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04 & 05 March 2021 Current Affairs in English

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Important Days

World Wildlife Day observed globally on 3rd March

World Wildlife Day is observed globally on the 3rd of March every year to celebrate the beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora present on earth. World Wildlife Day also raise awareness about the benefits that the conservation of wild fauna and flora provides to people living on earth.

The day also reminds us of the need to fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species causing various wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.

World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2021 under the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”, as a way to highlight the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Wildlife Fund Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
  • World Wildlife FundFounded: 29 April 1961, Morges, Switzerland.
  • President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund: Carter Roberts.

World Hearing Day

World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

The theme of World Hearing Day 2021 is Hearing care for ALL!: Screen, Rehabilitate, Communicate. World Hearing Day 2021 will mark the launch of the first-ever World Report on Hearing.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Headquarters of WHO: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Director-general of WHO: Tedros Adhanom.

National Safety Day

The National Safety Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on 4 March by the National Safety Council (NSC) of India. In 2021, we are observing the 50th National Safety Day.

The purpose of the day is to instil a sense of safety awareness among people by providing them with safety, health and environment-related support services. The National Safety Day Theme 2021 is “Sadak Suraksha (Road Safety)”.

The day is also celebrated to mark the foundation of the National Safety Council, which was set up on 4th March 1966 by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India. The first National Safety Day was observed in 1972.

Additionally, the National Safety Week is celebrated from 4 March to 10 March by organizing week-long safety campaigns.

National Security Day

In India, March 4 is celebrated as National Security Day (Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas) every year, in the honor of the Indian Security Forces.

The day aims to show gratitude to all the security forces, including policemen, para-military forces, commandos, guards, army officers, and other persons involved in security, who sacrifice their life in maintaining the peace and security of the people of the country.

4 March also marks the day when the National Security Council (NSC) of India was established, in 1966 by the Ministry of Labour under the Government of India. The first National Security Day (NSD) was held in 1972.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • National Security Council of India Founded: 19 November 1998.
  • National Security Council of India Headquarters: New Delhi.

National News

 Government amends Insurance Ombudsman Rules 2017

The Government of India has notified comprehensive amendments to the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017, for better resolution of policyholders’ complaints regarding insurance service deficiencies, in a timely, cost-effective and impartial manner.

This will help in facilitating the resolution of the complaints with respect to the deficiencies in insurance services in a cost-effective and impartial manner on time.

The Ombudsman mechanism was administered by the Executive Council of Insurers. This has now been renamed as the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen.

Earlier, the scope of complaints to Ombudsmen was limited to only disputes, but now it has been enlarged to include deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers and other intermediaries.

The insurance brokers have also been brought within the ambit of the Ombudsman mechanism. The Ombudsmen has been empowered to pass awards against insurance brokers as well.

To strengthen the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the mechanism, policyholders will now be enabled for making complaints electronically to the Ombudsman.

A complaints management system will be created to enable policyholders to track the status of their complaints online. The rules also provide that, the ombudsman can use video-conferencing to hear the cases.

Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV merged into Sansad TV

The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Television channels that broadcast the proceedings of the upper and lower Houses of Parliament, respectively, have been merged into a single entity.

The new channel has been named the ‘Sansad Television’. This change is effective from March 01, 2021.

Ravi Capoor, a retired IAS officer of the 1986 batch, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sansad TV for one year.

The decision to change the name was jointly taken by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Uttarakhand CM launches ”Gharoki Pechan, Chelik Naam” scheme

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched “Gharoki Paachan, Chelik Naam” (daughter”s name is a home”s identity) programme and development schemes worth Rs 42 crore in Nainital.

Initially, the scheme has been launched in Nainital and later is set to be extended to the entire Uttarakhand.

The government is working towards women empowerment and 32,000 women groups of the state are being linked with self-employment to make them self-reliant. The state government is also set to implement many public welfare schemes for the benefit of the youth.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat.
  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya.

International News

Israel officially receives first-ever UAE ambassador

Israel’s president has formally received the first-ever ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, following last year’s historic agreement between the countries to normalise ties. UAE envoy Mohamed Al Khaja, who arrived in Israel, delivered his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony in Jerusalem.

The UAE was the first country to agree to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state under the Abraham Accords, a pact brokered by former US President Donald Trump.

The agreement made the UAE only the third majority Arab country to form official ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have subsequently joined the Abraham Accords.

The agreements broke with the longstanding Arab consensus that there should be no normalisation with Israel until it reaches a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Israel Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Israel Capital: Jerusalem.
  • Israel Currency: Israeli Shekel.

Appointments

Matam Venkata Rao assumes Charge as MD & CEO of Central Bank Of India

Matam Venkata Rao has taken charge as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Central Bank Of India. Rao till now held the position of Executive Director at Canara Bank. His appointment is for a period of 3 years with effect from the date of assumption of office on or after March 1, 2021, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Rao is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. He is a post-graduate in agriculture from Sri Venkateshwara Agriculture College, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Central Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • Central Bank of India Founded: 21 December 1911.

Kuldiep Singh takes additional charge as CRPF DG

IPS officer Kuldiep Singh has given an additional charge of CRPF director general (DG) after incumbent chief A P Maheshwari retires.

Kuldiep Singh is working as the special DG of its central zone, will hold the additional charge of the CRPF head till “the appointment and joining of the successor or until further orders.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the country’s largest paramilitary with an estimated strength of about 3.25 lakh personnel. It is designated as the lead internal security force with its main operational theatres being Left Wing Extremism affected states, counter-terrorist combat in the Kashmir valley and counter-insurgency operations in the northeast.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Central Reserve Police Force Headquarters: New Delhi, India.
  • Central Reserve Police Force Formed: 27 July 1939.
  • Central Reserve Police Force Motto: Service and Loyalty.

Manpreet Vohra Appointed India’s High Commissioner To Australia

Senior diplomat, Manpreet Vohra has been appointed as India’s next High Commissioner to Australia. Vohra, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, is presently Ambassador of India to Mexico.

He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Mr Vohra’s appointment comes at a time India-Australia ties are at an upswing and the two countries are stepping up cooperation particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Australia: Scott Morrison.
  • The currency of Australia: Australian dollar.
  • Capital of Australia: Canberra.

Defence News

Indian Air Force to Participate in EX Desert FLAG VI

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in Exercise Desert Flag-VI, which has been organised from March 03 to 27, 2021 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE.

The purpose of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces, train them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment, provides an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with the mutual exchange of best practices.

Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

The exercise will also see the air forces of the United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain.

The IAF is participating with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chiefs of Air Staff: Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.

Economy News

GST collections up by 7 % to Rs 1.13 lakh cr in February

The gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in the month of February 2021 is ₹ 1,13,143 crore of which CGST is ₹ 21,092 crore, SGST is ₹ 27,273 crore, IGST is ₹ 55,253 crore (including ₹ 24,382 crores collected on import of goods) and Cess is ₹ 9,525 crore (including ₹ 660 crores collected on import of goods).

Revenues for February are 7% higher than the GST revenues of February 2019. Revenues from the import of goods were 15% higher than Feb ’19.

List of GST Collection previous months

  • January 2021: ₹ 1,19,847 crore (All-time Highest).
  • December- Rs 1,15,174 crore (All-time Highest).
  • November: ₹1.04 lakh crore.
  • October 2020: ₹ 1,05,155crore.

Banking News

World Bank plans $100-mn guarantee scheme for solar rooftop projects

The World Bank plans to introduce a $100-million credit guarantee scheme to boost India’s rooftop solar programme, which has not gained enough traction.

The scheme will allow micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to avail concessional debt financing for setting up rooftop solar units.

The World Bank scheme, along with the State Bank of India (SBI) and the MSME ministry to accelerate the adoption of rooftop solar units, will help MSMEs access credit of around $1 billion.

The arrangement will be beneficial for the firms that often do not meet the lending criteria of banks and other financial institutions, with their financial woes been exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • World Bank Formation: July 1944.
  • World Bank President: David Malpass.

Business News

SBI Mutual Funds Launches First Overseas Fund

The State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Funds has launched its first overseas offering on 1 March 2021.

The fund titled SBI International Access — US Equity FOF is an open-ended fund of funds scheme investing in a mutual fund scheme/ETFs that invest in US markets, which are domiciled overseas.

The scheme will invest 95-100 per cent of its net assets generally in Amundi Funds – US Pioneer Fund (including ETFs), which invest predominantly in the US markets.

The customers interested in the scheme are required to invest at least Rs 5,000 for the first time. However, for additional purchase, the minimum application amount is Rs 1,000. There is no upper cap for the investment in this fund.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Chairperson: Dinesh Kumar Khara.
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • SBI Founded: 1 July 1955.
  • SBI Mutual Fund MD & CEO: Vinay Tonse.

Ranks and Reports

Elon Musk Tops Hurun Global Rich List 2021

The 10th Edition of Hurun Global Rich List 2021 was released, which ranked 3228 billionaires from 2,402 companies and 68 countries. The report showed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the world added 8 billionaires every week in 2020 and 421 in a year, taking their total number to a record 3,288.

Tesla chief Elon Musk bagged the top spot on the Hurun Global Rich List for the first time after adding a massive $151 billion during the year 2020 to take his net worth to $197 billion. 

Asia’s richest person and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is ranked eighth on the Hurun Global Rich List 2021. The total wealth of Ambani surged by 24% to $83 billion (approximately Rs 6.09 lakh crore).

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher: Rupert Hoogewerf (Hu Run).
  • Hurun Report Headquarters: Shanghai, China.
  • Hurun India MD and Chief Researcher: Anas Rahman.
  • Hurun India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Science and Technology

Indigenously developed “Spectrograph” commissioned in Nainital

Indian Scientists at Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES), Nainital, have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical Spectrograph named as Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC).

It has been commissioned on the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand.

The ADFOSC spectroscope is the largest of its kind among the existing astronomical spectrographs in India.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ARIES Founded: 20 April 1954.

Udaipur Science Centre inaugurated at Udaipur in Tripura

The Governor of Tripura, Ramesh Bais has inaugurated the Udaipur Science Centre, at Udaipur, Tripura.

The Udaipur Science Centre has been developed at a cost of Rs 6 crore funded jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Tripura Government and with this; the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) has now set-up science centres in all the northeastern states.

Science Centres play a vital role in developing a scientific temper in society and inculcating a culture of Innovation among the masses, particularly among students.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Tripura: Biplab Kumar Deb; Governor: Ramesh Bais.

Sports News

Mumbai City FC win ISL League Football Winners Shield

Mumbai City FC has scripted a 2-0 triumph over ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) at the GMC Stadium in Goa to bag the ISL League Winners Shield and the coveted AFC Champions League spot that comes with it.

Mumbai and ATKMB finished level on 40 points, but the former claimed first place with a better head-to-head record. Mumbai City FC became the second-ever Indian club to qualify to the group stages of the AFC Champions League.

Indian shuttlers Varun, Malvika win Uganda International titles

India’s Varun Kapur and Malvika Bansod clinched the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the 2021 Uganda International Badminton tournament in Kampala.

Varun beat compatriot Sankar Muthusamy 21-18, 16-21, 21-17 in the men’s singles final. Malvika beat compatriot Anupama Upadhyaya in the women singles summit clash 17-21, 25-23, 21-10.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Uganda Capital: Kampala.
  • Uganda Currency: Ugandan shilling.
  • Uganda President: Yoweri Museveni.

Virat Kohli becomes the first cricketer to have 100 million followers on Instagram

India captain Virat Kohli became the first cricketer in the world to have 100 million followers on the social media platform Instagram. The 32-year-old Kohli is also the fourth most followed sportsperson on Instagram.

Portugal football star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the chart with 265 million followers, ahead of Argentina football captain and FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar, who are second and third in the list with 186 million and 147 million followers respectively.

The others in 100 million club are Hollywood actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, American singer-songwriter Beyonce, and Ariana Grande.


Obituary

Lok Sabha MP Nandkumar Singh Chauhan passes away

Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, has passed away.

He was a six-term MP, who was elected as the Lok Sabha MP for the first time in 1996 and got re-elected in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2014 and 2019.


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