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Important Current Affairs 4th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

UN Sustainable Transport Conference will be held in China

•The second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference will be held from 14-16 October 2021 in Beijing, China. It will provide an opportunity to focus attention on the opportunities, challenges and solutions towards achieving sustainable transport worldwide.

•The conference will follow up on the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference, held in 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and is expected to indicate a way forward for sustainable transport to help achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

China confirmed first human case of H10N3 bird flu

•A 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu, China’s National Health Commission (NHC). The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalised on April 28 after developing a fever and other symptoms. He was diagnosed as having the H10N3 avian influenza virus.

•H10N3 is a low pathogenic, or relatively less severe, the strain of the virus in poultry and the risk of it spreading on a large scale was very low.

First ever Asia-Pacific cybersecurity council launched by Microsoft

•The first Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council has been launched by Microsoft. It consists of policymakers and influencers from Brunei, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The council aims to accelerate public-private partnerships in cybersecurity and share threat intelligence.

•The council will meet virtually on a quarterly basis. As part of the council, government agencies and state leaders will join a forum. The forum includes Microsoft and its cybersecurity industry advisors. Encounter rates for malware and ransomware attacks are higher than average in the case of APAC. APAC means Asia-Pacic (A-sia PAC-ic).

NATIONAL

Wipro touched Rs 3 trillion in market capitalisation for the first time

•Wipro has touched Rs 3 trillion in market capitalisation for the first time, becoming the third Indian IT firm to achieve the milestone after Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys. The company won its largest deal ever from German retailer Metro and has seen deal wins of $7.1 billion. India has a total of 13 listed firms that have crossed the Rs 3 trillion m-cap. Wipro now ranks 14th.

•Reliance Industries is India’s most valued company with a market capitalisation of Rs.14.05 trillion, followed by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and HDFC Bank with an m-cap of Rs.11.58 trillion and Rs.8.33 trillion, respectively.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Amul’s RS Sodhi elected to board of International Dairy Federation

•The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has unanimously elected R S Sodhi, managing director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd or GCMMF that sells Amul branded products in India, to its board during the general assembly held on 1 June. He is alumni of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). He joined GCMMF (Amul) in the year 1982 after completing his post-graduation from IRMA.

•IDF is an international non-governmental, non-profit association and represents the global dairy sector. The federation ensures that right policies, standards, practices and regulations monitor the production of dairy products globally.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 2021: 04 June

•International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed globally on 4th June every year. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to guard the rights of children. This day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the planet who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. The main aim of celebrating today is to spread the notice about the pain and sufferings faced by the victims as children.

•On August 19, 1982, during an emergency session on the question of Palestine, the UN General Assembly, appalled at the amount of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese child victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, decided to commemorate 4 June of every year because of the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

SCO Agreement On Mass Media Cooperation Gets India’s Retrospective Nod

•The Cabinet accorded an ex post facto approval for signing and ratifying an agreement on cooperation in the field of mass media between all member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The agreement aims to promote equal and mutually beneficial cooperation among associations in the field of mass media. The agreement, which was signed in June 2019, would provide an opportunity for the member states to share best practices and new innovations in the field of mass media.

•The main areas of cooperation in the agreement are the creation of favourable conditions for the wide and mutual distribution of information through mass media in order to further deepen the knowledge about the lives of the peoples of their states. The agreement shall promote equal and mutually beneficial cooperation among professional associations of journalists of the states in order to study the available professional experience, as well as to hold meetings, seminars and conferences.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Shaktikanta Das Addressed On RBI Monetary Policy 2021

•The six-member monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das, has decided to keep key lending rates unchanged for the sixth consecutive time, in its June 2021 policy review meeting held between June 2 to 4, 2021.

•The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to continue with an accommodative stance until necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled from August 4 to 6, 2021.

Bharti AXA Life in bancassurance pact with Shivalik Small Finance Bank

•Private life insurer Bharti AXA Life Insurance has entered into a bancassurance partnership with Shivalik Small Finance Bank for the distribution of its life insurance products through the bank’s pan-India network of branches. This alliance is a part of the bank’s various measures towards financial inclusion and acceleration of wealth creation for its customers.

•Bharti AXA Life Insurance will offer its suite of life insurance products, including protection, health, savings and investment plans, to customers of Shivalik Small Finance Bank across its 31 branches and digital network across the country.

•This alliance will enable over 4.5 lakh customers of Shivalik Bank to access the range of products offered by the company to provide financial security.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Isaac Herzog: The New President of Israel

•Veteran Israeli politician, Isaac Herzog, has been elected as the President of the country on June 01, 2021, during the 120 members parliamentary election for 2021.

•60-year-old Herzog will be the 11th President of Israel, assuming office with effect from July 09, 2021. He will succeed Reuven Rivlin, who is set to complete his tenure in July 2021 after seven years in office.

Dr Patrick Amoth Appointed as the Chairman of WHO Executive Board

•Dr Patrick Amoth, the acting Director-General for Health, Ministry of Health of Kenya has been appointed as the Chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board, for a period of one year. The announcement was made during the 149th session of the WHO Executive Board, on June 02, 2021, by the outgoing Chair Dr Harsh Vardhan.

•Mr Amoth replaces Union Health Minister, Government of India, Dr Harsh Vardhan, who completed his tenure as Chairman of WHO Executive Board on June 02, 2021. Dr Vardhan will continue to be a member of the Executive Board of WHO till 2023. The chairman’s post is held on a rotation basis for one year among regional groups.

NATIONAL

Narendra Singh Tomar virtually launched Horticulture Cluster Development Programme

•Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar virtually launched the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP) to ensure holistic growth of horticulture. In a pilot phase, the programme will be implemented in 12 horticulture clusters out of the total 53 clusters selected for the programme. A central sector programme implemented by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, CDP aims at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.

•The programme is designed to leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) has identified 53 horticulture clusters, of which 12 have been selected for the pilot launch of the programme. Based on the learnings from the pilot project, the programme will be scaled up to cover all the identified clusters.

Third edition of the SDG India Index and Dashboard 2020–21 released

•The third edition of the SDG India Index and Dashboard 2020–21 was released by NITI Aayog today. Since its inaugural launch in 2018, the indexhas been comprehensively documenting and rankingthe progress made by States and Union Territories towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Now in its third year, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in the country and has simultaneously fostered competition among the States and Union Territories.

•NITI Aayog ViceChairperson Dr Rajiv Kumar launched the report titled,SDG India Index and Dashboard 2020–21: Partnerships in the Decade of Action, in the presence of Dr Vinod Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, and Ms.Sanyukta Samaddar,Adviser (SDGs), NITI Aayog. Designed and developed by NITI Aayog, the preparation of the index followed extensive consultations with the primary stakeholders—the States and Union Territories; the UN agencies led by United Nations in India;Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), and the key Union Ministries.

XraySetu Launched to Detect C-19 in Rural Population via WhatsApp

•A new AI-driven platform called ‘XraySetu’ has been developed to help in the early detection of C-19, with the help of Chest X-ray. The solution will be beneficial for early detection especially in rural areas, where RT-PCR tests and CT-Scans are not easily available. XraySetu will operate through WhatsApp. It will identify COVID positive patients even from low-resolution Chest X-Ray images sent over Whatsapp-based Chatbot.

•The solution has been developed by ARTPARK (AI & Robotics Technology Park), a not-for-profit foundation established by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, with support from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), GOI, in collaboration with Bangalore based HealthTech startup Niramai and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Bihar to provide 33% reservation for Girls : Nitish Kumar

•Female students in Bihar will get 33% reservation in seats of all engineering and medical colleges in the state, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday announced. He was chairing a meeting via video conferencing where a presentation of proposed draft for the establishment of Bihar Engineering and Medical University. CM Nitish Kumar ordered the officials to implement the 33% reservation of seats for girls in the engineering and medical colleges, at the earliest.

•The reservation will be for the girls who are domicile of Bihar. The state government is already providing 35% reservation for females in all state government jobs. The reservation for girls in the technical colleges will encourage them to take admissions in these colleges and increase the enrolment ratio of girls, the CM said.

SPORTS

ICC Expands Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup to 10 teams to 14 teams

•The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that the Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2027 and 2031, will once again be a 14-team, 54-match tournament. Earlier in the 2019 World Cup, only 10 teams contested, compared to 14 teams in the 2015 World Cup.

•These 14 teams will split into two groups of seven, top three from each group will be progressing to a Super Six stage, followed by semifinals and final. ICC has also decided to expand the men’s T20 World Cup to 20 teams. The tournament will take place every two years from 2024-2030.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Vice-Admiral Ravneet Singh assumed charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff

•Vice-Admiral Ravneet Singh, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), and Nausena Medal (NM) holder assumed charge as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.

•He relieves Vice Admiral MS Pawar, a Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), AVSM, Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) holder, who superannuated on May 31.

Dr Vinay K Nandicoori appointed as Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

•Former IITian, Dr Vinay K Nandicoori, has been appointed as the Director at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, Telangana. He is a well-known molecular biologist, and a scientist at the DBT-National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi.

•Dr Nandicoori’s research interest extensively spans molecular signalling networks in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the micro-organism that causes TB. His research has found national and international relevance and recognition.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Bicycle Day 2021: 3rd June

•United Nations celebrates World Bicycle Day every year on 3rd June to advance the use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development. The day aims to strengthen education for children and young people, preventing disease, promoting health, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace.

•The day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2018. World Bicycle Day is being observed every year to encourage member nations to give particular attention to the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies and to improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. It also aims to promote the bicycle among all members of society.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

WHO named C-19 variants first found in India as ‘Kappa’ and ‘Delta’

•The UN health agency, World Health Organisation (WHO), has given easy-to-say labels to two variants of the C-19, first found in India. The two variants are B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2. The B.1.617.1 variant of the C-19 has been named as ‘Kappa’ while the B1.617.2 variant is named as ‘Delta.’

•The naming of these variants do not aim at replacing the existing scientific names of these #SARSCoV2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) & Interest (VOIs), but is aimed at helping the public discussion about VOI/VOC.

SPORTS

India’s Sanjeet Kumar wins gold medal in Asian Boxing Championship

•India’s pugilist Sanjeet Kumar won a gold medal in the 91 kg weight category at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships.

•Sanjeet pulled off a massive upset as he defeated five-time Asian Championships medallist and Rio Olympic silver medalist Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan in a 3-2 split decision in the final of Asian Championships in Dubai to clinch the gold.

Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson wins 2021 Sixth Man of the Year

•Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson has won the 2020-21 Kia NBA Sixth Man Award for his contributions in a reserve role. This is the first Sixth Man honour for Clarkson, who becomes the first player to win the annual award with the Jazz.

•Clarkson becomes the first player in Jazz franchise history to win the award and was presented the trophy by his teammate and fellow Sixth Man of the Year Finalist Joe Ingles. Clarkson received 65 first-place votes and earned 407 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.

OBITUARY

T.M. Kaliannan, former member of Constituent Assembly, passed away

•T.M. Kalliannan Gounder, the last surviving former member of the Indian Constituent Assembly, died at the age of 101. He served as a Member of the Legislative Council in Tamil Nadu and also as an MLA thrice, between 1952 and 1967. He was reportedly the youngest member in the Constituent Assembly then and also a member of India’s first provisional parliament.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Magma Fincorp appointed Adar Poonawalla as chairman

•Magma Fincorp has appointed Adar Poonawalla as its chairman as part of a management overhaul following the Poonawala-controlled Rising Sun Holdings acquiring a controlling stake in it. Rising Sun invested Rs 3,456 crore in the non-bank lender earlier this month.

•Magma will soon be rebranded as Poonawalla Group company. The lender has also appointed Abhay Bhutada as MD & Vijay Deshwal as CEO.

Justice A.K. Mishra will be the new chairperson of the NHRC

•Former Supreme Court judge Arun Kumar Mishra will be the new chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after a high-powered recommendation committee proposed his name.  The selection panel consisted of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge.

•Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Mahesh Mittal Kumar, and former Director of Intelligence Bureau, Rajiv Jain, had also been recommended by the high-powered panel as members of the NHRC but the official notification is yet to be out until the filing of this report.

IBF appointed Justice (retired) Vikramjit Sen as the chairman

•The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) announced the appointment of former Supreme Court judge Justice Vikramjit Sen as the Chairman of its newly formed self-regulatory body Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC). DMCRC is formed as per the mandate of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The move was done to bring together the broadcasters and OTT (over-the-top) platforms.

Tata Steel’s T.V. Narendran takes over as CII president

•Tata Steel Ltd chief executive officer and managing director, T.V. Narendran has taken over as president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2021-22. He takes over the leadership of the industry body from Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd managing director and chief executive officer Uday Kotak, who has completed his term.

•Narendran, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, has been associated with the CII for many years. He was the chairman of CII eastern region during 2016-17 and has led the industry body’s national committees on leadership and human resources, besides being chairman of CII Jharkhand.

RANKING

Centre for World University Rankings 2021-22 announced

•Centre for World University Rankings 2021-22 has announced, 19,788 institutions were ranked, and those that placed at the top made the global 2000 list. Harvard University has topped the ranking globally followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Cambridge, and Oxford University respectively.

•As many as 68 Indian institutes have made it to the list of the top 2000 higher education institutes across the world, as per the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) 2021-22. The Indian pack is led by the IIM-Ahmedabad which has bagged 415th rank followed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at 459th rank.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI cancelled the licence of Shivajirao Bhosale Sahakari Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Pune-based Shivajirao Bhosale Sahakari Bank. The bank ceases to carry on banking business, with effect from the close of business on May 31. The bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects. As such, it does not comply with the provision of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

•The RBI observed that the bank with its present financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full. The bank was placed under RBI Directions from the close of business on May 4, 2019.

•With the cancellation of licence and commencement of liquidation proceedings, the process of paying the depositors of the bank as per the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC). Act, 1961, will be set in motion. As per the data submitted by the bank, more than 98 per cent of the depositors will receive full amounts of their deposits from DICGC.

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Important Current Affairs 1st June 2021

NATIONAL

Sanjay Dutt received UAE’s Golden Visa

•The UAE government awarded Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt with its Golden Visa. The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency to people with outstanding talents. In 2019, UAE implemented a new system for long-term residence visas enabling foreigners to live, work & study there without the need of a national sponsor & with 100% ownership of their business.

•Sanjay Dutt is the first mainstream to receive the Golden Visa. The visas have a validity of either 5 or 10 years and are renewed automatically.

Government launched YUVA PM Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors

•The Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Education has launched a new initiative called ‘YUVA- Prime Minister’s Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors’. YUVA stands for Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors. It is an Author Mentorship programme to train young and budding authors, below 30 years of age to promote reading, writing and book culture in the country, and project India and Indian writings globally.

•The National Book Trust, India under the Ministry of Education will be the Implementing Agency for the scheme.

•A total of 75 authors will be selected through an All India Contest, that will be conducted through https://www.mygov.in/ from 1 June – 31 July 2021.

•The young winning authors will be trained by eminent authors/mentors.

•A consolidated scholarship of Rs.50,000 per month for a period of six months per author will be paid under the Mentorship Scheme.

NSA Doval commissioned Indian Coast Guard’s ship Sajag

•National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval has commissioned the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Sajag, which has been constructed by Goa Shipyard Limited.

•Sajag is the third in a series of five offshore patrol vessels indigenously designed in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision. The indigenously-built ship is fitted with advanced technology equipment, weapon and sensors capable to carry a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats.

CBSE launched Young Warrior movement to combat C-19

•CBSE launched a nationwide Young Warrior movement to engage 5 million young people to fight against C-19. This movement is expected to impact 50 million people. The Board has launched the movement together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, YuWaah-UNICEF, and a multi-stakeholder consortium of over 950 partners.

•Students and teachers between the ages of 10 and 30 years can join this movement to safeguard themselves, their families, their communities, and the country.

•The movement will comprise a series of easy and real-life tasks with the Young Warriors earning a UNICEF certificate for their participation and completion of tasks.

•The tasks include promoting access to verified health and essential services, vaccine registration, C-19 appropriate behaviours, myth-busting etc.

•These tasks will be hosted in 10 regional languages to protect themselves, their families and their neighbourhood against C-19.

SPORTS

IPL 2021 expected to resume in the UAE in September-October

•The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the IPL 2021 Phase 2 will be held in the UAE during the September-October window.

•In a Special General Meeting chaired by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed to the State units that the tournament will have to be shifted out of India on account of ‘monsoon.’

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh gets additional charge of National Investigation Agency

•Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force, Kuldiep Singh has been given additional charge of Director General of National Investigation Agency, NIA. He will hold the additional post after 31st or this month after the superannuation of Y C Modi.

•The Ministry of Home Affairs assigned the additional charge to Singh, a 1986-batch West Bengal cadre officer, who has been handling the post of CRPF Director General since March 16 this year. He has been appointed as DG, CRPF up to September 30, 2022–the date of his superannuation.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Milk Day 2021: 01st June

•The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations celebrates World Milk Day every year on 01st June to recognize the importance of milk as a global food, and to celebrate the dairy sector. It aims to encourage people to talk about the advantages of dairy with regards to health including nutrition, accessibility and affordability.

•This year, our theme will focus on Sustainability in the dairy sector with messages around the environment, nutrition and socio-economics. In doing so we will re-introduce dairy farming to the world.

Global Day of Parents 2021: 01st June

•United Nations celebrates Global Day of Parents on the 1st of June every year to honour all the parents throughout the world. The Global Day of Parents recognizes the primary responsibility of the family in nurturing and protecting their children. Hence, the day acknowledges the selfless commitment of all parents for their children including their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.

•The Global Day of Parents emphasizes the critical role of parents in the rearing of children. The day was designated by the General Assembly in 2012 to honour all the parents throughout the world.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Salman Rushdie’s New book “Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020”

•A book titled “Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020” authored by Salman Rushdie. In his new book, Rushdie attempts to perform a defensive castling move.

•He suggests his work has been misunderstood and mistreated because the literary culture has turned from brio-filled imaginative writing toward the humbler delights of “autofiction,” as exemplified by the work of Elena Ferrante and Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Indian cricket coach Ravi Shahtri’s Debut Book ‘Stargazing: The Players in My Life’

•Cricket all-rounder, commentator and coach, Ravi Shastri is now making his publishing debut, as he has penned a book titled ‘Stargazing: The Players in My Life’.

•The book is being published by HarperCollins India. It is been co-authored by Ayaz Memon. It is expected to be released on June 25, 2021. In the book, Shastri has written about some 60 extraordinary talents he has met from across the world who have inspired him.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI imposed Rs 10 crore penalty on HDFC Bank for deficiency in its regulatory compliance

•The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a fine of Rs 10 crore on HDFC Bank for deficiencies in regulatory compliance found in the auto loan portfolio of the bank. As per the RBI, HDFC Bank has violated the provisions of section 6(2) and section 8 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

•After receiving a complaint from a whistleblower, RBI conducted an examination in the marketing and sale of third-party non-financial products to the bank’s auto loan customers and found that the bank was in contravention of regulatory directions. RBI has imposed the monetary penalty in the exercise of powers vested by the central bank under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act.

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Important Current Affairs 31st May 2021

NATIONAL

UP government launched Bal-Seva Yojana

•Uttar Pradesh Government also launched Bal-Seva Yojana for the children who lost their parents due to C-19 pandemic.

•Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced a slew of measures for the care for such children and said, the assistance will be provided to the care taker, if none of the parents are alive.

•The State Government will provide financial assistance of Rs. 4,000 per month to such children.

•Government will also provide laptop/Tablet to such children if they are getting education in any school or are doing any professional course.

•Financial assistance of Rs. 1,01,000 will be provided for the marriage of girl children who lost their parents in this pandemic.

IFFCO to launch Nano Urea in the market

•Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) will launch Nano Urea in the market next month.

•500-ml Nano Urea, which costs 240 rupees, is equivalent to 45kg of normal urea. Besides reducing the cost of cultivation, it increases the yield.

•Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said, the Nano Urea will be a game-changer for the farming sector as it is expected to reduce the consumption of normal urea substantially thus saving a huge sum on subsidy and forex. It is also eco-friendly.

Punjab launches 'Udaan' scheme to distribute sanitary pads to women every month

•Punjab Social Minister Aruna Chaudhary on Friday launched the women-empowerment oriented "Udaan Scheme" throughout the state on the occasion of International Menstrual Hygiene Day.

•Under the scheme, sanitary pads will be distributed free of cost to women and girls in need every month within Punjab.

•Addressing the live video conferencing, which was telecasted at 1,500 locations across the state, Chaudhary said the main objective of the scheme is to protect women and girls from menstrual hygiene diseases, spread awareness, improve accessibility to hygiene products, promote a higher standard of living for women, and enhance their self-esteem and ensure disposal of sanitary pads.

 Govt Extends Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme Till Sep 30

•On May 30 the Finance Ministry further expanded the scope of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) amid the economic disruption caused by the second wave of the C-19 pandemic. Effectively this means that the government has expanded the scope of the Rs 3 lakh crore ECLGS to cover loans up to Rs 2 crore for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants at healthcare facilities.

•In a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on May 30, as part of the ‘ECLGS 4.0’, a 100 percent guarantee cover will be extended to loans of up to Rs 2 crore granted to clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and medical colleges for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants. "The interest rate has been capped at 7.5 percent for the same.

C-19: Govt announces additional benefits under EPFO, ESIC schemes

•The Ministry of Labour and Employment on Sunday announced additional benefits for workers through social securities schemes run by the EPFO and the ESIC amid the C-19 pandemic.

•These benefits include pension for dependents of insured persons with Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) who died due to C-19 and hike in maximum sum assured under the group insurance scheme Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI), run by Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), to Rs 7 lakh from Rs 6 lakh.

•"The Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced additional benefits for workers through ESIC and EPFO schemes to address the fear and anxiety of workers about wellbeing of their family members due to increase in incidences of death due to C-19 pandemic,".

PM Modi announced Rs 10 Lakh PM CARES Fund for kids orphaned due to C-19

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a number of welfare measures for children who lost their parents to C-19. All children who have lost either both parents or surviving parents or legal guardians or adoptive parents due to C-19 will be supported under PM-CARES for Children scheme.

•The government has announced the “PM-CARES for Children” scheme under which fixed deposits will be opened in the names of such children from the PM-CARES fund.

•The total corpus of the fund will be Rs 10 lakh for each child.

•This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend when the child reaches 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements.

•Upon reaching the age of 23 years, the child will get the corpus amount as one lump sum for personal and professional use.

SPORTS

Chelsea wins 2020-21 UEFA Champions League

•Chelsea defeated Manchester City 1–0 in the final, to lift the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League title, on May 29, 2021, played at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal.

•German forward Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the football match. This is the second Champions League title for Chelsea, after winning the first won in 2012.

Asian Boxing Championships 2021: Mary Kom Settles with Silver Medal

•Indian pugilist Mary Kom, lost to two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan, to settle for silver medal at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai. The five-time Asian Championships gold medallist Mary Kom was competing in a high-octane 51kg final. This is the second silver for Mary Kom at the Asian Championships who has previously won silver in 2008. Apart from this, she won world championship titles on five occasions including 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2017.

•Meanwhile, Pooja Rani won the gold medal in the 75kg Women’s Middle category final at the Asian Boxing Championships. She defeated Mavluda Movlonova in the gold medal clash.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World No-Tobacco Day 2021: 31 May

•Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

•This year theme of the 2021 WNTD is “Commit to quit.” This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

PSBs to offer loans up to Rs 5 lakh for C-19 treatment

•Public sector banks will now offer unsecured personal loan for C-19 treatment up to Rs 5 lakh to salaried, non-salaried and pensioners, said State Bank of India chairman Dinesh Khara. The rate of interest could be around 8.5 per cent but could differ across banks, he said on Sunday in a virtual press conference. The PSB will be providing this under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). The minimum loan under this will be Rs 25,000.

•The meeting was also attended by IBA Chairman Rajkiran Rai and IBA Chief Executive Officer Sunil Mehta. The joint press conference was held to announce various C-19 support measures by all public sector banks to mitigate the impact of C-19 pandemic.  

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Important Current Affairs 30th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Bashar Al-Assad Re-Elected as Syrian President

•Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected for the fourth straight 7-year term in a landslide victory, winning 95.1 per cent of the total votes cast.

•The 55-year-old Assad is serving as the 19th President of Syria since 17 July 2000. On the eve of the election, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy said the poll was “neither free nor fair”, and Syria’s fragmented opposition has called it a “farce”.

Laurence des Cars becomes the first female president of Musée du Louvre

•Historian Laurence des Cars becomes the first female president of Musée du Louvre, the world’s largest museum in Paris, France in 228 years. She was appointed as the first female president of Musée du Louvre by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

•Laurence des Cars, 54, is currently heading the Musée d’Orsay, the Paris landmark museum which is dedicated to 19th-century art. On September 1, 2021, she will replace the current president, Jean-Luc Martinez, who had been heading the Orsay museum for the past eight years.

US Senate confirmed Wormuth to be the new Army secretary, making her the first woman to hold the post

•Christine Wormuth was confirmed unanimously by the Senate to be the first female secretary of the Army. Wormuth, who led President Joe Biden’s transition team at the Pentagon, got an overwhelmingly warm reception from members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing this month. Her confirmation sets her up as one of the more powerful officials in a defence establishment long dominated by men.

•She is the second woman named to a top Pentagon role by Biden. The deputy secretary of defence is Kathleen Hicks.

Hong Kong woman Tsang Yin-hung fastest ascent of Everest

•Tsang Yin-hung, a Hong Kong-based mountaineer, has created the record of the world’s fastest ascent of Everest by a woman, within the time of just under 26 hours. The 44-year-old Tsang, scaled the 8,848.86-metre (29,031 feet) Everest mountain in a record time of 25 hours and 50 minutes on May 23. It was her third attempt of scaling the Himalayan peak.

•In 2017, Tsang became the first Hong Kong woman to reach the top of the mountain peak. Before this, the record of fastest woman to conquer Everest was held by Nepali Phunjo Jhangmu Lama, who had completed the climb in 39 hours 6 minutes in 2018.

NATIONAL

Tata Digital acquired 64% stake in online grocery BigBasket

•Tata Digital has acquired a majority stake in online grocery BigBasket, a deal that pits the country’s largest conglomerate against entrenched e-commerce players. The digital unit of the salt-to-software group didn’t disclose the financial details of the deal.

•Regulatory filings showed that it has acquired around 64% stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies that owns BigBasket. BigBasket board had approved the deal earlier this week and Tata Digital has infused primary capital of $200 million in the egrocer at a post-money valuation of $2 billion.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

One-year extension for RAW chief Samant Goel, IB head Arvind Kumar

•Research and Analysis Wing chief, Samant Kumar Goel and Intelligence Bureau head Arvind Kumar were given a one-year extension in their services. Goel, a 1984-batch IPS officer from Punjab cadre, would continue to be the Secretary of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for a period one year beyond the presence tenure which ends on June 30.

•Similarly, Kumar, an IPS officer of Assam and Meghalaya cadre, will continue to head the Intelligence Bureau for a period of one year after June 30.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Digestive Health Day 2021: 29 May

•Every year, World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is observed on 29 May. It is organised by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF). Each year the day focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease and/or disorder. The theme of WDHD 2021 is “Obesity: An Ongoing Pandemic.”

•World Digestive Health Day was launched in 2004 to mark the 45th anniversary of the creation of the World Gastroenterology Organisation. The organisation has over 100 member societies and 50,000 individual members all over the world.

International Everest Day 2021: 29th May

•International Everest Day is being observed on 29th May. Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary had climbed Mt. Everest on this day in 1953, as the first humans to achieve the feat. Nepal decided to observe the day as International Everest Day in 2008 when the legendary climber Hillary passed away.

•Everest Day on May 29 every year in memory of the first summit of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on the day in 1953. The day is celebrated with memorial events, processions, and special events in Kathmandu and the Everest region.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Three Indian peacekeepers to be honoured with a prestigious medal

•Corporal Yuvraj Singh, civilian peacekeeper Ivan Michael Picardo, and Moolchand Yadav are among those to be honoured with the UN’s prestigious medal. Corporal Yuvraj Singh was serving at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) while civilian peacekeeper Ivan Michael Picardo was associated with UNAMISS as a civil peacekeeper. Moolchand Yadav was associated with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

•Three Indian peacekeepers, who laid down their lives while serving in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions last year, are among 129 military, police and civilian personnel honoured with a prestigious UN medal awarded posthumously for courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.

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Important Current Affairs 29th May 2021

NATIONAL

Assam’s CM Himanta Sarma Appointed ‘Guardian Ministers’

•Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has appointed ‘Guardian Ministers’ to oversee the implementation of government policy decisions, administrative reforms, and other welfare schemes in all the 34 districts of the state.

•13 ‘Guardian Ministers’ have been appointed for all 34 districts in Assam, for balanced, speedy and sustainable developments of these districts. The assigned ministers will be responsible for the implementation of all centrally-sponsored schemes as well as the state’s own priority programmes.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh launched SeHAT OPD portal

•Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has launched the ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD portal, through video conferencing. The main motive of the portal is to provide telemedicine services to the serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families.

•The portal can be accessed at https://sehatopd.in/, to avail the telemedicine services

•SeHAT OPD portal is the final version with advanced safety features.

•The trial version was launched in August 2020 and more than 6,500 medical consultations have already been carried on the beta version.

TRIFED and NITI AAYOG to partner to implement the Van Dhan Yojana

•TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India), Ministry of Tribal Affairs is set to partner with NITI Aayog for implementation of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK) initiative under Van Dhan Yojna in 39 Tribal Aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog. These include districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Tripura.

•Van Dhan tribal start-ups or VDVK is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.

•Special focus will be on these aspirational districts, where the tribal population is more than 50%.

Aashritha : India’s first woman flight test engineer

•Squadron Leader, Aashritha V Olety is the first and only woman in the IAF qualified for the role, and as a flight test engineer, she will be responsible for evaluating aircraft and airborne systems before their induction into the armed forces.

•Aashritha V Olety, a native of Karnataka, has graduated as part of the 43rd Flight Test Course.

CM of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan launched new Smart Kitchen Scheme

•Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan has announced a secretary-level committee will formulate guidelines and recommendations on implementation of the “Smart Kitchen Scheme” in state to fulfil commitments of the Left Democratic Front (LDF). It aims to account and reduce the workload of women’s domestic labour. Smart Kitchen Scheme will be launched by July 10, 2021.

•Under the scheme, women of state will be given loan to refurbish their kitchen. Loan will be provided with a low-interest rate in instalment schemes. Scheme seeks to reduce workload of women’s domestic labour.

SPORTS

Ashok Kumar will be the only Indian referee to officiate in wrestling in Tokyo Olympics

•Ashok Kumar will be the only referee from the country to officiate in wrestling matches of the Tokyo Olympic Games. He was named in the list of officials released by the United World Wrestling (UWW).

•Ashok, who will officiate in his second consecutive Olympics. He is a UWW referees’ educator as well.

OBITUARY

Author Alka Raghuvanshi Passed Away

•Author And Art Curator Alka Raghuvanshi passed away. She was India’s first trained art curator, having trained at the Goldsmiths College, London and the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford.

•She has curated and designed over 25 major exhibitions many of which travelled to other parts of the country and the world.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2021: 29 May

•The “International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers” is observed on May 29 annually. The day is celebrated to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

•The day was designated by United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2002, and first celebrated in 2003. The 2021 Theme: “The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security.”

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A new book “7 Lessons from Everest – Expedition Learnings from Life and Business” by Aditya Gupta

•Aditya Gupta, a Delhi-based entrepreneur and mountaineer aim to raise Rs 1 crore for COVID-19 relief from the sale proceeds of his recently released book “7 Lessons from Everest – Expedition Learnings from Life and Business”. The coffee-table book, with 350 stunning images spread over 250 pages, is written by Aditya Gupta.

•The book narrates the author’s experience of scaling Mt Everest at the age of 50 in 2019 and shares the virtues of “preparation, passion, perseverance, mental toughness, and resilience”. The proceeds from the book will be given to NGO Child Rights and You (CRY).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank collaborated with NPCI to link its ‘Pockets’ digital wallet to the UPI

•ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a unique facility of linking a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) ID to its digital wallet ’Pockets’, marking a departure from the current practice that demands such IDs be linked with a savings bank account. This initiative enables users to undertake small value everyday transactions directly from their ‘Pockets’ wallet. Further, customers who already have a UPI ID, will get a new ID when they log on to the ‘Pockets’ app.

•This initiative enables users to undertake small value everyday transactions directly from their ‘Pockets’ wallet using UPI in a safe and secure manner. It helps them to streamline the number of transactions being undertaken daily from their savings account and thus de-clutter their savings account statement of multiple entries. Further, it expands the convenient usage of UPI to young adults like college students, who may not have a savings account.

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Important Current Affairs 28th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

First right-wing leader in 14 years in Ecuador

•Guillermo Lasso, a conservative, assumed the presidency of Ecuador and has become the first right-wing leader in 14 years in Ecuador. The 65-year-old former banker beat left-wing economist Andres Arauz in a second-round run-off last month and succeeds the hugely unpopular Lenin Moreno.

•Guillermo Alberto is a banker, businessman, writer and politician who recently became the 47th president of Ecuador. He is the first centre-right president in two decades.

Andy Jassy will be new CEO of Amazon’s

•Andy Jassy will officially become the CEO of Amazon on July 5th, the company announced at a shareholder meeting. Amazon announced that Jassy, who is the current CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), would replace Jeff Bezos as CEO of the entire company in February.

•Bezos will become executive chair of Amazon’s board. Jassy joined the company in the late ’90s and was tasked with exploring what would become AWS around 2003.

NATIONAL

IFSCA constituted an expert committee on Investment Funds

•The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has constituted an expert committee on Investment Funds. The Committee has been formed under the Chairmanship of Nilesh Shah, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co. Ltd. It will holistically review the global best practices and make recommendations to IFSCA on the roadmap for the fund’s industry in the International Financial Service Centres (IFSCs).

•The other members of the Committee comprises of leaders from the entire Fund Management ecosystem including from areas such as technology, distribution, legal, compliance, and operations.

OBITUARY

Freedom fighter HS Doreswamy passed away due to C-19

•Freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, who recently recovered from Covid-19, passed away. He was born in Bengaluru on April 10, 1918, Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy, is known for his participation in the Quit India movement and Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement.

•He was also a familiar figure in civil society movements in Karnataka as he had campaigned to revive lakes in Bengaluru.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Action for Women’s Health 2021: 28 May

•The International Day of Action for Women’s Health (International Women’s Health Day) is observed every year on May 28 since 1987 to raise awareness on the issues related to women’s health and well being. Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (LACWHN) and Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) launched the day.

•Year after year, women, girls, advocates and allies have continued to take action and stand up for sexual and reproductive rights for what they are: an indivisible and inalienable part of our human rights.

World Hunger Day 2021: 28 May

•World Hunger Day is observed globally on 28 May every year. The objective of this day is to raise awareness about more than 820 million people living in chronic hunger worldwide. It is observed since 2011 to not only spread awareness about the malaise of chronic hunger but also to solve hunger and poverty through sustainable undertakings.

•The initiative recognizes the dire need to save nearly a quarter of a billion lives from malnourishment and chronic hunger. The need to provide outreach globally during the pandemic for the distribution of food is seen as paramount to save those who have been vulnerable even in pre-pandemic times.

25th to 31st May 2021: International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories

•The United Nations is observing the International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories from May 25 to 31, 2021. On December 06, 1999, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. In UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

•The observation aims to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories. At present, there are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Indian Scientist C.N.R. Rao Received 2020 International (ENI or Energy Frontier) Award

•Noted Indian scientist and Bharat Ratna Professor, C.N.R. Rao has been felicitated with the International Eni Award 2020 (also called the Energy Frontier award). The International Eni Award is considered to be the Nobel Prize in Energy Research. He has been conferred the prize for his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes and other materials and two-dimensional systems.

•Professor Rao will be presented the Eni Awards 2020 on 14 October 2021, during an official ceremony held at the Quirinal Palace in Rome. The Eni Award is awarded annually by the Italian oil and gas company Eni to encourage better use of energy sources and increased environmental research.

Amartya Sen conferred with the Spain’s top award

•Indian economist and Nobel Laureate, Amartya Kumar Sen has been conferred with the ‘ 2021 Princess of Asturias Award’ by Spain in the social sciences category. Princess of Asturias Awards is annual prizes awarded by the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Spain to individuals, entities or organizations from around the world who make notable achievements in the sciences, humanities, and public affairs.

•The 87-year-old Sen was selected from 41 candidates of 20 nationalities for “His research on famines and his theory of human development, welfare economics and the underlying mechanisms of poverty have contributed to the fight against injustice, inequality, disease and ignorance”. The award comprises a cash prize of 50,000 Euros along with a Joan Miro sculpture representing and symbolising the award, a diploma and insignia.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “Sach Kahun Toh” is the autobiography of Neena Gupta

•Bollywood actor Neena Gupta is all set to launch her autobiography “Sach Kahun Toh”, publisher Penguin Random House India. she wrote the book in 2020 during the lockdown. The book addresses issues like casting couch, film industry politics, and also talks about what it takes for a young actor to survive without a godfather or guide.

•From her time at the National School of Drama (NSD) to moving to Bombay (Mumbai) in the 80s and her single parenthood, the book will share Gupta’s life story in the most “unapologetically honest” manner. “She details the big milestones in her life, her unconventional pregnancy and single parenthood, and successful second innings in Bollywood.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Equitas Small Finance Bank offers online process for NRI account opening

•Equitas Small Finance Bank has now become the first Small Finance Bank to offer its NRI customer segment the ease of account opening online. The company will also be the only one in the Small Finance Bank sector to have Virtual Relationship Managers based on time zones. The online process of account opening for NRIs can be done via smartphone or computer connected to the Internet.

•The applicants will have a span of 90 days to courier documents after account opening. With this pioneering move, Equitas Small Finance Bank is seamlessly increasing opportunities for its NRI account holders to manage their investments, deposits and the income earned in India.

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Important Current Affairs 27th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Cabinet approved a new Consulate General of India in Maldives

•Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, the Maldives in 2021. India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity. Maldives occupies an important place in the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and the ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Government of India.

•The opening of a Consulate General in Addu City will help augment India’s diplomatic presence in the Maldives and make it commensurate with the existing and aspired level of engagement.

NATIONAL

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare chaired 74th World Health Assembly

•Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Chairman of WHO Executive Board, Dr Harsh Vardhan, chaired the 74th World Health Assembly in virtual mode. According to Dr Harsh Vardhan, the executive board has asked for further efforts which can ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX Facility. Director-General of World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros, also participated in the event.

•Board recommended 74th World Health Assembly to consider the report on mental health preparedness and response for the Covid-19 pandemic. It further recommended endorsing updated comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan for 2013 to 2030 and encouraged WHO to work in collaboration with World Organisation for Animal Health and Food & Agriculture Organisation so that source of zoonotic virus can be identified.

SPORTS

Geneva Open tennis- Casper wins Men’s Singles title

•Norway’s Casper Ruud has won the ATP Geneva Open final with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 victory over Denis Shapovalov. Victory in Geneva means the Norwegian world number 21 is going to be among the top 16 seeds in Paris.

• A second career title lifted Ruud’s record to 2-2 in finals, all at clay-court events. The 22-year-old Norwegian’s previous title was at Buenos Aires last year.

Punjab Government finally announced that Mohali international hockey stadium renamed

•The Punjab Government finally announced to rename the Mohali International Hockey Stadium, after triple Olympian and Padma Shri Balbir Singh Sr. The stadium will now be known as Olympian Balbir Singh Senior International Hockey Stadium. The government also announced to start a scholarship scheme in the legend’s name for meritorious hockey players of the state.

•Balbir Singh Sr played an important role in making the Indian hockey team a three-time Olympics champion. No one has been able to break his Olympics final record till date. He scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the final of the 1952 Olympic Games. He also was the manager of the 1975 World Cup-winning Indian team. The Punjab Government had honoured the legendary player with the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award in 2019.

OBITUARY

Ex-Formula One boss Max Mosley passed away at the age of 81

•Max Mosley, the former head of Formula One’s governing body, has died at the age of 81 after suffering from cancer.

•The youngest son of Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British fascist movement in the 1930s. Mosley was a racing driver, team owner and lawyer before becoming president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) in 1993.

U.S. Olympic sprinter Lee Evans passed away

•Lee Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics then went onto a life of humanitarian work in support of social justice.

•Evans became the first man to crack 44 seconds in the 400 meters, winning the gold medal at the Mexico City Games in 43.86.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Congo’s new Prime Minister: Collinet Makosso

•The President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso has appointed Anatole Collinet Makosso as the country’s Prime Minister. He replaced Clement Mouamba, in-office since 2016. Before this appointment, Makosso was the education minister of the Central African country. He was also minister of youth and civic instruction from 2011 to 2016.

•Since 2016, he has held the position of Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in charge of literacy. Mr Collinet Makosso was the deputy campaign manager of candidate Sassou Nguesso during the last presidential election.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India and Israel have inked a three-year joint work programme, till 2023

•India and Israel have inked a three-year joint work programme which will continue till 2023. A joint work programme was initiated with the aim of enhancing cooperation in agriculture. Under the new work programme, 13 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) were set up to make Indian farmers aware of Israeli farm and water technologies.

•A model ecosystem in agriculture called Villages of Excellence (VoE) will also be created across eight states within 75 villages. The new programme will promote the increase in net income and enhance the livelihood of the individual farmer. India and Israel have completed four similar joint work programmes successfully.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

2021 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards: SpiceHealth wins Gold Stevie Award 2021

•SpiceHealth, a healthcare company founded by the promoters of SpiceJet, has won the Gold Award at the 2021 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards for ‘Most Valuable Medical Innovation’ under Covid19. At a time when Covid-19 was at an all-time excessive in India in November 2020, SpiceHealth, beneath the management of Avani Singh, disrupted the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing house by providing checks in cell laboratories at Rs.499, versus the then-present rate of Rs.2,400 in Delhi and helped convey down Covid-19 testing price dramatically throughout the nation.

•The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are the one business awards program to recognise innovation within the workplace in all 29 nations of the Asia-Pacific area. The Stevie Awards are broadly thought about to be the world’s premier business awards, conferring recognition for achievement in applications akin to The International Business Awards for 19 years.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

NPCI partnered with PayCore

•The National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) has partnered with Turkey’s global payment solutions company PayCore as one of the certified partners for RuPay SoftPOS to drive cashless payments across the country. RuPay SoftPOS enables merchants to accept payments securely from contactless cards, mobile wallets, and wearables just with their mobile phones.

•NPCI has authorized the SoftPOS solution developed by PayCore for RuPay. This solution can be integrated into bank or aggregator acquiring systems to enable acquiring of RuPay using mobile phones enabled with NFC capability or add-ons.

•Millions of merchants now can convert their near field communication-enabled (NFC) smartphones into a POS machine to accept contactless payments through RuPay SoftPOS.

Foreign direct investment jumps 19% to $59.64 billion in 2020-21

•Foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country grew 19 per cent to USD 59.64 billion during 2020-21 on account of measures taken by the government on the fronts of policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business. Total FDI, including equity, re-invested earnings and capital, rose 10 per cent to the “highest ever” of USD 81.72 billion during 2020-21 as against USD 74.39 billion in 2019-20.

•In terms of top investor countries, Singapore is at the top with a 29 per cent share. It was followed by the US (23 per cent) and Mauritius (9 per cent) during the last fiscal. FDI equity inflow grew by 19 per cent in 2020-21 (USD 59.64 billion), compared to 2019-20 (USD 49.98 billion).

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Important Current Affairs 26th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

International Monetary Fund proposed a $50 billion global vaccination plan

•The International Monetary Fund has proposed a $50 billion global vaccination plan that would cover at least 40 per cent of the global population by the end of 2021 and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022. The vaccination target requires additional upfront grants to Covax, donating surplus doses and free cross-border flows of raw materials and finished vaccines.

•With strong and coordinated action now and with little in terms of financing relative to the outsized benefits the world can durably exit this unprecedented health and economic crisis, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in her address to the G20 Health Summit.

NATIONAL

CM of Uttarakhand Tirath Singh Rawat declared Vatsalya Yojana for children orphaned due to Corona

•Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has announced Chief Minister Vatsalya Yojana for orphaned children who have lost their parents due to C-19. Under the scheme, the State Government will make arrangements for their maintenance, education and training for employment up to the age of 21 years. The Chief Minister said that such orphaned children of the state will be given a maintenance allowance of 3000 rupees per month.

•The state government will make laws for the paternal property of these orphans in which no one will have the right to sell their paternal property until they are adults. This responsibility will be with the District Magistrate of the concerned district. The Chief Minister also said that the children whose parents have died due to C-19 will be given 5 per cent horizontal reservation in government jobs of the state government.

Maharashtra government launched “Mission Oxygen Self-Reliance” scheme

•Maharashtra government has launched the “Mission Oxygen Self-Reliance” scheme to meet the state’s oxygen needs. Special incentives will be given to oxygen-producing industries under this scheme. At present, the state’s oxygen generation capacity is 1300 MT per day. Units set up in Vidarbha, Marathwada, Dhule, Nandurbar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg regions will be eligible for incentives up to 150 per cent of their eligible fixed capital investments and units set up in the rest of Maharashtra will be eligible for up to 100 per cent general incentives.

•The government will also give a refund on gross SGST, stamp duty, electricity duty and unit subsidy of power cost for five years and interest subsidy for MSME units with a fixed capital investment of up to Rs 50 crore. Only those applying before June 30 will get the benefits of this policy. With these incentives, Maharashtra’s healthcare system is expected to be strengthened by increasing manufacturing and storage for becoming an oxygen self-reliant state soon.

Haryana government launched ‘Sanjeevani Pariyojana’ to treat C-19 patients at home

•Haryana government has launched an anti-C-19 “Sanjeevani Pariyojana”, which will provide supervised and quick medical care at home for people, with mild to moderate symptoms of C-19, residing in rural areas. This Pariyojana has been launched to extend medical care in rural areas where awareness regarding the second wave of C-19 and related treatment remains low. It is an important step of bringing medical care for the people who need it most and when they need it most.

•The scope of medical advice will be expanded beyond qualified doctors as it will mobilize 200 final year and pre-final year medical students and interns by connecting them to consultants and experts.

143 Khelo India centres to be opened in seven states

•The Sports Ministry has given its approval to open 143 Khelo India Centres across seven states in the country with a total budget estimate of Rs 14.30 crore. The states include Maharashtra, Mizoram, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. These Khelo India Centres will be entrusted with one sports discipline each. The financial assistance will be used for remuneration of the past-champion athletes as coach, support staff, purchase of equipment, sports kits, consumables, participation in competition and events.

•The Khelo India Centres have been launched by the Sports Ministry in partnership with the State Governments to ensure the availability of grassroot-level sports infrastructure across the country. Thirty six Khelo India Centres will be opened in Maharashtra, 52 centres in Arunachal Pradesh, two centres in Mizoram, 31 centres in Karnataka, 16 centres in Manipur, four in Madhya Pradesh and two centres in Goa. In June last year, the Sports Ministry had planned to open up as many as one thousand new Khelo India Centres over a period of four years, with at least one centre in each district of the country. 217 Khelo India Centres had already been opened across several states.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA send its first mobile robot to search for water on the moon

•The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration is planning to search for water and other resources on the moon in 2023. The US agency, as part of its Artemis program, is planning to send its first mobile robot to the Moon in late 2023 in search of ice and other resources on and below the lunar surface. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER will collect data that would help NASA map resources at the lunar South Pole that could one day be harvested for long-term human exploration at the Moon.

•The data received from VIPER has the potential to aid our scientists in determining precise locations and concentrations of ice on the Moon and will help us evaluate the environment and potential resources at the lunar south pole in preparation for Artemis astronauts.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Jagjit Pavadia elected President of International Narcotics Control Board

•Jagjit Pavadia, former Narcotics Commissioner of India and a retired officer of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs), has been elected president of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). She is the first Indian to be heading the Vienna-based organization and the second woman to hold this office.

•The INCB is a quasi-judicial body responsible for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control convention. It monitors the compliance of UN member states with the three international drug control conventions and the functioning of the international drug control system. The INCB also helps governments in access to controlled drugs during emergency situations.

Anvee Bhutani Elected Union President of Oxford India Society

•An Indian-origin Human Sciences student from Magdalen College at the University of Oxford has been declared the winner at the end of a Student Union (SU) byelection.

•Anvee Bhutani, Co-Chair Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE) at Oxford SU and President of the Oxford India Society, was in the fray for the by-election for the 2021-22 academic years, which attracted a record turnout.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Indian Commonwealth Day 2021: 24th May

•Commonwealth Day is celebrated on the second Monday in the month of March every year. However, in India, another Commonwealth Day is also celebrated on May 24. Also known as Empire Day, Commonwealth Day commemorates the formation of the British Empire in India and other colonies of Britain.

•This year the theme for Commonwealth Day is: Delivering a Common Future. The aim of this theme is to highlight how the 54 Commonwealth countries are innovating, connecting and transforming to help achieve essential goals like tackling climate change, promoting good governance, achieving gender equality.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Mahindra rural housing finance ties up with India Post Payments Bank

•Mahindra Rural customers can now repay loans at over 136,000 post offices. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and Mahindra Rural Housing Finance Limited (MRHFL), a subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Ltd has announced on Monday (May 24, 2021) a strategic partnership for cash management solution. As part of the tie-up, IPPB will be offering cash management and collection services to MRHFL through its access points and postal service providers.

•The tie-up for cash management solution is a significant partnership in the financial services sector, and is aimed at customer inclusivity by both the partners. IPPB’s large national network combined with its simple, scalable and replicable technology framework has facilitated the deployment of cash management solution to meet the requirements of MRHFL.

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