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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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Important Current Affairs 15th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

3400-year-old ‘Lost golden city of Luxor’ discovered by archaeologists in Egypt

• ‘Lost golden city of Luxor’ discovered by archaeologists in Egypt. The 3400-year-old royal city was built by Amenhotep III, abandoned by his heretic son, Akhenaten, and contains stunningly preserved remains.

• Egyptologist Betsy Bryan has called the discovery ‘the second most important one since the tomb of Tutankhamun’. Akhenaten, who left the ‘golden city’ for a new capital at Amarna, encouraged a startlingly different style of Egyptian art. Here he is shown with his wife, Nefertiti, and three daughters.

NATIONAL

Defence Minister inaugurated IAF Commanders’ Conference 2021 in New Delhi

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the First bi-annual Indian Air Force, IAF Commanders’ Conference 2021 at Air Headquarters Vayu Bhawan in New Delhi. The conference is attended by the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of all Commands of IAF, all Principal Staff Officers and all Director Generals posted at Air Headquarters.

• The conference of apex level leadership is aimed at addressing the issues of IAF’s operational capabilities in the times to come.

• A series of discussions would be conducted over a period of three days to address strategies and policies related to capabilities that would give IAF a significant edge over its adversaries.

• Various welfare and Human Resource measures to improve HR and administrative efficiency will also be discussed. The Conference provides a forum to the senior leadership of the IAF to discuss critical issues pertaining to Operations, Maintenance and Administration.

“To Honour” BR Ambedkar, Indian-American Congressman Introduces Resolution

• In the US House of Representatives, an Indian-American Congressman has introduced a resolution for a second consecutive year to honour Bhimrao Ambedkar, the architect of India’s Constitution on his 130th birth anniversary.

• Indian-American Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna said “Today, I’m reintroducing my resolution to honour B R Ambedkar, in the hopes that young leaders around the world will read his work and be inspired by his vision for equalitu.”

Maharashtra gets India’s first Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU)

• First Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) of India has arrived at H-Energy’s Jaigarh Terminal in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, on the west coast of India. FSRU based LNG Terminals aim at providing the ability to enhance the pace of natural gas import capability in an environment-friendly and efficient manner”. The port is the first deepwater, 24×7 operational private port in Maharashtra.

• Höegh Giant will deliver regasified LNG to the 56-km long Jaigarh-Dabhol natural gas pipeline, connecting the LNG terminal to the national gas grid. The facility will also deliver LNG through truck loading facilities for onshore distribution, the facility is also capable to reload LNG onto small-scale LNG vessels for bunkering services.

SPORTS

Babar Azam becames No. 1 ODI batsman

• Pakistan captain Babar Azam is now the No.1-ranked ODI batsman, ending India captain Virat Kohli's long reign at the top of the charts. Babar's match-winning 82-ball 94 in the third ODI against South Africa helped him gain 13 rating points to reach career-best 865 points.

• Azam made a total of 228 runs in Pakistan's famous series win against South Africa, including a century in the first match in Centurion. That helped him move ahead of Kohli - who has been No. 1 since displacing AB de Villiers in October 2017 - by a point, but he dropped to 852 after his score of 31 in the second ODI and remained at No. 2 by the time of the last weekly rankings update.

Kane Williamson awarded Sir Richard Hadlee medal

• New Zealand star cricketer Kane Williamson was recently awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee medal. It was his 4th Sir Richard Hadlee award in 6 years. He had a great test season. He scored 251 against West Indies followed by a century on the boxing day. Williamson’s staggering performance against Pakistan helped New Zealand book a place in the ICC World Test Championship final. He captained the team to 17 wins out of 20 resulting in victory in all 7 series.

• On the other hand, the Women’s team all-rounder Amelia Kerr was also honoured along with the upcoming star Devon Conway at the New Zealand Cricket Awards for the 2020-21 season. Meanwhile, Devon Conway was awarded the Men’s Player of the year award in both ODIs and T20s.

• Whereas the 21-year old Fin Allen was honoured with the Super Smash player of the year award for his staggering strike rate of 193.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has won the ICC Player of the Month award

• India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has won the ICC Player of the Month award for his superlative show in the recent limited over series against England in March. Bhuvneshwar became the third successive Indian recipient of the award since its inception early this year.

• The 31-year-old Indian took six wickets with an economy rate of 4.65 in the three ODIs while capturing four wickets with a fantastic economy rate of 6.38 in the five T20Is to emerge as the standout bowler on either side in the white ball series.

OBITUARY

Eminent Historian Yogesh Praveen passed away

• Eminent Historian and an expert on Awadh especially Lucknow Yogesh Praveen. Through his books and articles, he enabled the public to know about the rich heritage and culture of Avadh.

• He was awarded Padma Shri in 2019. The titles of his books like ‘Dastan-e-Avadh’, ‘Tajdare-Avadh’, ‘Bahar-e-Avadh’, ‘Gulistan-e-Avadh’, ‘Doobta Avadh’, ‘Dastan-e-Luknow’ and ‘Aapka Lucknow’ tell a long-lasting affair he had with the city.

Hockey Player Balbir Singh Junior passed away

• Balbir Singh Junior, who was a member of the silver medal-winning 1958 Asian Games Indian hockey team passed away.

• In 1962, he joined the Army as an emergency commissioned officer. He played for the Services hockey team in the national tournaments at Delhi. Singh retired as a Major in 1984 and later settled in Chandigarh.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Siddharth Longjam take over as the National Anti-Doping Agency’s Director-General

• IAS officer, Siddharth Singh Longjam will take over as the National Anti-Doping Agency’s Director-General. Longjam is currently serving as joint secretary in the sports ministry and is also the CEO of the currently suspended National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL).

• He will replace Navin Agarwal who listed the creation of Athletes Biological Passport (ABP) for around 60 elite Indian sportspersons as one of the highlights of his tenure.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Spanish city of Seville will host the 22nd Laureus World Sports Awards in a virtual ceremony

• The Spanish city of Seville will host the 22nd Laureus World Sports Awards in a virtual ceremony owing to the raging C-19 pandemic. The awards show, featuring presentations and related news stories will be available to the world’s media and broadcast extensively on Laureus social media platforms. The winners of Laureus World Sports Awards are selected by a jury comprising 69 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. The last was in Barcelona in 2007, which is a long time.

• Among the many big names who have had a year to remember and who will be in contention for the awards are Rafael Nadal, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James, Robert Lewandowski (Sportsman), Naomi Osaka, Federica Brignone (Sportswoman).

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Important Current Affairs 14th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Sanskrit learning app ‘Little Guru’ has launched in Bangladesh

• A Sanskrit learning app ‘Little Guru’ has launched in Bangladesh by the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre of the High Commission of India. The Sanskrit learning app is part of the campaign being run by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations to promote the Sanskrit language among students, religious scholars, Indologists and historians across the world.

• The Sanskrit learning app ‘Little Guru’ is based on an interactive platform that will make Sanskrit learning easy, entertaining and fun.

• This app will help people who are already learning Sanskrit or those who are desirous to learn Sanskrit to do so in an easy manner based on games, competition, rewards, peer to peer interactions, etc.

• This App combines education with entertainment, said a press release issued by the High Commission of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 2021 “Raisina Dialogue”

• Prime Minister Modi has inaugurated the 2021 “Raisina Dialogue”, through video-conferencing. The Raisina Dialogue 2021 is the sixth edition of the annual dialogue, organised from April 13 to 16, 2021, in full digital form for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Raisina Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics, organised annually since 2016.

• The theme for the 2021 conference is “#ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.

• The four-day dialogue is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the think-tank Observer Research Foundation.

• President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen joined the Inaugural Session as Chief Guests.

• The event will have a total of 50 sessions. Around 150 speakers from 50 countries and multilateral organizations are participating in the dialogue.

• The Raisina Dialogue is one of the leading global conferences on international affairs. It brings together leading minds from the global strategic and policy-making community to discuss broader foreign policy and strategic issues facing the world.

NATIONAL

Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam issues India’s first municipal green bonds

• Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam has announced successfully raising and listing India’s first Green Municipal bond issue. GNN raised ₹150 crores at a cost of 8.1 per cent.

• Money will be used to clean up dirty water by setting up a tertiary water treatment plant and supply piped water through water meters to places like Sahibabad. Ghaziabad is debt-free and has maintained a revenue surplus position in the last few years, according to India Ratings.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Poonam Gupta the new director-general of NCAER

• Poonam Gupta will be the new director-general of the policy think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). Gupta will succeed the current head of the think tank, Shekhar Shah, to become the first woman to hold the post. Currently, Gupta is the lead economist at the World Bank in Washington DC.

• Prior to joining the World Bank in 2013, she was the Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and a professor of macroeconomics at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Chagas Disease Day is observed on 14 April Every year

• The World Chagas Disease Day is observed on 14 April to raise public awareness and visibility among people about Chagas Disease (also called American trypanosomiasis or silent or silenced disease) and the resources needed for the prevention, control or elimination of the disease. The World Health Organization approved the designation of Chagas Disease Day on May 24, 2019, at the 72nd World Health Assembly. It is one of 11 official global public health campaigns marked by WHO.

• The first World Chagas Disease Day was observed on 14 April 2020. The day has been named after Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, the Brazilian doctor who diagnosed the first case on 14 April 1909.

Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti is observed on 14 April Every year

• Ambedkar Jayanti (or Bhim Jayanti) is an annual festival observed on 14 April to commemorate the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar who was born on 14 April 1891. The Day has been observed as an official public holiday throughout India since 2015. In 2021, we are marking the 130th birth anniversary of Babasaheb.

• Dr Ambedkar is known as the Father (chief architect) of the Indian Constitution. He was the first Law and Justice Minister of the country after the independence. Dr Bhim has been bestowed with the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in 1990 posthumously.

International Turban Day is observed on 13 April Every year

• International Turban Day is celebrated every year on April 13 since 2004 to bring awareness of the strict requirement on Sikhs to put the turban as a mandatory part of their religion.

• The 2021 Turban Day marks the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and the festival of Baisakhi. The turban, also known as “dastar” or “pagri” or “pag” refer to the garment worn by both men and some women to cover their heads.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards, 2020 in New Delhi

• The Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank recently presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards, 2020 in New Delhi. The awards were presented based on the theme “Women Empowerment”. The winners were selected by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) in six sub-themes.

• SWEAT (Sona Women Entrepreneurship and Training) from Sona College of Technology, Tamil Nadu won the award under the ‘Women Entrepreneurship’ sub theme.

• Another college from Tamil Nadu, Paritrana from St. Joseph’s College of Engineering won the award for the ‘Self Defense’ sub theme.

• Under the ‘Literacy’ sub theme, Bharatiya Vidyapeeth of the Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Development Pune won the award.

• The Lilavati Award under the “Women’s Health” sub theme was won by the WIT Women Health Coalition from Walchand Institute of Technology, Maharashtra.

• Radiant Seetha from Thiagarajar Polytechnic College won the contest in the ‘Legal Awareness’ sub theme.

• Under the ‘Sanitation & Hygiene’ sub-theme, Smt. Kishoritai Bhoyar College of Pharmacy, Nagpur, Maharashtra won the award.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Axis Bank became co-promoter of Max Life Insurance Company Limited

• Axis Bank Ltd informed it has become co-promoters of Max Life Insurance Company Limited, after completion of the acquisition of 12.99% stake collectively by the Axis Entities in the company. Axis Bank and its two subsidiaries Axis Capital Limited and Axis Securities Limited will collectively own a 12.99% stake in Max Life after the consummation of the deal.

• The Axis Entities have a right to acquire an additional stake of up to 7% in Max Life, in one or more tranches, subject to regulatory approvals. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India gave its formal approval in February of 2021.

Bharti AXA Life and Fincare Small Finance Bank join hands for bancassurance partnership

• Bharti Axa Life and Fincare Small Finance Bank have joined hands for a bancassurance partnership under which the bank will sell insurance policies to its customers. This alliance will make life insurance solutions reachable to over 26.5 lakhs customers of Fincare Small Finance Bank and provide financial security to them.

• Under the partnership, Bharti AXA Life Insurance will offer its comprehensive suite of life insurance products, including protection, savings and investment plans, to the customers of Fincare Small Finance Bank across its 747 branches and digital network presence across the country.

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Important Current Affairs 13th April 2021

NATIONAL

Odisha Chief Minister has launched a 14-day “Mask Abhiyan”

• Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a 14-day “Mask Abhiyan” as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in view of rising cases and urged people to strictly follow the safety guidelines. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought their cooperation in turning the use of mask into a habit to tackle the current resurgence of the virus. Bringing an amendment to the Odisha Covid-19 Regulations under the Epidemic Diseases Act-1897.

• In order to ensure that the 14 days mask Abhiyan gives results, the state government yesterday enhanced the fines for the violators from 1,000 rupees to 2000 rupees. Meanwhile, the state’s covid-19 active caseload mounted further to about 6000 with the detection of 1282 fresh cases yesterday, even as the state surpassed a milestone in administering more than 40 lakh vaccine doses as of date.

OBITUARY

Legendary actor Satish Kaul passes away

• Legendary actor Satish Kaul, who had 300 Punjabi and Hindi films to his credit and played the role of Lord Indra in the TV show Mahabharat, passed away.

• The actor began his career in the early ’70s, juggling between Hindi and Punjabi films. While his popular Bollywood films include Ram Lakhan, Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha and Aunty No 1 etc.

Renowned shooting coach Sanjay Chakravarty Passes away

• Legendary shooting coach Sanjay Chakravarty passed away due to C-19.

• The Dronacharya awardee had trained some of the finest Indian shooters including Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur, Deepali Deshpande, Anuja Jung and Ayonika Paul.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Punjab appoints Sonu Sood as state’s C-19 vaccination ambassador

• Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has been made the brand ambassador for Punjab’s anti-coronavirus vaccination programme. During the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year, the actor had helped migrants reach their home states.

• Sood catapulted to the national spotlight for feeding thousands of underprivileged people amid the C-19 pandemic. During his meeting with Punjab Chief Minister, the actor presented his book ‘I am no Messiah’, which he said captures the experiences of his journey from Moga to Mumbai.

Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra named as next CEC of India

• The incumbent Election Commissioner (EC) Sushil Chandra has been named to become the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He will assume charge with effect from April 13, 2021. He will replace incumbent CEC, Sunil Arora, who will retire on April 12, 2021.

• The Election Commission of India consists of three members, namely Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The two ECs are Rajiv Kumar and Sushil Chandra.

IMPORTANT DAYS

102 years of Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar Massacre

• The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919. This year we commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the terror that shook the entire country to a standstill. The Jallianwalabagh garden has been converted into a memorial. And thousands of people on this day come to pay their respects to the martyred men, women, who were killed on that fateful day for the nation.

• Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered troops of the British Indian Army to fire their rifles into a crowd of unarmed Indian civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. General Dyer, the British India army officer, felt the people gathering for such a cause was anti-national. He ordered the 50 of his troops consisting of Sikh, Gurkha, Baluchi, and Rajput to open fire on the unarmed men and women. The resulting figures would make you go numb as 379 men and women were killed for no fault of theirs and 1100 injured.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Filmmaker Guneet Monga conferred with Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters honour

• Acclaimed filmmaker, Guneet Monga to be conferred with honour of the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). It is the second-highest civilian French honour and has earlier been awarded to big Hollywood names like Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bruce Willis.

• As a producer, Guneet has several critically acclaimed films to her credit. The list includes Masaan, Lunchbox, Haraamkhor, Peddlers; Oscar-winning short film documentary — Period, End of Sentence, among others.

• Earlier, Indian celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin, among others, have been felicitated with the honour.

Indian Business Tycoon Yusuffali MA Gets Top Civilian Award In UAE

• Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has honoured Indian-origin businessman Yusuffali MA and 11 other individuals with Abu Dhabi’s top civilian award for their noble and charitable contributions to the community. The prestigious award was given to Mr Yusuffali, who was born in Kerala, for his outstanding contribution to Abu Dhabi’s business, industry and support to various philanthropic initiatives.

• Mr Yusuffali, the Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group which operates hypermarkets and retail companies in many countries, was honoured on Friday by the Crown Prince.

• The individuals were honoured for a wide range of contributions, including efforts in the healthcare field, community service and volunteering, humanitarian work, as well as culture, heritage and environmental preservation. The awards, which were given at the 10th edition of the Abu Dhabi Awards held at Qasr Al Hosn, a historical landmark and the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi, celebrate compassionate individuals who have selflessly devoted their time and effort to spreading goodness and serving the community.

RANKING

Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020 published and released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy

• The 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc Bangalore) has secured the top position among the best higher education institutes in India, while Calcutta University became the best varsity in the country, as per the published Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU 2020).

• The Indian institutes are not even in the top 100 list, the best higher education institute, (IISc Bangalore) is in the category of 501- 600.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Nomura has revised India’s GDP forecast to 12.6% in FY22

• The Japanese brokerage company Nomura has revised the GDP forecast of India in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) to 12.6 per cent from the previous estimate of 13.5 per cent, amid rising coronavirus cases and higher inflation.

• Nomura has pegged the calendar year GDP growth at 11.5 per cent, a decline from 12.4 per cent estimated earlier.

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Important Current Affairs 12th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Bangladesh : International flight suspension

• The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on Sunday decided to suspend international flights for one week starting from April 14 with the commencement of the hard-lockdown in the country to contain the spread of Covid-19.

• However, no restriction will be imposed on the movement of chartered flights, cargo flights and special flights carrying high commissioners of different countries and foreign nationals, CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said.

Singapore: Becomes first country to ratify mega free trade agreement ‘RCEP’

• Singapore ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the world’s largest free trade agreement, led by China. In doing so, Singapore became the first among 15 participating countries to ratify RCEP.

• The RCEP must first be ratified by at least six ASEAN and three non-ASEAN member states to come into effect. Once implemented, RCEP would be the world’s largest free trade agreement, covering around one-third of the world’s population and about 30% of the world’s economy.

NATIONAL

Supreme Court:  Persons above Eighteen years are free to choose religion

• The Supreme Court ruled on April 9, 2021 that people above the age of Eighteen years are free to choose their religion. The ruling was delivered by an SC bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy.

• The bench gave the direction while refusing to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Centre and states to control black magic and religious conversion.

• The bench came down heaving on the counsel of petitioner, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayana, demanding, "What kind of writ petition is this under Article 32. We will impose a heavy cost on you. You argue on your own risk."

Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs inaugurated Khelo India State Centre of Excellence in Srinagar

• Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) for Rowing discipline at the Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council Water Sports Academy at the Nehru Park in the world-famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. This is one of the two KISCEs from Jammu & Kashmir. The other being the Maulana Azad Stadium for Fencing discipline in Jammu.

• There are currently 24 KISCEs across 23 States and Union Territories and each of them focuses on Olympics sports discipline. This is an ongoing endeavour to scale up existing centres from the States and Union Territories to the world standard level keeping in mind the big picture of getting India to excel at the Olympics.

Kerala’s High Court adoption guidelines

• The Kerala High Court on 10 April 2021 held that a child born to a couple in a live-in relationship will be treated as a child born to a married couple for the purpose of the Juvenile Justice Act and Adoption Guidelines.

• Therefore for surrendering a child for adoption, live-in couples to be treated as married couples.

Centre Government to start construction ravi canal

• Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh on 10 Apr'21 laid the foundation stone for the work of ‘construction of balance portion of Ravi Canal’ of Shahpur Kandi Dam Project at Basantpur,Kathua, Jammu.

• The project has been inaugurated after a gap of 60 yrs since Indus water treaty came into being.

• The project aims to utilize full water of Ravi river in Indian territory.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Human Space Flight Celebrated globally on 12 April Every Year

• The International Day of Human Space Flight is observed globally on April 12 every year. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution on April 7, 2011, had declared April 12 to be celebrated as International Day of Human Space Flight.

• On 12 April 1961, was the date of the 1st human space flight was carried out by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, who became the first person to journey into outer space. This historic incident opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all mankind. 12 April was also the date of the 1st Space Shuttle STS-1 of Columbia launched in 1981, which is also commemorated on this date.

World Parkinson’s Day Celebrated on 11 April Every Year

• Every year, April 11 is observed as World Parkinson’s Day to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, which is a progressive nervous system disorder.

• The day marks the birthday of Dr James Parkinson from London, who was the first person to systematically described the six individuals with the symptoms of Parkinson Disease.

National Safe Motherhood Day observed on 11 April

• National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on April 11 every year. National Safe Motherhood Day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI), to enforce that women must have availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy childbirth and postnatal services. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of the father of Nation Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi.

• At the request of WRAI, an alliance of 1800 organizations, in 2003, the Government of India declared April 11th, the anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi’s birth, as National Safe Motherhood Day. India is the 1st country in the world to have socially declared a National Safe Motherhood Day.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India-Netherlands Virtual Summit 2021

• Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr Mark Rutte, held a Virtual Summit. During the India- Netherlands virtual Summit, the two leaders reviewed the existing bilateral engagements and also exchanged views on further expanding and diversifying the relationship in trade and economy, water management, agriculture sector, smart cities, science & technology, healthcare and space.

• Apart from this the two Prime Ministers also agreed on instituting a ‘Strategic Partnership on Water’ to further deepen the Indo-Dutch cooperation in the water-related sector and upgrading the Joint Working Group on the water to Ministerial-level.

• They also exchanged views on regional and global challenges such as climate change, counter-terrorism and the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to leverage the emerging convergences in new areas like Indo-Pacific, Resilient Supply Chains and Global Digital Governance.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

BAFTA Awards 2021: Nomadland, Frances McDormand, Sir Anthony Hopkins wins big

• The 74th edition of the British Academy Film Awards- BAFTA 2021 was held at Royal Albert Hall in London with nominees attending the awards virtually.

• However, that was not the only unconventional part of this year’s award as, amid the pandemic, the ceremony of the prestigious BAFTA took place in over two days.

• The opening night ceremony was on April 10, 2021, during which the winners of the technical categories were announced while the remaining major awards were announced on April 11, 2021.

• India’s Netflix Film, The White Tiger, which was nominated for Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay lost to Sir Anthony Hopkins's ‘The Father’. Nomadland, the US road movie, won big and bagged four major awards including Best Actress, Best Film, and Best Director.

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Important Current Affairs 11th April 2021

NATIONAL

Lieutenant Colonel Bharat Pannu Breaks two Guinness World Records

• Indian Army’s Lieutenant Colonel, Bharat Pannu has earned two Guinness World Records for his fastest solo cycling feats from October 2020. The first record was created when Lt Col Pannu cycled from Leh to Manali (472 km distance) on October 10, 2020, in just 35 hours and 25 minutes.

• Lt Col Pannu created a second record when he cycled the 5,942-km-long ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ route, which connects Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, in 14 days, 23 hours and 52 minutes.

Tika Utsav/ Vaccine Festival: C-19 Vaccination Drive

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently appealed to the Chief Ministers of the States to organise “Tika Utsav”. Tika Utsav is a vaccine festival. It is to be held between April 11, 2021, and April 14, 2021. The main objective of the festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible. It will also focus on zero wastage of the COVID-19 vaccine.

• Currently, three states are receiving a maximum number of COVID-19 doses. They are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

• COVAXIN and COVISHIELD are the two major COVID-19 vaccines that are currently administered in India.

• So far, India has shipped 64 million doses of vaccines to 84 countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The major recipient countries of the Indian COVID-19 vaccines are Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.

• The GoI has planned to cover 250 million people included in the “high priority” category by July 2021 under its vaccination programme.

Union Health Minister launched Integrated Health Information Portal

• The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan virtually launched the Integrated Health Information Platform- IHIP.

• During the launch, the minister stated that this day will always be remembered as it marks a milestone in the history of disease surveillance.

• He added that we have started a new chapter in public health trajectory. India has become the first country to adopt such an advanced disease surveillance system.

• While terming IHIP as the biggest online disease surveillance platform in the world, the Union Minister informed that it is in sync with the National Digital Health Mission. It is also fully compatible with the other digital information systems that are currently being used in India.

Centre has approved 28 projects in Uttarakhand

• The Centre has approved 28 highway projects worth Rs 1,210.17 crore in Uttarakhand, union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

• These projects are for building 231.04 kms of highways.

• These include strengthening work of National Highway-309B on EPC (engineering, construction and procurement) mode in Uttarakhand under State Public Works Department (PWD) with a budget of Rs 48.19 crore.

SPORTS

Tokyo Olympics 2021: Four Indian sailors qualify

• Four Indian sailors, in a historic first for the country, have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The pair of Ganapathy Chengappa, Varun Thakkar, and Vishnu Saravanan made the cut during an ongoing Asian Qualifiers in Oman on April 8, 2021.

• This was after Nethra Kumanan on April 7 became the first Indian woman sailor for qualifying for the Olympics in the laser radial event in Mussanah Open Championship. It is an Asian Olympic Qualifying event.

• It will also be the first time that India will be competing in three sailing events in the Olympics. So far, the country had competed in only one event in all the earlier Olympic games though two Indian sailors had represented the country on four occasions.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou as New Prime Minister of Niger

• Niger President Mohamed Bazoum appointed Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou to head his new cabinet as the country’s new prime minister.

• He was previously served as a minister in charge of the finance and mining portfolios. He was the chief of staff to former President Mahamadou Issoufou between 2015 and 2021. He was sworn as Niger’s first democratic transition of power since independence in 1960.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

SAG Awards 2021: ‘The Crown’, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ win top honours

• The winners of the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards have been announced. The award ceremony aired on April 4, 2021, honouring excellence across TV and films.

• The starry cast of ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, a 1960s courtroom drama, bagged the top prize. At the virtual award ceremony, the actors of color, for the very first time, won the individual movie awards.

• All the main acting awards went to a group of actors of color. It includes Chadwick Boseman for the Best Male Actor, Viola Davis for the Best Female Actor, Yun-Jung Youn for Best Female Supporting Actor, and Daniel Kaluuya for Best Male Supporting Actor.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SBI MF becomes first mutual fund company to cross Rs 5 lakh crore AAUM

• SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd has informed that it has become the first mutual fund house in India to cross the Rs. 5 lakh crore average assets under management (AAUM) mark. SBI MF has seen a growth of 35% during the financial year 2020-21, with its average AUM increasing from Rs 3.73 lakh crore to Rs 5.04 lakh crore.

• The company, which is a joint venture between India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, and Europe’s largest asset manager, Amundi. The fund house’s SIP book has increased to ₹1,382 crores from ₹1,180 crores over the last year recording a growth of 17%.

RBI enhances temporary liquidity limit for states, UTs by around 46%

• The Reserve Financial institution of India has enhanced the momentary liquidity restrict for states and union territories by about 46% to assist them tide over their money movement mismatches.

• The revision of the restrict was really helpful by an advisory panel fashioned by the central financial institution to assessment the matter.

• The restrict was final enhanced in February 2016 beneath the methods and means advance (WMA) mechanism.

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Important Current Affairs 10th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India gifted Rs 100 crore patrol vessel “PS Zoroaster” to Seychelles

• India formally handed over Rs 100 crore patrol vessel “PS Zoroaster” to Seychelles during the virtual summit between Indian PM Narendra Modi and Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan. The PS Zoroaster is the fourth made-in-India patrol boat developed for Seychelles since 2005. The other vessels gifted by India include PS Topaz (2005), PS Constant (2014), Patrol Boat Hermes (2016).

• The 48.9-metre patrol boat has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineering at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.

• The vessel has a top speed of 35 knots and an endurance of 1,500 nautical miles.

• It will be used for multi-purpose operations, such as patrolling, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations, and search and rescue.

NATIONAL

Education Minister launched SARTHAQ initiative for implementation of National Education Policy

• Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched an initiative SARTHAQ which will help in the implementation of National Education Policy in the country.

• The students and teachers holistic advancement through quality education, SARTHAQ has been initiated as a part of the Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.

• The Education Minister said, it will pave the way for the children and youths to meet the diverse national and global challenges.

• It will also help them to imbibe 21st century skills, indian tradition, culture and value system as envisioned in National Education Policy.

• The implementation of SARTHAQ would benefit all stakeholders including 25 crore students, 15 lakh schools, 94 lakh teachers.

FM N. Sitharaman participated 103rd Development Committee Meeting of World Bank-IMF

• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 103rd Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary, via video conferencing. During the meeting, she shared the measures taken to combat C-19 including social support measures for the poor and vulnerable, and relief measures for firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters.

• World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund Support for Debt Relief Under the Common Framework and Beyond;

• C-19 pandemic: World Bank Group Support for Fair and Affordable Access to Vaccines by Developing Countries;

• From C-19 Crisis Response to Resilient Recovery – Saving Lives and Livelihoods while Supporting Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID).

SPORTS

French Open 2021 tournament postponed due to C-19 pandemic

• The French Tennis Federation on April 08, 2021 announced that the 2021 Roland Garros tournament has been postponed by one week. The decision came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide restrictions in France.

• The 2021 Roland Garros tournament, also called the French Open and the only ‘clay-court’ Grand Slam tournament, will now run from May 24 till June 13, 2021. The qualifying rounds will be conducted from May 24 to May 28, 2021, followed by the main draw starting from May 30till June 13, 2021.

OBITUARY

Britain's Prince Philip passes away at the age of 99 years on April 9

• Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 years on April 9, 2021.

• The Buckingham Palace confirmed the same through a statement that read, "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Homeopathy Day is celebrated every year on April 10

• World Homeopathy Day is celebrated every year on April 10 to spread awareness about homoeopathy and its contribution to the world of medicine. The day marks the birth anniversary of German physician Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, who is considered the founder of the system of alternative medicine called Homeopathy. The year 2021 marks the 266th birthday of Hahnemann.

• The Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), Ministry of AYUSH, organised a two-day scientific conference on the occasion of #WorldHomoeopathyDay from April 10 & 11, 2021 in New Delhi.

• The theme of the conference is “Homoeopathy – Roadmap for Integrative Medicine”

• Objective: exchange of experience by policymakers and experts to identify strategic actions towards an effective and efficient inclusion of Homoeopathy in integrative care.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs attends 2nd Virtual G20 Finance Ministers

• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has participated virtually in the Second G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting. This meeting held under the Italian Presidency to discuss policy responses to global challenges to restore strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

• The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed Updates of the G20 Action Plan in response to C-19.

• They also discussed supporting the financing needs of the most vulnerable economies, the progress on the international taxation agenda, promoting greener transitions and the pandemic related financial regulation issues.

• Smt. Sitharaman urged all G20 members to ensure equitable access and widespread distribution of vaccines.

• Smt. Sitharaman reflected on the global growth projections and underlined the need for continued coordination amidst the persistence of uncertainties associated with the virus.

• The Finance Minister said that the G20 Action Plan has served as a good guidance tool and shaping recovery is the mainstay of its current update.

India and Japan signed an MoU for Academic and Research Cooperation

• The Union Cabinet recently apprised an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed between India and Japan. The MoU was signed between the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) that operates under the Department of Space, GoI and the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere called the RISH that operates under the Kyoto University of Japan.

• According to the MoU signed, the NARL and RISH will continue their cooperation in the areas of technology, atmospheric sciences, collaborative scientific experiments and other related modelling studies.

• They will exchange scientific materials, information, publications, students, faculty members and researchers.

• The MoU will allow the countries to utilize the facilities such as Middle and Upper atmosphere radar in Japan, Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere radar, Equatorial Atmosphere Radar in Indonesia.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Dutee Chand chosen for Chhattisgarh Veerni Award

• Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand has been chosen for the inaugural edition of the Chhattisgarh Veerni Award, by the Chhattisgarh state government. The award, which recognises the contribution of Indian women in different fields, including sports, will be given virtually on April 14, 2021.

• The Odisha sprinter became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the World University Games held in Italy in 2019. She is a silver-medalist in 100 and 200 metres at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. Apart from this, Dutee holds the national record of 11.22 secs in 100m.

Ashutosh Bhardwaj has been awarded to the famous Devishankar Awasthi Award 2020

• The famous Devishankar Awasthi Award has been awarded to the prolific Hindi prose, journalist, and critic Ashutosh Bhardwaj. This honour has been given to him for his work ‘Pitra-Vadh’. He was elected by the selection committee of Ashok Vajpayee, Nandkishore Acharya, and Rajendra Kumar.

• Ashutosh Bhardwaj has been a native English journalist and his experiences of Bastar have been well discussed in both Hindi and English. This book has been published in English under the name of ‘The Death Trap’. Apart from this, his work on important topics like modernism and nationalism has been well-known in Indian novels. He has also been a fellow of the Shimla Institute of Advanced Studies and is writing independently.

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Important Current Affairs 8th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Jeff Bezos tops Forbes’ Annual Billionaire list fourth year in a row

•The Amazon.com Inc founder, Jeff Bezos has topped Forbes’ annual world’s billionaires list for the fourth consecutive year. India’s richest billionaire Mukesh Ambani ranked at 10th position with a total net worth of USD 84.5 billion.

•The 35th edition Forbes World’s Billionaires list was released on April 06, 2021, comprising a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires. The list is prepared based on the wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5, 2021.

Carl Bildt appointed WHO special envoy for ACT-Accelerator

•Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), appointed Carl Bildt as WHO Special Envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator). Bildt succeeds Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Andrew Witty in the special envoy role. He will help lead the collective advocacy for the ACT-Accelerator in his new role, mobilising support and resources so it can deliver against its strategy for 2021.

•The ACT-Accelerator is a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, treatments and vaccines, according to the WHO website.

•It brings together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, and philanthropists and global health organizations.

•These include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEPI, FIND, Gavi, The Global Fund, Unitaid, Wellcome, the WHO and the World Bank.

NATIONAL

India completes arch of world’s highest railway bridge in J&K

•The construction of the arch of the world’s highest railway bridge that soars 359 metres above the bed of the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir was completed. The 1.3-kilometre-long bridge aims to boost connectivity to the Kashmir Valley and it is being constructed at a cost of ₹ 1,486 crores as part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project.

The iconic Chenab Bridge:-

•The construction of the Chenab bridge was declared as a national project in 2002.

•Indian Railways is constructing the iconic Arch Bridge on River Chenab as a part of the USBRL project to connect the Kashmir valley to the rest of the nation.

•This bridge is 1315m long.

•This is the highest Railway Bridge in the world being 359m above the river bed level.

•It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France).

•The overall weight of Arch is 10,619 MT.

•The most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software used for structural detailing.

•Structural steel was suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature.

•Bridge designed to bear earthquake forces of highest intensity zone-V in India.

•Bridge designed to withstand high wind speed up to 266 Km/Hour.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships

•The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships against missile attack. The development of Advanced Chaff Technology by the DRDO lab is another step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.

•Chaff is a passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology used worldwide to protect naval ships from enemy’s radar and Radio Frequency (RF) missile seekers. The importance of this development lies in the fact that a very less quantity of chaff material deployed in the air acts as a decoy to deflect the enemy’s missiles for the safety of the ships.

OBITUARY

Gita Press president Radheshyam Khemka passes away

•The president of Gita Press, Radheshyam Khemka, passed away. He is credited for taking the Sanatan literature to the masses. Khemka for 38 years was the editor of the prominent 'Kalyan' magazine printed at the press.

•He last edited the magazine's April 2021 issue. Gita Press is the world's largest publisher of Hindu religious texts.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Justice N V Ramana to assume charge as next CJI

•The senior-most Supreme Court judge Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).

•Justice Ramana would succeed incumbent CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde to take over as the 48th CJI. He would assume charge of the office from April 24, 2021, till August 26, 2022.

Cabinet Appoints Tarun Bajaj as new Revenue Secretary

•The Central Government has approved the appointment of Tarun Bajaj as the new Revenue Secretary under the Ministry of Finance.

•Prior to this, Bajaj, a 1988 batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer, was serving as the Economic Affairs Secretary since April 30, 2020. The cabinet has also approved the appointment of Ajay Seth, a 1987 batch Karnataka-cadre IAS officer, as new Economic Affairs Secretary in place of Bajaj.

Chintan Vaishnav appointed as Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission

•Noted socio-technologist, Dr Chintan Vaishnav has been appointed the mission director of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the government’s flagship initiative under NITI Aayog. Vaishnav will take over from Ramanathan Ramanan later this month. Ramanan has been leading AIM as its first mission director since June 2017. Vaishnav is currently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. He holds a PhD in technology, management, and policy from MIT.

•AIM’s mission is to create and promote a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. Over the past four years, since its inception, AIM’s various initiatives have achieved notable successes. So far, AIM has established 72,59 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across 650 districts, providing over 3.5 million students access to emerging technologies.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI to release Financial Inclusion Index (FI Index) annually

•The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will periodically publish a “Financial Inclusion Index” (FI Index) annually in July for the financial year ending previous March. The FI Index would be based on multiple parameters and shall reflect the broadening and deepening of financial inclusion in the country, a statement on regulatory and developmental policies of RBI.

•Financial Inclusion has been a thrust area for the government, the Reserve Bank and other regulators, with significant progress made over the years. To measure the extent of financial inclusion in the country, the Reserve Bank proposes to construct and publish a Financial Inclusion Index (FI Index) based on multiple parameters.

RBI Monetary Policy: Policy Rate unchanged

•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 fifth consecutive time, in its April 2021 policy review meeting held between April 5 to 7, 2021. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to keep policy rates unchanged amid the uncertainty created by a fresh surge in coronavirus infections.

Major Decisions of Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:

• Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%

• Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%

• Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 4.25%

• Bank Rate: 4.25%

• CRR: 3%

• SLR: 18.00%

RBI Monetary Policy Key Decisions:

• The Consumer Price Index of 2022 is predicted to be at 5.1%.

• RBI has also kept the accommodative monetary stance unchanged.

• Meanwhile, the GDP growth of India is projected at 10.5% in the financial year 2021-22.

• RBI is to buy Rs 1 lakh crores of G-Sec under the G-Sec Acquisition Programme.

• The Apex Bank has increased the centre’s Ways and Means Advances by 46%. The current limit is Rs 32,225 crores. It has now been increased to Rs 47,010 crores.

• Maximum End of Pay balance for payment banks has been doubled to Rs 2 lakhs.

• Additional liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crores announced for NABARD, SIDBI and NHB in 2021-22.

IMF revises GDP growth forecast of India to 12.5% for FY22

•International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its growth forecast for the Indian economy by 100 basis points to 12.5 per cent for the fiscal year 2021-22. GDP growth for FY23 is pegged at 6.9 per cent.

•The revised forecast was published in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. India is the only country among major world economies that is projected to grow at a double-digit rate during FY22.

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Important Current Affairs 7th April 2021

NATIONAL

TRIFED launches “Sankalp se Siddhi”- Village and Digital Connect Drive

•Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) has launched Sankalp Se Siddhi - Village & Digital Connect Drive. It is a 100-day drive which was started on the 1st of April. The drive entails 150 teams visiting 10 villages each of which 10 in each region from TRIFED & State Implementation Agencies, visiting 10 villages each.

•The main aim of this drive is to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras. Ministry of Tribal Affairs in a statement said that 100 villages in each region and 1500 villages in the country will be covered in the next 100 days.

•They will also identify tribal artisans and other groups and empanel them as suppliers so that they can have access to larger markets through the Tribes India network - both physical outlets and TribesIndia.com.

•It is expected that Sankalp Se Siddhi will aid in effecting a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.

SPORTS

Hurkacz beats Sinner to win Miami Open

•Hubert Hurkacz of Poland won the biggest title of his career by beating 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the Miami Open final.

•Hurkacz became his country's first Masters 1000 champion. The world number 37 is the lowest-ranked player to win a Masters event since Tomas Berdych in Paris in 2005.

OBITUARY

Former Union Minister and Gujarat MLA Digvijaysinh Zala passes away

•Former Union Environment Minister and an MLA from Wankaner in Gujarat, Digvijaysinh Zala has passed away.

•The veteran Congress leader became the first Environment Minister of India under the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1982 to 1984.

Malayalam screenwriter P. Balachandran passes away

•Malayalam screenwriter, filmmaker, dramatist and actor, P. Balachandran has passed away. He is best known for the play Paavam Usman for which he won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and Kerala Professional Nataka Award in the year 1989.

•Balachandran has scripted many films including Ulladakkam (1991), Pavithram (1994), Agnidevan (1995), Punaradhivasam (2000), and Kammatti Paadam (2016). His directorial debut is Ivan Megharoopan (2012). He has also acted in a few films, the most notable being Trivandrum Lodge (2012).

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Shabir Khandwawala appointed new BCCI ACU chief

•Shabir Hussein Shekhadam Khandwawala, who has served as the Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) before, is the new BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit chief.

•The 70-year-old, a 1973 batch IPS officer, takes over from Ajit Singh whose tenure ended on March 31. After retiring as Gujarat DGP in late 2010, Khandwawala worked with the Essar Group as an advisor and was also part of the central government's Lokpal Search Committee.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide

•International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda observed globally on 7 April every year. The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda was announced by the United General Assembly in 2003. On April 7th, the date where the genocide against members of the Tutsi began. For approximately 100 days, over 800,000 Tutsi were assassinated.

•UNESCO aims to educate the world population regarding genocides and the consequences of the crime. UNESCO is committed to promoting education about genocides as a means to sensitize learners for the causes, dynamics and consequences of such crimes and to strengthen their resilience against all forms of discrimination.

World Health Day observed globally on 7 April

•The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated on 7 April every year. On April 7th every year, governmental as well as non-governmental health organizations organize events that focus on promoting healthier habits of living. From exciting activities to pledges and support plans, these events aim to create awareness about what can increase the life expectancy of people around the world.

•The Theme of World Health Day 2021: “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”.

•In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as World Health Day. The World Health Day is held to mark WHO’s founding and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace: 6 April

•The United Nations celebrates the 6th of April every year as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. Sports also presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system.

•Sport can help promote fairness, team building, equality, inclusion and perseverance. Sport and physical activity can also help us get through times of crisis, like COVID-19, by reducing anxieties and improving physical and mental health. The professional sport also provides employment and income to many people around the world and an integral sector to the economic success of many communities and regions.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Suman Chakraborty to get 30th GD Birla Award for Scientific Research

•Professor Suman Chakraborty has been selected for the 30th GD Birla Award for Scientific Research for his outstanding contribution to engineering science and its applications in developing technologies for affordable healthcare. He is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur’s department of mechanical engineering.

•He is credited with establishing the first microfluidics laboratory in the framework of an academic institution in India to facilitate the study of how tiny volumes of fluids flow through small channels. Apart from being a reputable academic, Chakraborty has invented technologies that have not only been patented but also licensed to industrial houses for commercialisation.

Alfred Aho Wins the 2020 ACM Turing Award

•Lawrence Gussman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Alfred V. Aho has won the 2020 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award, known informally as the "Nobel Prize of computing." Aho shares the award with his long-time collaborator Jeffrey David Ullman.

•Aho and Ullman began working together at Bell Labs in 1967 and their early efforts included developing efficient algorithms for analyzing and translating programming languages. Even when Ullman began a career in academia in 1969 while Aho remained at Bell Labs, they continued their collaboration for several decades and shaped the foundations of programming language theory and implementation, as well as algorithm design and analysis.

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Important Current Affairs 6th April 2021

NATIONAL

Dr. Harsh Vardhan approves National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

•Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has approved National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021. The policy aims to lower the high cost of treatment for rare diseases, with an increased focus on indigenous research & local production of medicines. The Policy also focuses on early screening and prevention through primary and secondary health care infrastructure such as Health and Wellness Centres and District Early Intervention Centres.

•A provision for financial support up to Rs.20 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi is proposed for treatment of those rare diseases that require a one-time treatment (diseases listed under Group 1 in the policy). Benefits to be extended to about 40% of the population eligible under PM Jan Arogya Yojana.

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurates Tulip Festival

•In the Kashmir Valley, Tulip Festival in Srinagar was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties are in full bloom on the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains. The five-day-long Tulip Festival in Asia's largest tulip garden at the foothills of Zabarwan hills on the banks of world-famous Dal Lake in Srinagar.

•The Tulip Garden was opened for tourists and the general public on the 25th of March.

•Last year the Tulip Festival could not be held because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19.

•However, this time, the Tulip Festival is being organized on a large scale to attract more and more tourists.

•The Tulip Festival, to be held from 3rd to 7th of April, will showcase Kashmiri folk music apart from a painting competition.

Rajasthan becomes the 1st state to provide free health insurance to all

•Rajasthan becomes the first state in the country where the state government is providing free health insurance facility to all the citizens of the state. This plan was announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the state budget of 2021-22.  The State began the registration for its cashless ‘mediclaim’ scheme Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme.

•Each family will get annual health insurance up to 5 lakhs.

•Registrations have started for the Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme from 1 April, while the scheme will start benefiting the residents after its implementation on May 1.

•In this health insurance cover, 1576 packages and procedures for the treatment of various diseases have been included.

•The cost of treatment related to OPD, examination, medicines and related package of 15 days after discharge will also be included in the free treatment before the patient is admitted to the hospital.

India's biggest floating solar power plant to be set up in Telangana

•The biggest floating solar power plant in India is to be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana. It is expected to be opened in May 2021. The cost of the project has been estimated as Rs 423 crores. The power plant will have 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels.

•The solar power plant is being set up at the Ramagundam Thermal Power Plant reservoir.

•The solar power plant is to be set up in 450 acres of the reservoir.

•The project is commissioned by NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation).

•NTPC aims to reduce its carbon footprints and increase its green energy production to 30% of its capacity through this solar power plant.

•The capacity of the solar power plant is 100 MW.

OBITUARY

Veteran film and TV actress Shashikala passes away

•Veteran film and TV actress Shashikala Om Prakash Saigal passed away. She was more popularly known by her first name, Shashikala has famously appeared as various supporting characters in over 100 films.

•Shashikala was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government for her unparalleled contribution to the world of cinema and arts in 2007. She was also conferred with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the V. Shantaram Awards in 2009. Apart from this, Shashikala bagged two Filmfare awards for her work in Aarti and Gumrah.

Samajwadi Party founder member Bhagwati Singh passes away

•Founder member of the Samajwadi Party and former UP minister Bhagwati Singh passed away. He was 89-year-old.

•The last rites of Singh will not be done as he had pledged to donate his body to the King George Medical University.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Digit Insurance roped Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

•Digit Insurance has roped in cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. Kohli has also invested in Digit Insurance in the past. Digit Insurance, a general insurance company that became the first unicorn of 2021 with a valuation of $1.9B.

•With this association, the company aims to carry the message of ‘making insurance simple’ through the cricketer. Digit was able to get the Indian Men’s Cricket Team Captain to invest in the company before he planned to become the face for the brand.

RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo retires

•BP Kanungo has stepped down from the post of the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India after his term ended on 2 April, cutting short all expectations of an extension of his tenure.

•He was appointed deputy governor in 2017 for three years. His term was extended by one more year in 2020. The other deputy governors of the RBI are Rajeshwar Rao, M.K. Jain and Michael Patra.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ by Nitin Gokhale

•A new book titled ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ authored by Nitin Gokhale was released. The book is published by Bloomsbury. It is an attempt to capture Parrikar’s persona — the man, the politician and the patriot. Gokhale is a renowned author, media trainer and founder of a specialised defence related website BharatShakti.in. and StratNewsGlobal.com.

•Through this book, the author presents the journey of the contribution of Parrikar to nation-building and his service to the Goan society, from being an IIT student to a social worker and to India’s defence minister. The book is a tribute to Parrikar, India’s former defence minister and four-time chief minister of Goa, the first IIT-ian to become a chief minister.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

World Bank, AIIB approve loan for USD 300 million projects to Punjab

•The World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have approved the loan for USD 300 million (about Rs 2,190 crore) canal-based drinking water projects in Punjab. The project is aimed at ensuring quality drinking water and minimise water losses for Amritsar and Ludhiana. The entire project will be co-financed by IBRD (World Bank) – USD 105 million, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – USD 105 million and the Punjab government – USD 90 million.

•The Infrastructure has been designed to meet the water demand for 30 years. It would benefit the residents of Amritsar with an estimated population of 14.51 lakh for 2025 and 22.11 lakh for 2055.

•At present, the Canal Based Water Supply Project for Amritsar has been awarded to M/s Larsen & Toubro Limited at a contract amount of Rs.784.33 Crore.

•The total estimated Design-Build Cost of the Ludhiana Project is Rs.1093.92 Crore and the period for completion of the same is 36 months.

•The estimated Operation & Maintenance cost is Rs.270.73 Crore for 10 years. The total amount for the project comes out to Rs.1364.65 Crore.

World Bank approves USD 32 million project to Mizoram

•The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a USD 32 million projects to improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram. The project titled “Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project” will strengthen the governance and the management structure of the Mizoram Health department and its subsidiaries. This project will support the state government's efforts to deliver quality healthcare for the poor and vulnerable and those located in remote areas.

•The key focus will be to strengthen the effectiveness of the state health insurance programme, build synergies with the Government of India's Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY), and thereby reduce financial barriers in accessing hospital services, prevent catastrophic out of pocket expenditure for health by poor families and expand coverage.

•The Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project will benefit the people across the state. It will also benefit healthcare personnel by strengthening their planning and management capabilities along with building their clinical skills and competencies.

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