aeroplane, designed to transport hypersonic vehicles and facilitate easy access to space, soared into clear skies over California’s Mojave Desert. The company Stratolaunch designed it to transport hypersonic vehicles and facilitate easy access to space.

• The aircraft named ‘Roc’ features a twin-fuselage design and the longest wingspan ever flown, at 385 feet (117 m), surpassing the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat of 321 feet (98 m). The Stratolaunch is intended to carry a 550,000-pound payload and will be able to launch rockets from high altitude.

NATIONAL

Mamata Banerjee takes oath 3rd consecutive time as CM of WB

• Mamata Banerjee was sworn as West Bengal Chief Minister for the third time in the shadow of C-19 and post-poll violence in parts of the state. The oath ceremony took place with C-19 protocols in place at the “Throne Room” at the Raj Bhavan. The rest of the cabinet and the council of ministers will be sworn in on May 9, the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

• Mamata Banerjee won a landslide victory in the Bengal election to secure a third straight term. The Trinamool won 213 of 292 seats while its strongest rival, BJP, finished second with 77 seats. Mamata Banerjee will head to her office Nabanna, where she will be given a guard of honour by the Kolkata Police.

PepsiCo Foundation partners with SEEDS

• PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, said it has partnered with the not-for-profit organisation, Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) to launch a community C-19 vaccination drive and set up C-19 care centres. To focus on Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana. As part of the partnership, SEEDS will drive C-19 vaccinations for the community at large, set up Covid care centres equipped with beds and medical facilities, including oxygen cylinders.

• Over 1 lakh vaccines doses will be provided to communities, to be administered through the local healthcare system, while five C-19 care centres will be set up for three months that will be equipped with beds and medical facilities, including oxygen cylinders, PepsiCo India said in a statement.

Armed Forces Launched “CO-JEET” for Mental Health Of C-19 Patients

• The armed forces have launched operation “CO-JEET” to aid anti-C-19 efforts, like strengthening the medical system in India and oxygen supply chains. Along with these, CO-JEET also take measures to ensure the mental wellbeing of people. Apart from medical therapy, patients necessitate the assurance that “they will be fine” and at times that is all they need to gain back self-confidence and courage.

• Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Medical) Kanitkar is the third woman to become a three-star general in the armed forces. Vice Admiral Dr. Punita Arora & Air Marshal Padmavathy Bandopadhyay are the 1st & 2nd.

Indian Army Launched First Solar Plant in Sikkim

• The Indian Army recently launched the first Green Solar Energy harnessing plant in Sikkim. It was launched to benefit the troops of the Indian army. The plant uses Vanadium based battery technology. It was built at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The capacity of the plant is 56 KVA. It was completed in collaboration with IIT Mumbai.

• In January 2021, Vanadium was discovered in Arunachal Pradesh. This was the first discovery of Vanadium in India.

• India consumes 4% of global vanadium production in the world.

• It is found in sixty different minerals and ores that includes carnotite, vanadate, roscoelite, patronite.

SPORTS

ICC Banned, Former Sri Lanka player Nuwan Zoysa for 6 years

• Former Sri Lanka player and coach, Nuwan Zoysa has been banned from all cricket for six years after an ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching the ICC anti-corruption code. The ban for Zoysa is backdated to 31 October 2018, when he was provisionally suspended.

• Zoysa guilty of “being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or another aspect (s) of an International Match.” The other charge is about “directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach Code Article 2.1.”

OBITUARY

Former Governor of J&K Jagmohan Malhotra Passed Away

• Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Jagmohan Malhotra has passed away. Jagmohan served two terms as Jammu and Kashmir Governor, once from 1984 to 1989, and then from January 1990 to May 1990. He had also served as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Goa and Daman & Diu.

• Jagmohan was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and served as the Union Minister for Urban Development and Tourism in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998. Apart from this, he was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1971, Padma Bhushan in 1977 and Padma Vibhushan in 2016.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International No Diet Day 2021: 06 May

• International No Diet Day is observed on May 6, and its symbol is a light blue ribbon. It is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. It means recognising that your body is beautiful exactly as it is and worry less about your weight, body shape and more about being healthy and active.

• The day is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Maria Ressa has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO

• Maria Ressa has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The $25,000 prize “recognizes outstanding contributions to the defence or promotion of press freedom especially in the face of danger,” according to UNESCO. The prize was named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, the Colombian journalist.

• UNESCO cited Ressa’s more than a 3-decade career as a journalist, including her work as CNN’s lead investigative reporter for Asia and as news chief of Philippine broadcast giant ABS-CBN. Recently, her citation added, Ressa “has been the target of online attacks and judicial processes” for her investigative work and her position as CEO of Rappler.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI Announced Term Liquidity Facility of Rs. 50,000 Crore For Healthcare

• RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has announced a C-19 healthcare package of Rs 50,000 crore, for lending to entities such as vaccine makers, medical equipment suppliers, hospitals and related sectors, besides the patients in need of funds for treatment.

• The new on-tap special liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crore will be made available to the banks at the repo rate, for access to emergency health security amid the economic stress due to the second wave of C-19 in India.

• Banks can give loans under this facility till March 31, 2022. This C-19 loan will be provided for a tenure of up to 3 years and will be classified as a priority sector loan till repayment or maturity.

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Important Current Affairs 5th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Virtual summit: India and UK adopted the ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’

• India and the UK on Tuesday adopted the ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ during the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, to elevate bilateral ties to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.

• “The Roadmap will pave the way for a deeper and stronger engagement over the next ten years in the key areas of people to people contacts, trade and economy, defence and security, climate action and health,”.

• In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “We welcomed the launch of an Enhanced Trade Partnership as a roadmap to a comprehensive FTA, with a target to more than double the bilateral trade by 2030. We also agreed upon several new initiatives in health, technology, energy, etc.”

NATIONAL

Facebook introduces vaccine finder tool on mobile app

• Facebook has partnered with the GOI to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its mobile app in India, which will help people identify places nearby to get inoculated. The social media giant had, earlier this week, announced a USD 10 million grant for emergency response efforts for the C-19 situation in the country.

• Partnering with the GOI, Facebook will begin rolling out its Vaccine Finder tool on the Facebook mobile app in India available in 17 languages to help people identify places nearby to get the vaccine.

• In this tool, vaccine centre locations and their hours of operation have been provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

• The cumulative number of C-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 15.22 crore.

SPORTS

BCCI granted NOC to 4 Indian Women cricketers

• The BCCI has granted “No Objection Certificates” to four Indian women cricketers, including T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, to play in the inaugural ‘Hundred’ tournament in the United Kingdom starting on July 21.

• Opener Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Deepti Sharma are among the four bound for the 100-ball tournament.

• It is learnt that these four Indian players will extend their stay in the UK following the completion of India’s multi-format tour of England in June-July.

• The tour begins with a one-off Test at Bristol on June 16 and concludes with the third and final T20I on July 15.

OBITUARY

First female IAS officer of Assam, Parul Devi passed away

• Parul Devi Das, the first female IAS officer from Assam, passed away. She was an Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer.

• She was the daughter of the former cabinet minister of undivided Assam – Ramnath Das. She was the sister of former Assam Chief Secretary Naba Kumar Das.

‘Shooter Dadi’ passed away due to C-19

• Shooter Chandro Tomar, nicknamed ‘Shooter Dadi’, passed away at the age of 89 due to C-19.

• She was hailing from the Baghpat village in Uttar Pradesh, Tomar was 60-plus when she picked up the gun for the first time but went on to win many national competitions for veterans, her feats ultimately inspiring the award-winning Bollywood movie ‘Saand ki Aankh’.

Scientist Manas Bihari Passed Away

• The Indian aeronautical scientist, Manas Bihari Verma, who played an instrumental role in the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas, has passed away. He worked as a scientist at the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) for 35 years in the aeronautical stream.

• He was given the responsibility for the design of the Tejas aircraft mechanical system, where he led the team responsible for the full-scale engineering development of the Tejas aircraft in the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). The noted scientist has conferred the Padma Sri civilian honour in 2018.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the Midwife 2021: 05 May

• International Day of the Midwife is observed globally on 5 May every year since 1992. This day is celebrated to recognise the work of midwives and raise awareness about the status of midwives for the essential care they provide to mothers and their newborns.

• The theme for 2021 International Day of the Midwife is “Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives.”

• The idea of having a day to recognize and honour midwives came out of the 1987 International Confederation of Midwives conference in the Netherlands. International Midwives’ Day was first celebrated May 5, 1991, and has been observed in more than 50 nations around the world.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2021: 05 May

• Every year, the World Hand Hygiene Day is observed on May 5. The day is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness among people across the globe about the importance of hand hygiene in warding off many serious infections.

• The theme for 2021 is ‘Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’. The day recognizes hand washing as one of the most effective actions that can be taken to avoid a huge range of infections including the C-19 virus.

World Asthma Day 2021: 04 May

• World Asthma Day is observed every year on the 1st Tuesday of May. This year, World Asthma Day is observed on May 4, 2021. The day spread awareness about asthma disease and care around the world. Whilst the primary focus is supporting the person with asthma, support may also extend to family, friends and caregivers. The theme for 2021 World Asthma Day is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions“.

• World Asthma Day is annually organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). In 1998, the first World Asthma Day was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Ms Ujjwala Singhania has been appointed as the National President of FICCI FLO

• Ms Ujjwala Singhania has been appointed as the National President of FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), the oldest women-led & women-centric business chamber of Southeast Asia.

• She took over as the 38th President of FLO at the FLO’s 37th Annual Session in presence of eminent personalities including Smt. Smriti Irani, Honourable Minister for Women & Child Development, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Honourable Minister for Rural Development, Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, Government of India among others.

• As the 38th National President of FLO Ms Singhania will focus on empowering women by facilitating an enabling environment that promotes entrepreneurship, industry participation and economic development of women. Under her leadership, FLO will carry out many interventions towards fostering larger contributions of women in India’s Industrial and economic Growth story.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

 RBI imposed monetary penalty of Rs.3 crore on ICICI Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs.3 crores on ICICI Bank for non-compliance with its directions in the matter of shifting of securities from one category to another. The monetary penalty has been imposed on the Bank for contravention of certain directions contained in its Master Circular on ‘Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operation of Investment Portfolio by Banks.’

• This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act). RBI observed that an examination of correspondence in the matter of shifting of securities from one category to another revealed, inter alia, contravention of the aforesaid directions issued by it. This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal

• Hidden between rock-strewn mountains covered with lush greenery and yellow flowers inside the UNESCO-recognised Arouca Geopark, the bridge hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing River Paiva.

• Hugo Xavier became one of the first people to cross the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge when it opened on Thursday.

UK:  World’s First country to allow Driverless cars on roads

• The United Kingdom has become the first country to announce regulation for the use of self-driving vehicles at low speeds. The UK wants to be at the forefront in rolling out autonomous driving technology. The Government of the UK forecasts that around 40% of UK cars will have self-driving capabilities by 2035. This will create 38,000 jobs in the country. The speed limit of the ALKS is to be set at 37 miles per hour. The ALKS shall drive itself in a single lane.

• A self-driving vehicle is fully autonomous. No driver is required for the safe operation of the vehicle. Self-driving technologies have been developed by Uber, Google, Nissan, Tesla. Most of the self-driving systems maintain an internal map. They use lasers, sensors and radars to map their surroundings. Based on the map created, instructions are delivered to the actuators of the vehicle.

NATIONAL

NFAI publishes rich treasure of oral history on the occasion of Dadasaheb Phalke anniversary

• On the occasion of the 151st birth anniversary of the father of Indian cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has published a rich treasure of audio recordings in the public domain.

• About 8000 minutes of interviews of veteran film artists from the Indian film industry are now made available on the NFAI website. Starting from the silent era of Indian cinema, these are the fascinating tales of journeys of actors, technicians, producers, directors and studio owners. Conducted mostly in the 1980s, these interviews were recorded as part of the Oral History Project of NFAI’s Research Programme and features long interviews of pioneering film personalities, narrating the experiences about their life, stories and anecdotes from the world of cinema.

Serum institute of India to start vaccine production outside India

• The Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca C-19 vaccine, is planning to start vaccine production in other countries as it struggles to meet supply commitment.

• Mr. Poonawalla said last week that the Serum Institute would be able to raise its monthly output to 100 million doses by July, later than a previous timeline of end-May. Several states have run out of vaccines against C-19.

Karnal administration (Haryana) rolled out ‘Oxygen on wheels’ to tackle oxygen crisis

• In wake of the acute oxygen shortage across the country, the Karnal administration (Haryana) has rolled out ‘Oxygen on wheels’ to assist hospitals in the fight against the C-19 pandemic and oxygen crisis. The purpose is to ensure a smooth supply of medical oxygen to hospitals treating C-19 patients.

• Under this initiative, a carrier vehicle called a Mobile oxygen bank loaded with 100 Oxygen Cylinders reaches out to any district hospital which requisitions its urgent supply. This Round clock service has been able to cater to the demands of various hospitals in the area. The initiative is functional 24*7 for all hospitals in the Karnal district.

OBITUARY

Former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin passed away

• Former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin passed away on Saturday. He was being treated at the DDU hospital in New Delhi after testing positive for C-19.

• Shahabuddin, serving a life sentence for murder in Tihar jail, had contracted the virus on April 20, after which he was admitted to DDU hospital.

IMPORTANT DAYS

400th Parkash Purab of guru Tegh bahadur

• The auspicious occasion of Guru Tegh Bahadur's 400th Prakash Purab has celebrated on May 1, this year. He was the 9th of the 10 Gurus that founded the Sikh religion.

• He was also considered to be the leader of Sikhs from 1665 until his demise in 1675.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Indian Bank signs MoU with BSNL to provide seamless telecom services

• Indian Bank signed an MoU with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to provide seamless telecom services to the Indian Bank at competitive market rates. This means the telco might be availing its services to the bank for a lower market rate than usual.

• The bank is already using the services of BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited for its Wide Area Network across the country Dr VK Sanjeevi, chief general manager of Chennai Telephones said that BSNL and its subsidiary MTNL is connecting 5,000 branches and ATMs of Indian Bank.

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