Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

06th and 07th March 2021 Current Affairs

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National News

The digital platform “Jagrut Tripura” launched by CM to boost e-governance

The Tripura government has come up with a digital platform “Jagrut Tripura” to help people get benefits from various schemes of the Centre and the state government. At least 102 schemes of various departments of both governments are available on the platform.

The “Jagrut Tripura” will empower citizens of the northeastern state. The digital platform is one of the many proactive initiatives undertaken by the state government to spur a technology-led innovation ecosystem to make “Atmanirbhar” (self-reliant) Tripura.

The project was developed by EasyGov, a Jio Group company, and it will be available to all the residents of Tripura. “With ‘Jagrut’, we want to empower people to get the benefits they deserve, and the focus is on building a family-centric, progressive model having ‘one data one source’ and privacy at the core.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

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

UNGA adopts India-led resolution declaring 2023 as Int’l Year of Millets

The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The International Year of Millets is aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and its suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions.

India’s Permanent Mission to the UN also distributed savoury millet snack murukku to all UN Member States. The 193-member General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution, declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

 The resolution titled International Year of Millets 2023′ was initiated by India with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal and was co-sponsored by over 70 nations.

The resolution considers the urgent need to raise awareness of the climate-resilient and nutritional benefits of millets and to advocate for diversified, balanced and healthy diets through the increased sustainable production and consumption of millets.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UN General Assembly President: Volkan Bozkır.
  • UN General Assembly Headquarters: New York, United States.
  • UN General Assembly Founded: 1945, New York, United States.

International News

Australia building world’s first platypus sanctuary

Australian conservationists have unveiled plans to build the world’s first refuge for the platypus, to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the duck-billed mammal faces extinction due to climate change.

The Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the New South Wales State government said they would build the specialist facility, mostly ponds and burrows for the semi-aquatic creatures, at a zoo 391 km from Sydney, by 2022.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Australia Capital: Canberra.
  • Australia Currency: Australian dollar.
  • Australia PM: Scott Morrison.

Appointments News

Mary Kom appointed chairperson of AIBA’s champions and veterans committee

Six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom has been appointed as the Chairperson of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Champions and Veterans Committee. The 37-year-old was voted to the post by AIBA’s board of directors on March 03, 2021.

The Committee was formed in December 2020. It consists of the most respected worldwide boxing veterans and champions who have achieved significant results and who are ready to share their experience.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • AIBA Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • AIBA President: Umar Kremlyov.
  • AIBA Founded: 1946.

Ligia Noronha appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General

UN chief Antonio Guterres has appointed leading Indian economist Ligia Noronha as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 

Prior to joining the UNEP, Noronha worked at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi as Executive Director (Research Coordination) and as Director of the Division on Resources, Regulation and Global Security.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Head: Inger Andersen.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Founder: Maurice Strong.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Founded: 5 June 1972.

Tarun Bajaj to take additional charge of Revenue Secretary

Department of economic affairs secretary, Tarun Bajaj has been given the additional charge of revenue secretary. Present revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey retires on February 28.

The Centre has decided to not grant an extension to finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey who was also holding additional charge of the revenue department in the finance ministry.

Tarun Bajaj, an old hand at the Finance Ministry, assumed charge as Economic Affairs secretary last May, at a time when India saw the worst growth contraction in history on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Agreements News

India inks pact with the Philippines for sale of defence equipment

India has signed a key pact with the Philippines called “implementing arrangement” for “procurement of defence material and equipment”, as per which the country will buy the BrahMos cruise missiles from India.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who was also present at the pact’s signing ceremony in Manila.

The BrahMos missile is produced by an India-Russian joint venture “BrahMos Aerospace” and it can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or from land platforms. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.

Currently, the missile is used only by India, however, several countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, Egypt, Oman, Chile and Brunei have expressed interest in the procurement of the missile.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Philippines President: Rodrigo Duterte.
  • Philippines Capital: Manila.
  • Philippines Currency: Philippine peso.

Kotak Mahindra Bank tie-up with Indian army to handle salary accounts

Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank will handle the salary account of the Indian army personnel. The bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Army here for a salary account.

The MoU enables Kotak to offer its salary account proposition, combined with exclusive benefits for the Indian Army, to all army personnel – both active and retired.

The salary account will cover other benefits such as a bespoke salary account for the army personnel, enhanced complimentary personal accident insurance cover – for both on-duty and off-duty incidents.

It covers accidental death for total or partial permanent disability. It will also offer special education benefit for children and additional girl child benefit by covering dependent children of up to 22 years in the event of an accident claim by the salary account holder.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO: Uday Kotak.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Establishment: 2003.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Tagline: Lets make money simple.

Defence News

DRDO successfully flight test SFDR technology

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology from the integrated test range (ITR), Chandipur, off Odisha coast.

The SFDR technology will help DRDO with the technological advantage to develop long-range air-to-air missiles (AAMs). DRDO began developing SFDR first in 2017 and had conducted successful tests in 2018 and 2019 as well. 

The SFDR is a missile propulsion system being developed primarily by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in Hyderabad.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary Department of Defence Research and Development  & Chairman DRDO: Dr G Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.

Business News

HDFC ERGO launches Business Kisht Suraksha cover

HDFC ERGO General Insurance has launched the “Business Kisht Suraksha” cover. It is a unique cover that was launched with the aim of protecting the balance sheet of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), financial institutions and banks if any catastrophe or a natural disaster occurs.

This was launched with the aim of limiting the impacts on the balance sheet of financial institutions which occurs because of non-payment of EMIs by borrowers or because of several calamities like earthquakes, floods, cyclones.

The Business Kisht can be customised as per the needs of the individual MFI or financial institution (FI). It can also be tailor-made based on the geographical presence of the borrower, MFI or any FIs.

The MFIs or FIs would also be given the option to select the number of EMIs which might need insurance coverage.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • HDFC ERGO CEO: Ritesh Kumar.
  • HDFC ERGO Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • HDFC ERGO Founded: 2002.

NPCI Partners SBI Payments to launch “RuPay SoftPoS” for Merchants

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and SBI Payments have partnered to launch “RuPay SoftPoS” for Indian merchants.

The RuPay SoftPoS solution will provide a cost-effective acceptance infrastructure to retailers at a nominal cost. This innovative solution has the capability to transform NFC enabled smartphones into merchant Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for the retailers.

RuPay SoftPoS is expected to provide seamless, cost-effective acceptance infrastructure to retailers at a nominal cost, and help deepen the digital payment acceptance among millions of underserved Indian MSMEs.

RuPay SoftPoS will enable merchants to use their near-field communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones as the point of sale (PoS) terminals and accept payment up to Rs 5,000 through a simple tap and pay mechanism.

Merchants can convert their existing android smartphone devices into a payment terminal by simply downloading a supported app.

This solution will revolutionise the way micro and small merchants receive payments and create a demarcated shift in their tendency to deal in cash to accepting secure, contactless digital payments instead.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • National Payments Corporation of India MD & CEO: Dilip Asbe.
  • National Payments Corporation of India Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • National Payments Corporation of India Founded: 2008.

Banking News

Axis Securities’ new platform to make an investment in bond

Axis Securities has announced the launch of ‘YIELD’ – an online platform to buy and sell bonds as well as debentures in the secondary market. By offering competitive rates and technical know-how, YIELD would empower the investors to make the right investment decision.

The trades and settlement of transactions executed will be reported on the BSE NDS (new debt segment) platform.

“YIELD is the first-of-its-kind initiative that allows retail investors direct access to the debt instruments,” the brokerage house said in a statement.

This new tool will remove the hassle of filling up physical forms or the need for separate KYC with the bond institutions, it added.

To facilitate transactions only insecure options, it aggregates only ‘AAA’ to ‘A’ rated quality debt instruments available for investment in the secondary market.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Axis Bank Commenced operations: 1994.
  • Axis Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Axis Bank Tagline: Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi Managing.
  • Axis Bank MD and CEO: Amitabh Chaudhry.

Ranks and Reports

 India downgraded from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ in democracy report

India’s status as a democracy and free society has been downgraded to “partly free” in the latest annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded NGO that studies political freedom around the world.

The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 – Democracy under Siege”. India’s fall “from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards”.

India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020, though its scores on a scale of 100 had declined during this period from 77 to 71. In the latest report, India had a score of 67 out of 100.

Ease of Living Index 2020 released

Bengaluru emerged as the top city on the government’s Ease of Living Index 2020 that was released by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Pune was second and Ahmedabad was ranked third among 111 cities.

A total of 111 cities under the Smart Cities Program, participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.

Million+ category

  • Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in this category.
  • This was followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai respectively.

Less than Million category

  • In this group, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living.
  • This was followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

11th QS World University Rankings 2021 released

The 11th edition of the QS World University Rankings was released on March 04, 2021. The QS World University Rankings 2021 ranks the top 1,000 universities from around the world, covering 80 different locations. There are 47 new entrants on the list.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States has retained its top position as the best university for the ninth year in a row.

Stanford University, the United States and the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom are the second and third best University globally in QS World University Rankings 2021.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay has emerged as the best institution. It is placed at 172 positions. No institute in India is in the top 100.

Indore and NDMC tops Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has released the final rankings of the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020. The ranking has classified municipalities into two categories based on their population which are: million-plus category and the less than million categories.

The Municipal Performance Index will help Municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens.

Million plus population category

  • Indore has topped this list, followed by Surat and Bhopal.

Less than a million category

  • New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Minister of State (IC) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs: Hardeep Singh Puri.

Science and Technology

SpaceX successfully tests Starship SN10 prototype rocket

Elon Musk owned private rocket company, SpaceX successfully tested its Starship prototype rocket “SN10 “ after two recent failed attempts. SpaceX launched the rocket prototype, to an altitude of 10,000 kilometres and then landed back on the ground. However, the rocket exploded about six minutes after landing.

The SN10 is an early prototype of the Starship Mars rocket of SpaceX which aims to get people and payloads to the moon, Mars and other distant destinations.

This rocket is also a part of the company’s strategy to phase out its other flight hardware including, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets and Dragon cargo and crew capsules, and let Starship shoulder the entire load.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SpaceX founder & CEO: Elon Musk.
  • SpaceX president & COO: Gwynne Shotwell.
  • SpaceX Founded: 2002.
  • SpaceX Headquarters: California, United States of America.

Awards News

WAN-IFRA names The Hindu Group ‘Champion Publisher of the Year 2020’

The Hindu Group won two golds and two silvers at South Asian Digital Media Awards given by WAN IFRA (World Association of News Publishers), culminating in being named ‘Champion Publisher of the Year’, owing to the highest tally on the points table.

The awards are presented in recognition of outstanding work done by news publishers, in digital media. The winners were honoured virtually at the Digital Media India 2021 Conference held on March 3, 2021.


Sports News

Kieron Pollard becomes 3rd Man to Hit 6 Sixes in an over

Kieron Pollard hit six sixes in an over to guide West Indies to a comprehensive four-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the first game of their three-match T20 series.

Pollard joins former India batsman Yuvraj Singh as the only other player to hit six sixes in an over in T20 cricket, and just the third man to hit six sixes in an international match, emulating Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) and Yuvraj Singh (India).

Pollard achieved the feat when he hit Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya out of the park 6 times in the 6th over of West Indies’ successful chase in the first T20I at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Sri Lanka leg-spinner Akila Dananjaya (3-62) was the unfortunate bowler, pummelled in all directions by Pollard, and this coming after he had taken a hat-trick in his previous over.

J&K tops medals tally at Khelo India Winter National Games

Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir topped the medals tally in the second edition of the Khelo India Winter National Games.  J&K won 11 gold, 18 silver and 5 bronze medals.

The five-day mega sports event which began on the 26th of February concluded in the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The event was e-inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The second edition of the Khelo India winter games is a major step towards making Jammu and Kashmir a hub of the winter games.

In the event, more than 1,000 athletes from 27 states and union territories took part.

The event was organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in collaboration with the J&K Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir: Manoj Sinha.

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