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Important Current Affairs 30th April 2021

NATIONAL

Vaishali is the first woman officer to Appointed in BRO

• Vaishali S Hiwase became the first woman officer to be appointed as officer commanding in the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) where she will be responsible for providing connectivity through an Indo-China border road.

Odisha government has started ambitious initiative of crop diversification

• Odisha government has started ambitious initiative of crop diversification in mega lift point ( MLIP) ayacut areas of the State.

• The action plan for coming Khariff season towards this effect was discussed in a high level meeting held on digital mode under the chairmanship of chief secretary Suresh Chnadra Mahapatra here in Lokseba Bhawan wherein agriculture secretary Suresh Kumar Vashishth outlined the issues for discussion.

SPORTS

ASBC Asian boxing championship 2021 will be held in Dubai

• In the wake of international travel restrictions to India, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), in consultation with Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC), has decided to conduct the upcoming 2021 edition of the ASBC Asian Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships in Dubai.

• The event will now be organised by BFI in association with UAE Boxing Federation.

• The prestigious tournament was earlier scheduled to take place between May 21 to 31 at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi. BFI had also received the NOC from the Sports Ministry to host the tournament and the preparations were in full swing.

OBITUARY

Allahabad high court judge passed away due to C-19

• Justice Virendra Kumar Srivastava of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court died of Covi-19 on Wednesday. He was 59.

• Srivastava, who had tested positive for coronavirus, was undergoing treatment at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute (SGPGI) in Lucknow.

Eminent Indian educationist, popular columnist Manoj Das Passed Away

• Eminent Indian educationist, popular columnist and prolific author, who wrote in Odia and English, Manoj Das has passed away.

• The first book of Das was of poetry called ‘Satavdira Artanada’, in Odia, which was published when he was in high school. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2020 for his contributions in the field of literature and education.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ravindra Jadeja has appointed ASICS brand ambassador

• Japanese Sportswear brand ASICS announced that it has appointed Ravindra Jadeja, the all-rounder of the Indian cricket team and Chennai Super Kings as its brand ambassador. The company, which focuses on sporting gear for the running category.

• ASICS has been working with young and fresh athletic talent across various genres of sports. In India, ASICS is promoted by actor Tiger Shroff. In Asia, ASICS currently has over 55 stores across India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Ayushman Bharat Diwas: April 30

• Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated on April 30 ever year in India. The Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated to achieve twin missions. They are to promote health and wellness to the poor and also to provide insurance benefits to them. The day aims to promote affordable medical facilities in remote areas of the country based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census database. It will also promote health and wellness and provide insurance benefits to the poor.

• The Scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018.

• According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ayushman Bharat Scheme has so far operationalised 75,532 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre. It has fixed a target of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centre by 2022.

International Jazz Day: 30 April

• The International Jazz Day is celebrated on 30 April every year to highlight the importance of jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people in all corners of the globe. The 2021 celebration marks the 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day. The day was created on the idea of jazz pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock.

• The musical form of Jazz was developed by African Americans. It was influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. It originated in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Project Ladakh Ignited Minds: Indian Army signs MoU with HPCL & NIEDO

• Ladakhi youth Army under the aegis of Fire and Fury Corps signed MoU for Ladakh Ignited Minds project with corporate partner Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and executing agency National Integrity and Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) HQ 14 Corps Leh.

• The project Ladakh Ignited Minds: A Centre of Excellence and Wellness has been conceptualized to secure a better future for the youth of UT of Ladakh.

• The programme under the aegis of Fire and Fury Corps of the Indian Army would be executed by National Integrity & Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) a Kanpur-based NGO.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Wild Innovator Award 2021: Krithi Karanth becomes 1st Indian woman

• Dr. Krithi K Karanth, Chief Conservation Scientist at Bengaluru-based Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), has been chosen as the first Indian and Asian woman for the 2021 ‘WILD Innovator Award’. This award given by the ‘‘WILD ELEMENTS Foundation” brings together a coalition of innovators, advocates and partners to “disrupt the status quo and identify solutions to global sustainability and conservation,”.

• The Foundation’s distinctive approach to addressing climate change is the “Power of Three,” recognising the interconnectedness of animal-kind, humankind, and plantkind for the future planetary wellness of our shared home.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank launched Digital banking Platform ‘Merchant Stack’

• The ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a digital and contactless banking platform, especially for retail merchants. The service, called ‘Merchant Stack’, is targeted at the over 2 crore retail merchants in the country, covering grocers, supermarkets, large retail store chains, online businesses and large e-commerce firms.

• Retail merchants can avail the ‘Merchant Stack’ services on InstaBIZ, the mobile banking application of ICICI Bank for businesses.

• The wide range of banking, as well as value-added services, will enable merchants to meet their banking requirements seamlessly so that they can continue to serve their customers in the challenging times during the pandemic.

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Important Current Affairs 29th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

China Launched Robot Prototype ‘NEO-01’ Clear Space Debris

• The Chinese government has launched a robot prototype named as ‘NEO-01’, in the Earth’s low orbit, on its Long March 6 rocket. The 30kg robot prototype has been developed by Shenzhen-based space mining start-up ‘Origin Space’.

• To observe small celestial bodies in deep space and to experiment with space debris removal techniques.

Time magazine's 100 most influential firms

• Two Indian firms, Reliance Industries’ technology arm Jio Platforms and e-learning startup Byju’s have figured in the Time Magazine’s first-ever list of 100 most influential companies. On its website, Time said companies shaping the future are at the heart of the first ever TIME100 Most Influential Companies.

• It listed Jio Platforms under the Innovators category alongside Zoom, Adidas, TikTok, Ikea, Moderna and Netflix. “Over the past few years, Reliance Industries, the Mumbai-based conglomerate, has built India’s largest 4G network.

NATIONAL

Uttar Pradesh Govt. won “E-Panchayat Puraskar 2021”

• The Uttar Pradesh government won the “E-Panchayat Puraskar 2021”, ranking first in Category I. It was followed by Assam and Chhattisgarh at the second position, while Odisha and Tamil Nadu stood third.

• Every year, the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj awards those states, which ensure maximum use of information technology to keep a tab on the work done by gram panchayats.

India's first 3d printed house at Madras

• India’s first 3D printed house built by IIT-Madras startup Tvasta was inaugurated on the campus.

• The house, which has a built-up area of 600 square feet, has a bedroom, a hall and a kitchen. The entire house was designed using software and printed using concrete 3D printing technology.

• Using this technology, a new house can be built in five days against four or five months in conventional mode. Further, the cost of the house is reduced by around 30% and life of the building can exceed 50 years.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Arun Raste has appointed new MD & CEO of NCDEX

• Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved to the appointment of Arun Raste as MD and CEO of National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) for a period of five years.

• Raste is currently associated with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) as an Executive Director and prior to NDDB, he has worked with organisations like IDFC First Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, NABARD, ACC Cement, and a non-profit NGO IRFT.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw joins the board of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

• Biocon Ltd has announced that its Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), a leader in cancer treatment and research, based in New York, US. She will serve for a term of three years.

•  Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is among the 52 members on the board and will serve for a term of three years with effect from April 14, 2021 and she is the first woman of Indian nationality to be appointed for this prestigious role.

T V Soma Nathan new finance secretary

• Expenditure Secretary TV Somanathan has been designated as the Finance Secretary.

• He is a 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Mr Somanathan, Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance as the Finance Secretary, the order said.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Dance Day 29 April 2021

• The International Dance Day is observed globally on 29 April every year. The day celebrates the value and importance of the dance and encourages participation and education in this art form through events and festivals. The day 29 April has been chosen as it marks the birth anniversary of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810), who is known as the creator of modern ballet.

• The theme of International Dance Day 2021: ‘Purpose of dance’.

• The day was created in 1982, by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO.

RANKING

India Ranked 49th in CGGI 2021

• India has been placed at 49th position among 104 nations in the Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) 2021. Finland has topped the CGGI Index 2021 and Venezuela is the last ranked country at 104.

• The Chandler Good Governance Index is released by the Chandler Institute of Governance headquartered in Singapore. The index is prepared based on seven pillars namely leadership and foresight, strong institutions, robust laws and policies, attractive market place, financial stewardship, helping people rise, global influence and reputation.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Oxford Economics has revised downwards the GDP growth forecast for India

• The Global forecasting firm Oxford Economics has revised downwards the GDP growth forecast for India to 10.2 per cent for fiscal 2021-22.

• Earlier it predicted this at 11.8 per cent. The downward revision is based on the country’s serious health burden, weak vaccination rate and lack of a convincing government strategy to contain the pandemic.

Shivalik Small Finance Bank Limited commenced operations as a Small Finance Bank

• The UP-based Shivalik Small Finance Bank Limited commenced operations as a Small Finance Bank (SFB) with effect from April 26, 2021. It must be remembered that the Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank (SMCB) is the first urban co-operative bank (UCB) in India to receive licence from RBI to operate as a Small Finance Bank (SFB).

• The bank has received the licence from RBI under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of small finance bank in India. Shivalik SFB area of operation is Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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Important Current Affairs 28th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

David Beckham the ambassador of UNICEF, leads global vaccination drive

• UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham, is fronting a global initiative to inspire confidence in vaccines and encourage parents around the world to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases.

• In a powerful video released ahead of World Immunization Week, Beckham talks about the loss of everyday activities due to C-19, such as hugs with family, spending time with friends, and being with the people we love, and encourages parents to vaccinate themselves so that they can be safe.

SPORTS

Rafael Nadal wins 12th Barcelona Open title

• Rafael Nadal beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 to win his 12th Barcelona Open title. It was Nadal’s 87th career title, and his 61st title on clay.

• This is the second tournament where Nadal has captured 12 or more titles. The 13-time Roland Garros champion will return to No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

Manchester City won League Cup football tournament fourth time

• Manchester City won the League Cup for a record-equalling fourth time in succession with a deserved victory over a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley.

• City’s victory equalled Liverpool’s achievement in the early 1980s of winning the competition four years in a row.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India retained its position as the third biggest military spender

• India has retained its position as the third biggest military spender in the world in 2020, according to new data titled ‘SIPRI Military Expenditure Database’ published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 26, 2021.

• As per the new report, the top five biggest spenders in 2020 were the United States ($778 billion), China ($252 billion), India ($72.9 billion), Russia ($61.7 billion) and the United Kingdom ($59.2 billion) respectively.

• These five nations together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure.

OBITUARY

Renowned Gujarati poet Dadudan Gadhvi Passed Away

• Veteran Gujarati poet and folk singer Dadudan Pratapdan Gadhvi has passed away. He was 80 years old. He was also known as Kavi Dad.

• He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2021 for his contribution in literature and education. Besides, he had written songs for 15 Gujarati films.

Former MD of Maruti Suzuki, Jagdish Khattar Passed Away

• Jagdish Khattar, the former Managing Director of Maruti Suzuki, has passed away. He had served at Maruti Suzuki India Limited from 1993 to 2007. He is credited for establishing Maruti as India’s largest car company.

• Khattar joined Maruti in July 1993 as Director, and was eventually elevated as Managing Director in 1999, first as government nominee, and then in May 2002, as Suzuki Motor Corporation nominee. After his retirement from Maruti in October 2007, Khattar launched an entrepreneurial venture named Carnation Auto.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Amit Banerjee becomes CMD, BEML

• At a Public Enterprise Selection Board meeting that was held on April 26, 2021, Amit Banerjee was selected to be posted as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). Presently, he is serving as Director (Rail & Metro), BEML Limited.

• Banerjee is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from IIT (BHU), Varanasi. He had joined BEML as an assistant engineer in 1984.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Workers’ Memorial (International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers) Day: 28 April

• The Workers’ Memorial Day, also known as International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers occurs every year on 28 April. The day has been organized worldwide by the International Trade Union Confederation since 1996.

• Theme 2021: ‘Health and Safety is a fundamental workers‘ right.’

• Its purpose is to remember workers killed in incidents at work or by diseases caused by work and honour the victims of occupational accidents and diseases by organizing worldwide mobilizations and awareness campaigns on this date.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work observed every year on 28 April

• World Day for Safety and Health at Work is observed globally on 28 April every year. This day is observed to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally and raise awareness to ensure health and safety at the workplace.

• The theme for 2021 is “Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises – Invest Now in Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems”.

• The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is persisted 28 April and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A new book title “Living Mountain” written by Amitav Ghosh

• “The Living Mountain” is a new story by Jnanpith winner and internationally renowned author Amitav Ghosh, written during the course of the pandemic. It is a fable for the current times: a cautionary tale of how humans have systematically exploited nature, leading to an environmental collapse.

• HarperCollins Publishers India will publish The Living Mountain as a special standalone edition in January 2022 under its prestigious Fourth Estate imprint. The book will also be published simultaneously in Hindi, and as an ebook and an audiobook.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s New Novel ‘Whereabouts’

• Renowned American author Jhumpa Lahiri has launched her new novel titled “Whereabouts”. The book is an English translation of the Italian novel ‘Ias Dove Mi Trovo’ which was written by the author Jhumpa Lahiri itself and published in 2018.

• The novel has been translated into English by the author herself. The book is about an unnamed female protagonist over 45 years as she looks at her life, glancing, sideways, back and forth, chronicling life, relationships and burden of relationships, in short, succinct chapters.

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Important Current Affairs 27th April 2021

NATIONAL

Government Extended Deadline for making payment under ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme till 30 June 2021

• The government has once again extended the deadline for making payment under the direct tax dispute settlement scheme ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ by two months till June 30, 2021 to provide relief to the taxpayers facing hardships amid the pandemic. This is the fourth time that the deadline is being extended by the Ministry of Finance, since the launch of the scheme. The deadline was extended for the first time from March 31, 2020, to June 30, 2020, followed by December 31, 2020, and then again till March 31, 2021.

• The ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ scheme was announced in the Union Budget 2020, as per which a taxpayer would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and will get a complete waiver of interest and penalty provided he pays by 31st March 2020.

Panchayati Raj Day: PM Modi Launched the distribution of e-property cards under the Extension of ‘SVAMITVA scheme’ Across India

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the distribution of e-property cards under the SVAMITVA scheme on National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24, 2021, through video conferencing. SVAMITVA stands for Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas. The launch marked the rollout of the implementation of the SVAMITVA scheme across the entire country. About 4.09 lakh property owners were given their e-property cards during the event, in more than 5 thousand villages.

• The Svamitva Scheme was launched by Prime Minister on 24 April 2020 as a Central Sector Scheme to promote a socio-economically empowered and self-reliant rural India.

• It was launched on pilot basis in the 6 states, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Indian Navy has joined the rescue operation for an Indonesian submarine

• The Indian Navy has joined the rescue operation for an Indonesian submarine and its 53-person crew that went missing more than 4 days ago. 

• Indonesia had sought assistance from India after its 44-year-old submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, went missing while conducting a torpedo drill north of the island of Bali. The Navy’s Deep-Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSVR) left from Visakhapatnam.

OBITUARY

Justice M Shantanagoudar passed away

• Supreme Court judge Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar passed away. Justice Shantanagoudar was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on February 17, 2017. He would have remained in office till May 5, 2023.

• Shantanagoudar was born on May 5, 1958, in Karnataka and got himself enrolled as an advocate on September 5, 1980. He was appointed as an additional judge of the Karnataka High Court on May 12, 2003, and became a permanent judge in the court in September 2004. Later, Justice Shantanagoudar was transferred to the Kerala High Court, where he assumed charge as the acting chief justice on August 1, 2016. He became the chief justice of the Kerala High Court on September 22, 2016, before being elevated as an apex court judge.

Veteran Scientist Krishnamurthy Santhanam Passed away

• Indian nuclear scientist Krishnamurthy Santhanam, who played a noteworthy role in the 1998 nuclear tests at Pokhran, has passed away. He was deeply associated with Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

• Santhanam was the field director of Defence Research and Development Organization during the tests of Pokhran-II. He was awarded with the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in 1999 by the Government of India.

Hindustani classical singer Pandit Rajan Mishra Passed Away

• Renowned Hindustani classical singer, from ‘Banaras Gharana’ of India, Pandit Rajan Mishra, has passed away. He was a vocalist in the khyal style of Indian classical singing.

• Mishra was awarded Padma Bhushan in the field of art in 2007. Pandit Rajan Mishra was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Gandharwa National Award and the National Tansen Samman.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed every year on April 26

• The International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed every year on April 26 to raise awareness of the consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the risks of nuclear energy in general.

• The United Nations (UN) proclaimed the day on April 26, 2016, that marked the 30th anniversary of the 1986 nuclear disaster. On this day in 1986, a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine with devastating consequences.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

National Panchayat Awards 2021 conferred by PM Modi

• The National Panchayat Awards 2021 was conferred by PM Modi. Prime Minister will transfer the award money (as Grants-in-Aid) through the click of a button, ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.50 lakh. The amount will be directly transferred to the bank account of the Panchayats concerned in real-time. This is being done for the first time.

The National Panchayat Awards 2021:

• Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar to 224 panchayats,

• Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar to 30-gram panchayats, Gram

• Panchayat Development Plan Award to 29-gram panchayats, Child-friendly Gram

• Panchayat Award to 30 Gram Panchayats and e-Panchayat Puraskar to 12 states.

93rd Academy Awards 2021 announced in Los Angeles

• The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, also known as the Oscars Award, took place in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021. The award is presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 2021 Oscars honoured the best films of 2020 and early 2021.

• American drama ‘Nomadland’ won most honours with three awards. Chloe Zhao, who directed “Nomadland”, was crowned best director, and with this, she became the only second woman to claim the title and the first woman of colour to win that award. Indian film personalities Irrfan Khan and Bhanu Athaiya were honoured in the “In Memoriam” montage showcased at the event.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI cancelled licence of Bhagyodaya Friends Urban Co-operative Bank Limited due to inadequate capital

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Maharashtra-based Bhagyodaya Friends Urban Co-operative Bank Limited due to inadequate capital. On liquidation, every depositor is entitled to receive deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 5 lakhs from the DICGC subject to the provisions of the DICGC Act, 1961.

• According to the regulator, the bank with its present financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in the full and public interest would be adversely affected if the bank is allowed to carry on its banking business any further. The bank has failed to comply with the requirements and the continuance of the bank is prejudicial to the interests of its depositors.

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Important Current Affairs 25th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Japan declares three months emergency in four major cities

• Japan has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo from April 25, after a recent surge in C-19 cases. Announcing the emergency till 11th May, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the emergency is intended to be short and intensive. He said, it is to stop people from travelling and spreading the virus during Japan’s Golden Week holidays from late April through the first week of May.

• This is Japan's third state of emergency since the pandemic began and comes after a month of an earlier emergency in the Tokyo area. The measures include shutdown orders for bars, department stores, malls, theme parks, theatres and museums. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol and public transportation services are asked to close early. Schools will stay open, but universities are asked to return to online classes. Mask-wearing, staying home and other measures for the general public remain non-mandatory requests.

NATIONAL

DRDO to set up covid hospital in Ahmedabad

• Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that another dedicated 1200 bed Covid hospital will be set up at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. He made a visit to the 900 bed dedicated Covid hospital set up by DRDO and Gujarat Government at Gujarat University Convention and Exhibition Centre in Ahmedabad.

• Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the 1200 bed dedicated Covid hospital will be set up at Helipad ground in Gandhinagar. This hospital will have 600 ICU beds. It will be set up by DRDO in collaboration with Tata Trust. Mr. Shah said that Ahmedabad will also have Isolation centers for which Karnavati club, Rajpath Club, Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, Gujarat State Cooperative Bank and Umiya Pariwar have given their consent.

Chhattisgarh government announces to deduct one day salary of officers and employees

• The Chhattisgarh Government has announced that it will deduct one day salary of officers and employees in the month of April for contribution to the Chief Minister Relief Fund in order to help the needy people of the state affected by corona infection.

• Meanwhile, efforts are being made by the Chhattisgarh government to increase the number of beds in hospitals and to ensure continuous supply of medical oxygen as well as for the adequate deployment of doctors and para- medical staff in various Covid hospitals. Amidst surge in Covid cases, the Health Department of Chhattisgarh has made the posting of 296 new doctors who have completed their M.B.B.S to address shortage of doctors. These doctors have been posted in various government medical college hospitals, district hospitals as well as community and primary health centers of the state. These doctors have been instructed to join their respective hospitals within ten days.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Justice N. V. Ramana takes oath as 48th Chief Justice of India

• Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was sworn in as the 48th Chief Justice of India. Justice Ramana’s will hold the post for sixteen months, until August 26, 2022.

• Justice Ramana takes over at a time when the judiciary is going back to a virtual mode, due to the second wave of C-19, and is entrusted with ensuring un-interrupted access to justice. As Chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Ramana led efforts to ensure training to lawyers and litigants to adapt to e-courts during the pandemic.

RBI approved Atanu Chakraborty as HDFC Bank’s part-time chairman

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of former Economic Affairs Secretary, Atanu Chakraborty, as the part-time chairman and additional independent director of the private sector lender HDFC Bank. He retired as Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs in April 2020. Prior to that, he served as Secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

• Chakraborty, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, has been appointed for a period of three years with effect from May 5, 2021 or the date of his taking charge, whichever is later.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day for Laboratory Animals is observed every year on 24 April

• The World Day For Animals In Laboratories (WDAIL)( World Lab Animal Day or World Day for Laboratory Animals), is observed every year on 24 April. The day was instituted in 1979 by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), as an “international day of commemoration” for animals in laboratories.

• WDAIL aims to end the suffering of animals in laboratories around the world and promote their replacement with advanced scientific non-animal techniques. Apart from this, the “World Week for Animals In Laboratories” (Lab Animal Week) is celebrated from April 20 to 26.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Hyderabad’s Rumana Sinha Sehgal won the Nelson Mandela World Humanitarian Award 2021

• Rumana Sinha Sehgal, Software engineer turned entrepreneur from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, won the Nelson Mandela World Humanitarian Award 2021 by the Diplomatic Mission Global Peace. She was virtually awarded for her contribution to the field of developing innovative and functional green products by recycling varied materials and non-biodegradable materials.

• Nationwide Award -under 50- Business Leader 2021 of Social entrepreneurship.

• International Influencer of the year 2021’ at the Influencer Summit in January 2021.

• ReXKarmaveer Chakra (silver) and Global Fellowship award 2019 for her work in the zone of women and child empowerment.

• She was crowned as the ‘Mrs Universe Successful 2018’.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI allows commercial banks to pay up to 50% of pre-Covid dividends

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed commercial banks to pay dividends on equity shares for FY21, from the profits for the fiscal ended March 31, 2021, subject to certain conditions and limits. The new notification of RBI allows commercial banks to pay dividends not more than 50 per cent of the amount determined as per the dividend payout ratio prescribed. This means that banks may pay dividends up to 50% of what they paid before the Covid scenario.

• Earlier, RBI had asked all banks not to make any dividend payment on equity shares for FY20 from the profits due to the ongoing stress and heightened uncertainty on account of C-19. For co-operative banks, all the restrictions on dividends have been removed and they have been permitted to pay the dividend on equity shares from the profits of the financial year ended March 31, 2021. However, RBI has also instructed all banks to continue to meet the applicable minimum regulatory capital requirements after dividend payment.

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Important Current Affairs 20th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Italy launched first ever mega food park in Gujarat

• Italy has launched its first-ever mega food park project in India, at Fanidhar in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. The project aims to create synergy between agriculture and industry of the two countries and focuses on the research and development of new and more efficient technologies in the sector.

• With this Italy also aims to explore the great opportunities offered by the Indian market. This is the first Italian-Indian food park project, an initiative in the food-processing field, which serves as a pillar of the partnership between India and Italy.

NATIONAL

Gender Samvaad event launched by Ministry of Rural Development

• The Ministry of Rural Development recently launched the Gender Samvaad Event. It is a joint initiative between DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE.

• The main objective of the Gender Samvaad event was to create awareness of gender-related interventions under the DAY-NRLM. DAY-NRLM is Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission. IWWAGE is Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy.

SPORTS

Max Verstappen Wins Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix 2021

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) won the Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix 2021, in Imola, Italy. This win is his first victory of the season. The race was the second round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

• The seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) finished second, following a crash and sustaining damage involving Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Lando Norris (McLaren – Great Britain) took third place.

OBITUARY

Veteran Tamil actor and comedian Vivek passed away

• Renowned Tamil actor and comedian Vivek has passed away. He was launched by legendary filmmaker K Balachander in the late 1980s. He went on to become one of the most sought after comedy actors of Tamil cinema in the 1990s and retained a stronghold in the industry.

• The actor was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009 for his excellent work in Tamil cinema. He acted in over 200 movies. He was last seen in Dharala Prabhu, which was the Tamil remake of the Hindi film Vicky Donor.

Marathi filmmaker Sumitra Bhave passed away

• Acclaimed Marathi filmmaker, Sumitra Bhave has passed away. Sumitra Bhave was popular as a duo with filmmaker Sunil Sukthankar in Marathi cinema and Marathi theatre. She was known for her out-of-the-box content and also for the way she handled social issues in her films.

• The duo of Sumitra and Sunil together directed several popular films like Doghi, Dahavi Fa, Vastupurush, Devrai, Badha, Ek Cup Chya, Samhita, Astu, Kaasav, among others. They have won National Film Awards in Best Non-Feature Film on Family Welfare, Best Educational / Motivational / Instructional Film, Best Film on Other Social Issues, Best Feature Film categories.

Kannada writer Ganjam Venkatasubbiah passed away

• Veteran Kannada writer Ganjam Venkatasubbiah, who also was a grammarian, editor, lexicographer and literary critic, has passed away. He was 107. He was commonly known as a walking encyclopedia of Kannada language and culture, in his literary circles.

• Professor G Venkatasubbaiah had compiled 12 dictionaries and had authored around 60 books. He received the Padma Shri in 2017 for his proficiency in Kannada literature, poetry, essays and translations. Apart from this, we were also a recipient of the Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award and the Pampa Award among others.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Murali Natarajan re-appointed as DCB Bank MD and CEO

• Private sector lender, DCB Bank has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India for the re-appointment of Murali M. Natrajan as the Managing Director & CEO, for a further period of one year from April 29, 2021.

• He was appointed as MD and CEO of DCB Bank in May 2009. Prior to joining DCB, Natrajan has worked with foreign banks Standard Chartered & Citibank.

IMPORTANT DAYS

UN Chinese Language Day observed on 20 April

• UN Chinese Language Day is observed globally on April 20 every year. The day has been chosen to pay tribute to Cangjie, who is a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago.

• The 1st Chinese Language Day was celebrated in 2010 on the 12th of November, but since 2011 the date has been on the 20th of April. The day celebrates multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.

RANKING

Henley Passport Index 2021 released India stands at number 84

• Amid the rising COVID-19 cases and subsequent restrictions on travel overseas, when many countries are banning individuals from worst-hit nations, the Henley Passport Index on April 17 released its list of the most powerful passports.

• India stands at number 84 on the list, as the Indian citizens can visit Visa-Free or Visa-on-Arrival in over 58 places. Japan, Singapore and Germany, South Korea stand in Top 3 respectively.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI sets up committee to review working of Asset Reconstruction Companies

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a six-member panel to carry out a comprehensive review of the working of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) in the financial sector ecosystem.

• The panel will be headed by former Executive Director of RBI, Sudarshan Sen.

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Important Current Affairs 19th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Microsoft buys AI speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion

• Microsoft has made its second-biggest acquisition after LinkedIn. The tech giant has bought AI speech tech firm Nuance for $19.7 billion. The move will help Microsoft’s prowess in voice recognition and will give it a boost in the health care market. Nuance is known for its Dragon software which helps to transcribe speech using deep learning. In 2016, Microsoft had purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion.

• The acquisition will combine solutions and expertise to deliver new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries, and represent the latest step in Microsoft’s industry-specific cloud strategy.

• Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI.

• Nuance’s products include multiple clinical speech recognition software as a service (SaaS) offerings built on Microsoft Azure. The firm’s solutions work with core healthcare systems, and are currently used in 77% of U.S. hospitals.

NATIONAL

DRDO to reopen its C-19 Hospital

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will reopen its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt today. The facility was shut in the first week of February after daily Covid-19 cases came down. The 1,000-bed DRDO medical facility got 250 additional ICU beds last November to provide treatment to patients.

• This took the total number of ICU beds at the hospital to 500. The hospital was built by DRDO in record time of 12 days with assistance from the armed forces, ministry of home affairs, ministry of health and family welfare and Tata Trust. The facility became operational in July last year. 

RT-PCR test mandatory for kumbh returnees: State Government

• The Odisha government has made the RT-PCR test mandatory for people who had travelled to Haridwar for the Kumbh Mela earlier this month. It also said that all Kumbh Mela returnees will have to follow a 14-day quarantine period.

• Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena has shared the list of persons who had registered with the Uttarakhand government to participate in the event, with all district collectors and municipal commissioners and asked them to contact all these persons and find out their location and travel plans.

First ever online exhibition on Ramayana

• Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has inaugurated the first-ever online exhibition on Ramayana. The weblink for the online exhibition is www.nmvirtual.in/Virtual_Tour/Ramayan. Mr Patel addressed a webinar 'India's Heritage: Powering Tourism' on the occasion of World Heritage Day 2021 yesterday.

• The online exhibition showcases forty nine miniature paintings collections of National Museum, New Delhi from different art schools of India.

Railway to run "Oxygen Express" trains

• The Railways will run ‘Oxygen Express’ trains over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.

• Amid spiralling coronavirus cases in the country, the demand for medical oxygen in the country has gone through the roof.

• Empty tankers will begin their journey from Kalamboli and Boisar railway stations in and near Mumbai on Monday to load liquid medical oxygen from Vizag, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro.

SPORTS

Asian Weightlifting Championships: India's Mirabai chanu creates world record

• India's Mirabai Chanu set a new World Record in the women's 49kg Clean and Jerk with an impressive 119 kg lift at Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent yesterday. The 26-year-old lifted 86kg in snatch and a world record of 119kg in clean and jerk for a total of 205kg which also won her the bronze medal at the event.

• The gold medal went to Hou Zhihui of China who created a new world record in snatch and total weight with an effort of 213kg while her compatriot Jiang Huihua clinched the silver, lifting 207kg  in the gold level Olympic qualifier.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA Awards $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX

• The United States space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has picked Elon Musk’s SpaceX for its Artemis programme, to develop the first commercial lander and take the next two US astronauts to the moon. The total value of this contract is $2.89 billion.

• SpaceX will develop a spacecraft ‘SpaceX Starship’ to land next to two US astronauts, including a women astronaut at the lunar south pole region, by 2024.

• NASA also aims to bring the first person of colour to the moon’s surface as part of the Artemis programme.

• Between 1969 and 1972, the US brought 12 astronauts to the moon.

OBITUARY

Former Indian Footballer Ahmed Hussain Passes Away

• Former India’s International Football defender, Ahmed Hussain Lala has passed away due to C-19. He represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where India finished fourth. Besides, he was also part of the Indian team that won the gold medal in the 1951 Asian Games.

• Ahmed also took part in the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan, in which India finished fourth. In Club Football, Ahmed played for Hyderabad City Police, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting Club. In his career, he had won two Santosh Trophy, three Durand Cups and six Rovers Cups.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Liver Day observed every year on 19 April

• World Liver day is observed on the 19 April every year to spread awareness about the second largest organ in the body. The liver is the second largest and the most complex organ in the body, with the exception of the brain.

• Liver diseases can be caused by hepatitis A, B, C, alcohol and drugs. Viral Hepatitis occurs due to consumption of contaminated food and water, unsafe sexual practices and drug abuse.

World Heritage Day observed every year on 18 April

• World Heritage Day observed globally on 18 April every year. The day is observed to raise awareness about the cultural heritage that we see around us. It is also aimed at promoting historical monuments and sites through which we can actually preserve the cultural integrity of a community as well.

• This year’s theme “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” reflects on the need to acknowledge global calls for greater inclusion and recognition of diversity.

• The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1982 announced, 18 April as the World Heritage Day. This was approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with an aim of enhancing awareness about the importance of cultural heritage, monuments and conserving them.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Rating Agencies downgrade India’s GDP forecasts for financial year 2022

• With the resurgence of C-19 cases posing risks to economic recovery, the leading brokerages have downgraded India’s GDP growth projections for the current fiscal year 2021-22. Current fiscal year to as low as 10 per cent on local lockdowns threatening fragile recovery.

• In the C-19 ravaged 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021), the economy is projected to have contracted by up to 8 per cent. The low base of FY’21 was seen aiding a double-digit growth rate in the current fiscal before moderating to 6.8 per cent in FY’23.

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Important Current Affairs 18th April 2021

NATIONAL

Tap water connection by 2022 in Madhya Pradesh

• Madhya Pradesh presented their Annual Action Plan (AAP)under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)today via video conferencing setting out the State’s action plan to provide tap water connections to rural households in 2021-22 as well as the saturation plan, so that every rural home of the State gets tap water supply in a time-bound manner. Madhya Pradesh is likely to get about Rs 3,000 Crore Central fund in 2021-22. Considering this quantum jump of allocation of almost 2.5 times of previous year, the State has to make provision for matching State share and prepare a realistic expenditure plan for effective utilization funds.

• A month-long planning exerciseis currently underway which involves two States/ UTs presenting their AAP dailyto a committee chaired by Secretary, Department of drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shaktiand members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog. The committee jointly reviews the proposed Annual Action Plan (AAP) before finalizing the same. Thereafter, fund is released in tranches throughout the year and regular field visits, review meetings are held to ensure implementation of the AAP to achieve the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission.

• Madhya Pradesh has 1.23 Crore rural households, out of which 37.69 lakh (31%) have tap water supply in their homes. In 2020-21, Madhya Pradesh has provided 19.89 lakh tap water connections and has been one of the top performers in the country under Jal Jeevan Mission. In 2021-22, the State has planned for saturation of 7 districts and 22 lakh new tap water connections.

Manipur presented its annual Action Plan

• State of Manipur presented its Annual Action Plan under Jal Jeevan Mission today via video conferencing before the committee of the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, with members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog.

• Manipur has around 4.51 lakh rural households, out of which 2.27 lakh households have tap water supply, as on 31st March 2021. 1.96 lakh new tap water connections were provided in 2020-21 despite Covid- 19 pandemic. The State has planned for 100% saturation by 2021-22 under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) by providing tap water connections to remaining 2.25 lakh households.

8th Indo-Kyrgyz Special Forces Exercise ‘Khanjar’ Flags off

• The 8th Indo-Kyrgyz Joint Special Forces Exercise “Khanjar” was inaugurated at the Special Forces Brigade of National Guards of the Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek, the capital of the host Kyrgyzstan. Initiated first in 2011, the two-week-long special operations exercise focusses on high-altitude warfare, mountain warfare and counter-extremism exercises.

• The Indian contingent for the exercise and felicitated their role as a bridge in promoting the shared mountain and nomadic heritage of both nations. A ceremonial parade graced the occasion along with a display of equipment’s and weapons and a visit to the training arena and barracks.

SPORTS

BCCI agrees to issue visas to Pakistan team

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has got the approval for visas for the Pakistan cricket team as well as the touring media for the upcoming T20 World Cup that is scheduled to begin in India in October this year. It was announced at BCCI's Apex Council meeting yesterday.

• The BCCI has informed the apex council that the Indian government has agreed to issue visas to the Pakistan cricketers and the touring media for the T20 World Cup.

• While the details are still being worked out, the apex council members were informed that the Board has received a nod from the government over the visas, even though a call on the fans will be taken by the ministry in due course. However, this wouldn't yet break the deadlock between the Indian and Pakistan cricket boards.

• The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had earlier said that they are looking for visas for not just the players and the media but also for their fans. A failure on that count from the Indian board will push them into asking the International Cricket Council (ICC) to host the tournament in UAE.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA to launch SpaceX Crew 2 on April 22

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on World Earth Day (April 22). NASA is to launch the mission along with SpaceX. It is the second crewed operational flight of Crew Dragon Spacecraft.

• The mission will transport four scientists to the International Space Station. The astronauts to travel to the International Space Station are from NASA, JAXA and ESA. JAXA is the Japanese Space Agency and ESA is European Space Agency.

• Crew Dragon was the first space vehicle to launch humans from American soil in nine years. It was first launched in May 2020.

• It was funded through NASA’s Commercial Crew Programme. It evolved from an earlier design called Dragon 1.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Lifetime Achievement Award received by Director Roberto Benigni

• Director Roberto Benigni will be receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, which runs from September 1 to 11. The organisers confirmed the news about the two-time Oscar-winning actor-director.

• The filmmaker had starred in and directed the holocaust comedy-drama film Life Is Beautiful (1997), for which he received the Academy Awards for Best Actor (the first for a non-English speaking male performance) and Best International Feature Film. He was last seen in Matteo Garrone’s live-action Pinocchio, for which he won a David di Donatello Award.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Modi Ji released 4 books related to Babasaheb Ambedkar

• PM Narendra Modi has paid tribute to India’s first law minister and the architect of the Indian Constitution Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar on his birth anniversary and released four books based on his life. PM Modi has addressed the 95th Annual Meet and National Seminar of Vice-Chancellors of the Association of Indian Universities via video conferencing and launched four books related to Dr BR Ambedkar, written by Kishor Makwana.

Suresh Raina’s memoir ‘Believe’ to release in May 2021

• A book titled ‘Believe – What Life and Cricket Taught Me’, the much-awaited Suresh Raina autobiography is set to hit the bookstands in May 2021. The book is Co-authored by Raina and sports author Bharat Sundaresan, the biography will be published by the prestigious publishing house, Penguin India.

• The book expected to follow Raina’s lightning-fast rise in the Indian cricket team and the hardships that he encountered on the way to becoming a record-breaking batsman. The book should also help unwind the story of Raina’s early days as a budding cricketer in UP.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBL Bank and Mastercard have announced their partnership

• RBL Bank and Mastercard have announced their partnership to launch a mobile-based consumer-friendly payment solution ‘Pay by Bank App’, a first-of-its-kind payment functionality in India. RBL Bank account holders can now enjoy contactless transactions across the world through their mobile banking application both in-store and online. This functionality will be available at all Mastercard accepting merchants, worldwide that accept contactless and online payments.

• To provide enhanced security, ‘Pay by Bank App’ ensures that Bank customer’s payment credentials are never exposed to the merchant, making the transaction completely secure.

• Customers will continue to receive the Mastercard consumer protection benefits that they currently enjoy on their debit cards.

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Important Current Affairs 17th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

US President Biden announced complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September

• US President Joe Biden has announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year, thus bringing to end the country’s longest war. US troops, as well as forces deployed by our NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Allies and operational partners, will be out of Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of that heinous attack on September 11 (2001).

• Biden and his team are refining national strategy to monitor and disrupt significant terrorist threats not only in Afghanistan, but anywhere they may arise — Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

• Before making the announcement, Biden had spoken with former US presidents Barack Obama and George Bush.

• The US and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020, to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America’s longest war.

NATIONAL

‘Aahaar Kranti’ mission launched by Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan

• Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched Aahaar Kranti, a mission dedicated to spreading awareness about nutrition. It is designed to address the peculiar problem of hunger and diseases in abundance, being faced by India and the world. Studies show that India produces as much as two times the amount of calories it consumes.

• However, many in the country are still malnourished. The root cause of this strange phenomenon is a lack of nutritional awareness. Keeping this in mind, Aahaar Kranti has been launched with the motto of Uttam Aahaar- Uttam Vichaar or Good Diet-Good Cognition.

• The movement proposes to address the problem by working to rouse the people to the values and richness of India’s traditional diet, to the healing powers of local fruits and vegetables and to the miracles of a balanced diet. Vijnana Bharati, Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats Forum, Vigyan Prasar, and Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark have come together to launch this mission.

OBITUARY

Former election commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy passed away

• Former election commissioner, GVG Krishnamurty passed away due to age-related ailments.

• An Indian Legal Service officer, Krishnamurty became the election commissioner in October 1993 to September 1996.

Former CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha passed away

• Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ranjit Sinha has passed away. He was a 1974-batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, who served as CBI Director from 3 December 2012 to 2 December 2014.

• Prior to being appointed as CBI Director, Sinha had headed Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, the Railway Protection Force and several other senior positions in the CBI in Patna and Delhi.

Renowned Radiologist Dr. Kakarla Subba Rao Passed Away

• Renowned radiologist, Dr Kakarla Subba Rao, who served as the first director of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, has passed away.

• Rao was conferred Padma Shri in 2000, by the Government of India for his contributions to the field of medicine. He was the founder president of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), an umbrella organisation for Telugu speaking people in the United States.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Hemophilia Day observed globally: 17 April

• World Hemophilia Day observed globally on 17 April every year. This day is observed to raise awareness for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. The date was chosen in honour of the World Federation of Hemophilia founder Frank Schnabel birthday. This year is the 30th edition of World Haemophilia Day.

• The theme for 2021 World Hemophilia Day is “Adapting to Change: Sustaining care in a new world”. The day is being held since 1989, which marks the birthday of Frank Schnabel, founder of the World Federation of Hemophilia.

• It is a rare disorder in which your blood doesn’t clot normally because it lacks sufficient blood-clotting proteins /factors. If you have hemophilia, you may bleed for a longer time after an injury than you would if your blood clotted normally.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Marathi film “Puglya” wins Best Foreign Feature at Moscow International Film Festival 2021

• The Marathi film “Puglya” has won the Best Foreign Language Feature award at Moscow International Film Festival, 2021. The film Puglya has been directed and produced by Vinod Sam Peter under the banner Abraham Films.

• So far, this film has won over 45 awards and recognitions at various international film festivals. The film is yet to be released in India. The film revolves around a pug and two boys, who are around 10 years old.

Wisden Almanack’s 2021 edition announced

• To perpetuate the 50th anniversary of the first One-Day International, five ODI cricketers of the decade have been listed in Wisden Almanack’s 2021 edition. One cricketer has been selected from each decade between 1971 and 2021, with the Indian captain been granted the award for the 2010s.

• India captain Virat Kohli Wisden Almanack’s ODI player of the 2010s.

• Sachin Tendulkar is the ODI Cricketer of the 1990s.

• Kapil Dev was named as the ODI Cricketer for the 1980s.

• England all-rounder Ben Stokes is ‘Leading Cricketer of the Year’.

• Australia’s Beth Mooney is ‘Leading Women’s Cricketer in the World’.

• West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard was adjudged the ‘Leading T20 Cricketer in the World’.

• Meanwhile, Jason Holder, Mohammed Rizwan, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, and Darren Stevens have been awarded the Wisden Cricketers of the Year 2021.

RANKING

Inclusive Internet Index 2021: India has been ranked at 49th spot globally

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in partnership with Facebook, has released the Inclusive Internet Index 2021. India has been ranked at 49th spot globally. It shares its rank with Thailand. This index measures the extent to which the internet is available and affordable by region, and highlights additional insight into how people around the world are using the web.

Top 5 Countries:

1. Sweden

2. United States

3. Spain

4. Australia

5. Hong Kong

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Punjab National Bank launched digital initiative PNB@Ease

• Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a digital initiative “PNB@Ease” under which every transaction undertaken by a bank branch will be initiated and authorised by customers themselves. This facility will enable the customers to avail all banking services under one roof.

• On its 127th foundation day, PNB announced other digital initiatives such as the instant opening of online saving accounts via video-KYC, insta pre-approved loan, insta Demat account and insurance facility through internet and mobile banking services. PNB’s 127th Foundation Day celebrated on Apr 12, 2021.

• This facility will enable the customers to avail all banking services under one roof, he said, adding, PNB@Ease outlets would boost the bank’s distribution capability and lower the cost of customer acquisition.

• The service can range from savings accounts opening to availing various loans and more, without visiting a branch or help from the bank employees.

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Important Current Affairs 16th April 2021

NATIONAL

Government to set up oxygen plant under PM-CARES

• With hundreds of C-19 patients gasping for breath due to shortage of medical oxygen at hospitals across states, the central government on Thursday formulated a plan under which the PM-Cares Fund would be used to set up medical oxygen manufacturing units at 100 hospitals so that they become self-reliant.

• Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of C-19 patients.

• The decision was taken at a meeting of the central 'Empowered Group-2' on C-19. During the meeting, the group took three key decisions to create short and long-term availability of medical oxygen in the country.

First woman mayor of Bathinda municipal corporation

• Raman Goyal was unanimously appointed as mayor of Bathinda city, Thursday. She is the first woman mayor to head the Bathinda Municipal Corporation. While Ashok Pradhan was appointed senior deputy mayor, Master Harmandar Singh Sidhu’s name was unanimously agreed to for the post of deputy mayor of Bathinda city.

• Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said that new development projects would be undertaken for Bathinda city in coming days under the leadership of Raman Goyal.

• In the recently held civic polls, Congress had won 43 out of 50 wards in Bathinda Municipal Corporation.

“Online Grievance Management Portal” launched

• Union Minister for Communication & IT and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the “Online Grievance Management Portal of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)”.

• NCSC Grievance Management portal would make it easier for Scheduled Castes population of our country to register their complaint from any part of the country.

• The portal shall enable them to file their application and other atrocity and services related grievances online and to get them addressed in a time bound manner.

• NCSC aims to streamline the grievance redressal specially of the Scheduled Caste population through this portal.

• The portal designed in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N), a Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India will facilitate an end-to-end e-filing of complaints and grievances and their tracking.

• Finally, it is intended to make the hearing process work on similar lines as e-courts.

• This portal is linked to the Commission’s website and one can file one’s complaint upon registering on it.

• The facility to upload documents and audio/video files is also available. This would supplement the physical submission of complaints and grievances.

Mental-Health Digital Platform MANAS Launched

• The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups.

• MANAS stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System.

• MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizens.

• The App integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces developed/researched by various national bodies and research institutions.

• It was initiated by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

• It was jointly executed by NIMHANS Bengaluru, AFMC Pune and C-DAC Bengaluru.

• The app must be integrated with the public health schemes like the National Health Mission, Poshan Abhiyan, e-Sanjeevani and others so that it is used widely.

• Catering to the overall wellbeing of people of all age groups, the initial version of MANAS focuses on promoting positive mental health in the age group of 15-35 years.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Launched “e-SANTA”, an Electronic Marketplace For Aqua Farmers

• Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal has inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace, to provide a platform for connecting aqua farmers and buyers. e-SANTA aims to raise income, lifestyle, self-reliance, quality levels, traceability, of aqua farmers.

• e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade-in Aquaculture.

• Here, the term National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority.

• It will act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen.

• The platform will help the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers and enhancing traceability.

• e-SANTA Portal can be accessed through the following link: https://esanta.gov.in/

NITI Aayog launched ‘Poshan Gyan’, a digital repository on health, nutrition

• NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University launched called “Poshan Gyan”, a national digital repository on health and nutrition. The website can be accessed through eh following link: https://poshangyan.niti.gov.in/

• The unique feature of the repository is that it has a crowdsourcing feature that allows anyone to submit communication material for inclusion on the website, followed by a review by a designated committee.

• Poshan Gyan repository enables the search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse languages, media types, target audiences and sources.

• Content for the repository has been sourced from the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Women and Child Development and developmental organizations.

• The website provides an intuitive interface that means multi-parametric search, multiple downloads at a point in time, easy sharing of materials via social media and easy viewing on any type of smartphone.

• The portal will have a dedicated “Theme of the Month” in line with MoHFW and MoWCD guidelines to promote key topics.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Indian space agency, ISRO has signed an agreement

• The Indian space agency, ISRO has signed an agreement with the space agency of France CNES for cooperation in its first human space mission, Gaganyaan. CNES will train Indian flight physicians and CAPCOM mission control teams at French facilities. The Gaganyaan orbital spacecraft project was kicked off in August 2018. It originally intended to send astronauts from Indian soil to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

• CNES will provide equipment developed by it, tested and still operating aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to Indian crews.

• It will also supply fireproof carry bags made in France to shield equipment from shocks and radiation.

• The agreement provides for the CNES to support the implementation of a scientific experiment plan on validation missions, exchange information on food packaging and the nutrition programme, and above all the use by Indian astronauts of French equipment, consumables and medical instruments.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Amazon launched $250-million Venture Fund for Digitizing SMEs in India

• The e-commerce giant Amazon has launched a $250 million (Rs 1,873 crore) venture fund called “Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund”, to invest in Indian startups and entrepreneurs, with a focus on digitizing SMEs. The launch of the Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund aims to attract the best ideas and empower entrepreneurs in the country to partner in this vision.

• Digitisation of small and medium businesses (SME) in India

• Drive innovation in Agri-tech innovations to empower farmer productivity and reach

• Drive innovation in Health-tech to provide universal and quality health care

• As a part of its first investment through the ‘Smbhav’ fund, Amazon invested in Gurugram-based M1xchange which connects SMEs with banks and financiers.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be set up a new Regulations Review Authority

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be set up a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0) from May 1, 2021, to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems and compliance procedures of the central bank for streamlining them and making them more effective. The RRA will be set up for a period of one year unless the timeline is extended by the RBI.

• M Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor, RBI will be the head of the Regulations Review Authority.

• RRA will be tasked with making regulatory and supervisory instructions more effective by removing redundancies and duplications if any.

• It must be noted that prior to this, a similar RRA was set up by RBI on April 1, 1999, for a period of one year to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems, based on the feedback from the public, banks, and financial institutions.

Ashok Leyland incorporates new unit for freight business

• Commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland on Thursday said it along with Hinduja Leyland Finance has incorporated a company to take care of the freight mobility business.

• The company and its subsidiary Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd have jointly incorporated a firm in the name of 'Gro Digital Platforms Limited' on April 14, 2021, Ashok Leyland said in a regulatory filing.

• "'Gro Digital Platforms Ltd (GDPL) is incorporated to carry on the business of freight mobility and associated services relating to fleet-owners," it added.

• The firm, with its registered office in Chennai, is yet to commence operations, Ashok Leyland added.

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