Current Affairs 30th March 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

EAM S Jaishankar meets Afghanistan Prez Ashraf Ghani

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and had a discussion on the Afghan peace process.
  • Dr Jaishankar and Mr Ghani are in Dushanbe to attend the ninth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process conference.
  • Tajikistan is hosting the conference which is focused on strengthening a regional and international consensus for Afghan peace.
  • Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar visited India and held-back-to-back talks with Dr Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval.
  • In New Delhi, the Afghan Foreign Minister during his meeting with Dr Jaishankar on the peace process, the two sides reviewed the Troika Peace Meeting in Moscow and assessed the final declaration of the meeting as positive for strengthening and advancing the peace process.

EAM attend 9th Ministerial Conference of ‘Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan’ in Tajikistan 

  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will attend the 9th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan at Dushanbe in Tajikistan. 
  • Dr Jaishankar reached Dushanbe on a three day visit.
  • He called on President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani before the commencement of the Heart of Asia Conference.
  • Mr Ghani and Dr Jaishankar shared the perspectives on the peace process.
  • As the lead country for Trade, Commerce and Investment Confidence Building Measure under Heart of AsiaIstanbul Process, India has made concerted efforts for strengthening regional connectivity for the greater economic integration of Afghanistan with the region.
  • A dedicated Air Freight Corridor between cities of India and Afghanistan and operationalisation of Chabahar Port in Iran are steps in that direction.
  • India, as an important stakeholder for peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan has played a constructive role in the international processes on Afghanistan.
  • India has engaged regional and international stakeholders on Afghanistan.
  • The visit will further enhance the outreach to Central Asian countries with a special focus on Afghanistan.

PM Modi launches new version of ‘Exam Warriors’ 

  • The new version of Exam Warriors written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now available with many new mantras for students as well as parents.
  • It is available at retail stores as well as online.
  • The Exam Warriors module is also available on the NaMo App.
  • Mr Modi said, the new edition of the book has been enriched with valuable inputs from students, parents and teachers. 
  • Substantive new parts have been added that would especially interest the parents and teachers.
  • He said the book reaffirms the need to remain stress free before an exam.
  • The Prime Minister added that it has many interactive activities for students and parents.

Jal Jeevan Mission achieves new milestone – tap water to over 4 crore rural households

  • Jal Jeevan Mission has achieved a new milestone of providing over 4 Crore rural households with tap water supply.
  • The mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15th August, 2019, with the aim to provide tap water supply to every rural home by 2024.
  • Now, 24 Crore, more than 1/3rd of rural households are getting potable water through taps.
  • Goa has become the first State in the country to provide 100 percent tap water supply followed by Telangana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The untiring efforts of States and UTs have helped Jal Jeevan Mission provide assured tap water supply to every family living in 56 districts and over 86 thousand villages.
  • States and UTs are now competing with each other and focusing on the target to ensure that every household in the country gets safe drinking water, so that no one is left out.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India , US agree to revamp India-US (SEP)

  • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm have agreed to revamp India-US Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP).
  • Pradhanb held an introductory meeting virtually with him and reviewed the SEP.
  • The two leaders agreed to revamp the India-US SEP to reflect the new priorities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden with focus on promoting clean energy with low-carbon pathways and accelerating green energy cooperation.
  • During the meeting, they also agreed to prioritize greater collaboration in cleaner energy sector and joint R&D through Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research among other initiatives.
  • Besides, both sides agreed to convene the third meeting of a revamped India-US SEP at an early date.
  • They decided to intensify the efforts to take advantage of the complementarities of both the countries -advanced US technologies and rapidly growing India’s energy market, for a win-win situation through a cleaner energy route with low carbon pathways.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS NEWS

Govt gain multiple EoI for privatisation of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd

  • Government has received multiple expressions of interest for privatisation of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL). 
  • In a tweet, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, Tuhin Kanta Pandey said the transaction moves ahead to the second stage, on schedule.
  • Earlier, the government had invited bids to privatise NINL seeking to divest 93.7 per cent stake held by four central public sector enterprises and two Odisha government PSUs.
  • In January last year, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had given in principle  approval for strategic disinvestment of equity shareholding of Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Limited, National Mineral Development Corporation, MECON and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd as well as two Odisha State Government PSUs in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited to a strategic buyer identified through a two-stage auction procedure.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING NEWS

RBI further extends limitations on PMC Bank for 3 months till 30 June 2021

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has once again extended the restriction imposed on scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bankfor a further period of 3 months till June 30, 2021.
  • The restriction puts curbs on the withdrawals and deposits activity of the lender.
  • This restriction was first placed in September 2019, and since then has been consecutively extended.
  • The previous restriction was set to expire on March 31, 2021.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENT NEWS

Denis Sassou Nguesso sworn as re-elected President of Republic of Congo

  • The Congolese politicianDenis Sassou Nguesso has been re-elected president of the Republic of the Congo with 88.57 percent of the vote.
  • The 77-year-old has been ruling the country for 36 years.
  • He first won the presidential election in 1979 and ruled for three consecutive terms till 1992.

TT Srinivasaraghavan appointed as Chairman Emeritus – appointed by FIDC

  • Finance Industry Development Council has appointed T T Srinivasaraghavan, Managing Director, Sundaram Finance as Chairman Emeritus, FIDCand Sanjay Chamria, VC & MD, Magma Fincorp & Umesh Revankar, MD, Shriram Transport Finance Co. Ltd. as its Co-Chairmen with effect from April 1, 2021.
  • Ramesh Iyer, Chairman, FIDC said that, TTS Sir has been with the NBFC Sector since more than 40 years and his honesty and wisdom, experience and exposure is known and acknowledged by one and all.
  • Even Reserve Bank of India and other Government authorities look at him with utmost respect.
  • He has been the Torch-bearer of NBFC Sector during good times and bad times and his joining FIDC for life will immensely benefit FIDC and NBFC Sector.
  • T T Srinivasaraghavan, Chairman Emeritus, FIDC said, “I am greatly humbled by this gesture on the part of FIDC.
  • It has been my privilege to serve this industry for nearly four decades and I look forward to contributing in whatever way I can to support the excellent work being done by the FIDC management team.”

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

American Author Carmen Maria Machado bags 2021 Rathbones Folio Literary prize 

  • Noted American author Carmen Maria Machadohas won the Rathbones Folio prize for the year 2021.
  • The 34-year-old author has won for her memoir, In the DreamHouse, released in 2019.
  • In the book, the author outlines her experiences in a same-sex relationship with her former partner, and the abuse she was subjected to.
  • The Rathbones Folio Prize is a literary award that was launched by London-based publisher The Folio Society in the initial two years, that is 2014-2015.
  • Then with a gap in 2016, from 2017 Rathbone Investment Management joined as the sponsor and the name changed from Folio Prize.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU’s AND AGREEMENTS

Bharat Biotech, Biovet and Sapigen Biologix collaborate with CSIR-IICT

  • Vaccine developers Bharat Biotech International, Biovet and Sapigen Biologix on March 29 collaborated with CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology to enhance indigenous vaccines and health care solutions.
  • Reportedly, CSIR-IICT will be funded by the pharmaceutical firms to innovate and develop affordable healthcare technologies for humans and animals.
  • Initiated under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Vision, the master collaborative agreement aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem by pooling the expertise of CSIR labs.

HPCL secure Shapoorji Pallonji stake in cooperation with LNG terminal

  • State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) will buy out the share of its JV (joint venture) partner SP Ports Pvt. Ltd (SPPPL) in 5 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) LNG re-gasification terminal at Chhara, Gujarat.
  • HPCL, in a regulatory filing on, March 28, announced that it has “has entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) dated March 27, 2021 (“Share Purchase Agreement”) for acquisition of 50% of the paid-up equity share capital of the Target Entity from SP Ports Private Limited.
  • “The company further stated that the acquisition is likely to be concluded by March 31, 2021, and doesn’t require regulatory approval.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING AND INDICES

World Bank announces “World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives”

  • The “World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives” was released by the World Bankon March 24, 2021.
  • The World Development Report focuses on how data can improve the lives of poor people and advance development objectives, to ensure no one is left behind.
  • It highlights the tremendous potential of the changing data landscape to improve the lives of poor people, at the same time acknowledging its potential to open back doors that can harm individuals, businesses, and societies.
  • Through this report, the World Bank aims to support its client countries by identifying where public and private sector investments are the most critical, defining a rich program for policy reform and technical assistance, and highlighting areas in which global initiatives can help to convene and facilitate cross-border cooperation.

2020 was Best Year for Wind Industry: Report released by Global Wind Report 2021

  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 was the best year in history for the global wind industry as this sector installed 93GW of new capacity in 2020, according to a new report titled ‘Global Wind Report 2021,released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC– Headquarters location: Brussels, Belgium).
  • This is the 16th annual flagship report, released by GWEC on March 25, 2021.
  • The 93GW represents a 53% year-on-year increase.

Key Takeaways of the report

  • As per the report, the global wind power market increased four times in size over the past decade but the record growth was seen in 2020.
  • This increase was driven by a surge of installations in China and the US alone
  • Together, the US and China installed 75% of new installations in 2020 and account for over half of the world’s total wind power capacity.
  • In current scenario, 743GW of wind power capacity has been installed worldwide, which is helping to avoid over 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 annually.
  • However GWEC’s report shows that the current rate of wind power installed will not be enough to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • The world needs to install a minimum of 180 GW of new wind energy every single year to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • Similarly, it will need to increase the capacity to 280GW annually to meet net zero emission targets by 2050.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : DEFENCE NEWS

India conducts joint patrol in Madagascar EEZ

  • In the first, the navies of India and Madagascar conducted joint patrolling of Madagascar’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
  • It is the first-ever joint patrol between the navies reflects the growing defence ties between the two Indian Ocean neighbours aimed at the common objective of ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
  • Indian Navy’s INS Shardul and Malagasy Naval Ship Trozona undertook Joint Patrol of Madagascar’s Exclusive Economic Zone and participated in PASSEX.
  • The first ever Joint Patrol between the navies of India and Madagascar reflect the growing defence ties between the two Indian Ocean neighbours aimed at the common objective of ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • A 4-member delegation led by Major General Léon Jean Richard RAKOTONIRINA, Minister of National Defence of Madagascar had visited India from February 3-5 to participate in the Aero India 2021 and IOR Defence Ministers Conclave at Bengaluru.Indian Naval Ship Shardul had arrived at port of Antsiranana, Madagascar on March 21 for Overseas Deployment of a training squadron headed by Captain Aftab Ahmed Khan.

About PASSEX :

  • The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations.

About Madagascar :

  • Capital: Antananarivo
  • President: Andry Rajoelina
  • Currency: Malagasy ariary

CURRENT AFFAIRS : ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS 

EIYS acquires 74% stake in Engie’s solar assets inIndia

  • On March 25th, 2021, Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus (EIYP), an alternative investment fund by Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors, acquired 74 per cent stake in French energy major, Engie Group’s, solar portfolio in India.
  • The Engie Group has 813 MW of operational solar assets in the country, and it plans to add up to 2 GW more over next couple of years, which once commissioned will be acquired by the EIYP
  • This partnership between EIYP and Engie is aimed at creating a high-quality solar platform of substantial scale with a plan to add 2 GW solar assets over the next couple of years.
  • These assets will be developed by Engie and acquired by EIYP post-commissioning under the agreed term.
  • With an AUM of over Rs 30,500 crore, the EAAA provides long-term growth capital to companies and projects.
  • This investment is in line with EIYP’s strategy to generate regular yields and create value for its investors by taking controlling stake in quality operating infrastructure assets with strong cash flows, the fund said.

About Edelweiss Group :

  • EIYP is the largest yield-focused infrastructure AIF (alternative investment fund) in the country and the only platform owning and operating assets in all three large infrastructure sectors — transmission, solar energy and highways.
  • Edelweiss Asset Management is one of the leading asset management platforms, housing the country’s largest alternatives platform and the fastest growing mutual fund business.
  • EIYP is a Sebi-registered category I AIF investing in infrastructure like power transmission, renewables, and roads and highways among others.
  • It is the largest yield focused infrastructure AIF in the country with capital commitments from both domestic and global investors.
  • Founded: November 1995
  • Founders: Rashesh Shah, Venkat Ramaswamy
  • Chairman : Rashesh shah
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra

CURRENT AFFAIRS : SUMMITS & CONFERENCES

Dr. Harsh Vardhan addresses 7th annual summit of NATHEALTH 

  • Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare addressed the 7th annual summit of NATHEALTH.
  • The Summit was Focusing on ‘Indian Health system expansion in post-COVID era
  • It is a 2-day virtual summit held on 25 and 26 March 2021.
  • The Summit was organised by NATHEALTH-Healthcare Federation of India, to bring the healthcare industry together to engage, collaborate and deliberate, to unveil a path together and emerge resilient in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Pradhan Mantri Aatma Nirbhar Swaasthya Yojana :

  • Pradhan Mantri Aatma Nirbhar Swaasthya Yojana will strengthen the healthcare system to meet the challenges of current and future pandemics.
  • The main objective of Pradhan Mantri Aatma Nirbhar Swaasthya Yojana is to strengthen health systems across the continuum of care to meet challenges of the current and future pandemics along with expanding and building robust IT-enabled surveillance systems to track and contain the spread of diseases.”

About MoHFW :

  • Union Minister : Harsh Vardhan
  • Minister of State : Ashwini Kumar Choubey

CURRENT AFFAIRS : OBITUARIES

Former RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty passes away at 68

  • Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor & Veteran banker Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty passed away
  • He was 68.

About KC Chakrabarty :

  • He started his career teaching at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
  • He was a gold medalist in MSc statistics and held a doctorate in the same subject from BHU.
  • Chakrabarty, who had spent nearly four decades across multiple public sector banks.
  • He was the Deputy Governor of the central bank between June 15, 2009 and April 25, 2014.
  • After he resigned three months before his term concluded.
  • He also served as the Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab National Bank (2007-2009) and CMD of Indian Bank (2005-2007).
  • Chakrabarty started his career as a banker with the Bank of Baroda where his last assignment was to head the UK operations of the bank between 2001 and 2004.

Daily CA On Mar 28 & 29 :

  • Public Health Department, Maharashtra and National Health Mission, government of India dedicated ‘Two air conditioned Mobile Medical Vans’ to the nation in Jalna district of Maharashtra.
  • Prasar Bharati CEO, Shashi Shekhar Vempati has expressed happiness that the public broadcaster-run Direct to Home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish has crossed 40 million subscribers.
  • Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that whenever various types of challenges arose in India, Judiciary always came with an apt and competent answer to it.
  • India and US have agreed to further India-US economic cooperation on the basis of shared objectives and resolve pending legacy issues through mutual dialogue and discussion.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated Shaheed Ashfaq Ulla Khan Zoological Park in Gorakhpur. 
  • Under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat State of Goa is paired with Jharkhand.
  • Biocon Ltd, an innovation-led global biopharma company, has announced a partnership between Biocon Pharma Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Biocon Limited, and Libbs Farmaceutica, a pharmaceuticals company in Brazil, to launch generic drugs in Brazil, the world’s sixth most populous country.
  • A Delhi court appointed a Local Commissioner (LC) to oversee the sealing of advocate Mehmood Pracha’s computer in a case of alleged tutoring of a witness in connection with the northeast Delhi riots.
  • The star-studded 66th Filmfare Awards saw Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Thappad’ recording the most wins with seven awards, followed by ‘Gulabo Sitabo’, winning six, both emerging as big winners.
  • Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has congratulated Mahinder Giri, range officer of Rajaji Tiger Reserve for being the only ranger from Asia to win the prestigious International Ranger Award for his contribution towards conservation.
  • India and Bangladesh signed 5 MoUs in the fields of trade, IT and setting up of sports facilities on the concluding day of the 2-day long official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • On March 26, 2021, Pakistan conducted a successful test-fired of a Shaheen-1A nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
  • The new bacterial strains discovered from different locations aboard the ISS .
  • The American author Carmen Maria Machado has won the £30,000 Rathbones Folio prize.
  • On March 26, 2021, The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced the venues for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022.
  • On March 26, 2021, Noted journalist and author Anil Dharker passed away in Mumbai.
  • Noted Odissi dancer Laxmipriya Mohapatra, Passes away.

Daily CA On Mar 30 :

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and had a discussion on the Afghan peace process.
  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will attend the 9th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan at Dushanbe in Tajikistan. 
  • The new version of Exam Warriors written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now available with many new mantras for students as well as parents.
  • Jal Jeevan Mission has achieved a new milestone of providing over 4 Crore rural households with tap water supply.
  • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm have agreed to revamp India-US Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP).
  • Government has received multiple expressions of interest for privatisation of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL). 
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has once again extended the restriction imposed on scam-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bankfor a further period of 3 months till June 30, 2021.
  • The Congolese politicianDenis Sassou Nguesso has been re-elected president of the Republic of the Congo with 88.57 percent of the vote.
  • Finance Industry Development Council has appointed T T Srinivasaraghavan, Managing Director, Sundaram Finance as Chairman Emeritus, FIDCand Sanjay Chamria, VC & MD, Magma Fincorp & Umesh Revankar, MD, Shriram Transport Finance Co. Ltd. as its Co-Chairmen with effect from April 1, 2021.
  • Noted American author Carmen Maria Machadohas won the Rathbones Folio prize for the year 2021.
  • Vaccine developers Bharat Biotech International, Biovet and Sapigen Biologix on March 29 collaborated with CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology to enhance indigenous vaccines and health care solutions.
  • State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) will buy out the share of its JV (joint venture) partner SP Ports Pvt. Ltd (SPPPL) in 5 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) LNG re-gasification terminal at Chhara, Gujarat.
  • The “World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives” was released by the World Bankon March 24, 2021.
  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 was the best year in history for the global wind industry as this sector installed 93GW of new capacity in 2020, according to a new report titled ‘Global Wind Report 2021,released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC– Headquarters location: Brussels, Belgium).
  • In the first, the navies of India and Madagascar conducted joint patrolling of Madagascar’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
  • On March 25th, 2021, Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus (EIYP), an alternative investment fund by Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors, acquired 74 per cent stake in French energy major, Engie Group’s, solar portfolio in India.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare addressed the 7th annual summit of NATHEALTH.
  • Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor & Veteran banker Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty passed away

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