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Important Current Affairs 8th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Serum Institute to invest £240 million for vaccine business in UK

• Serum Institute of India (SII) is expanding its vaccine business in the United Kingdom with an investment of £240 million. The serum has already started phase one trials in the UK of a one-dose nasal vaccine for C-19, in partnership with Codagenix INC. This was a part of the £533 million of new Indian investment in the UK in growing sectors such as health and technology.

• Serum’s investment will support clinical trials, research & development and possibly manufacturing of vaccines. This will help the UK and the world to defeat the C-19 pandemic and other deadly diseases.

NATIONAL

CBSE launched new mobile Application

• Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has launched a new mobile application for psycho social wellness of students and parents. The new app namely CBSE Dost for Life has been designed for students of classes 9 to 12 and it can be used for counselling sessions from 10th of this month.

• Making a departure from the existing practice of counselling through toll free number across the country, convenience and utility of students and parents with in the safe home environment. Through this app, live counselling sessions will be conducted free of cost on Monday, Wednesday and Friday by the trained counsellors.

OBITUARY

Singer Anup Bhattacharya passed Away due to C-19

• Freedom fighter and Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra musician Anup Bhattacharya passed away in Dhaka on Friday. He was 77.

• Anup Bhattacharya was recognised as an exceptional Tagore singer. He also composed Baul songs and modern Bangla songs.

• During the liberation war of Bangladesh he worked as the composer and music director at Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. Some of his patriotic songs like Teer Hara Ei Dheu-er Sagor, Rokto Diye Naam Likhhechhi, Purbo Digonte and Nongor Tolo Tolo inspired the liberation war fighters during 1971.

Senior Journalist Shesh Narayan Singh Passed Away due to C-19

• Veteran senior journalist Shesh Narayan Singh has passed away while undergoing treatment for C-19.

• He was 70. A columnist, political commentator and an expert on foreign policy, Shesh Narain Singh had a career spanning over two decades.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2021: 8 May

• The World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is observed every year on 8 May. The day aims to celebrate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to reduce the suffering of people and enabling them to lead a dignified life with independence, humanity, impartiality, universality, unity and neutrality.

• Theme 2021 World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day: ‘Unstoppable’

• The day also marks the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant (8 May 1828), who was the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He was the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.

World Migratory Bird Day 2021: 08 May

• World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is observed globally on 8 May. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of migratory birds and the importance of international cooperation to conserve them.

• “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day. The 2021 World Migratory Bird Day theme is an invitation to people everywhere to connect and re-connect with nature by actively listening to – and watching birds – wherever they are. At the same time, the theme appeals to people around the world to use their own voices and creativity to express their shared appreciation of birds and nature.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India & European Investment Bank Sign contract for Pune Metro Rail

• The Government of India (GoI) and European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the finance contract for the second tranche of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail project through a virtual signing ceremony. EIB had approved the total loan of Euro 600 million to fund the Pune Metro Rail project.

• The signing ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. Francisco Andre, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Portugal and H.E. Werner Hoyer, President EIB. K. Rajaraman, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed the loan on behalf of the Government of India and Christian Kettel Thomsen, Vice-President, signed the loan on behalf of EIB.

Rolls-Royce and HAL Sign MoU for Supporting Engine Business

• Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Rolls-Royce have signed an MoU to establish packaging, installation, marketing, and services support for Rolls-Royce MT30 marine engines in India.

• Through this MoU, Rolls-Royce and HAL will expand their long-standing partnership in India and work together in the area of marine applications for the first time. This partnership will leverage the rich experience of HAL’s IMGT (Industrial and Marine Gas Turbine) Division that works on marine gas turbines with Indian shipyards.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Meghan Markle’s New Children’s Book ‘The Bench’

• Meghan Markle will be releasing her new book, titled The Bench, on June 8, which was inspired by a poem she wrote to her husband, Prince Harry, on his first Father’s Day as a dad to son Archie.

• The book, with Watercolour illustrations by Christian Robinson, began as a poem that Markle says she wrote for Harry on the first Father’s Day after Archie was born.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Kotak Mahindra Bank to to facilitate digital transactions on eNAM platform

• Kotak Mahindra Bank announced that it has been selected as a digital payments partner by the National Agriculture Market (eNAM), a pan-India electronic trading portal for farm produce. KMBL will enable and facilitate online transactions for all stakeholders on the eNAM platform, including farmers, traders and farmer producer organisations (FPOs).

• Under this initiative, Kotak will provide payment, clearing and settlement services on the eNAM platform to facilitate trade between a buyer and seller of Agri produce. Kotak has integrated its payment system and portal directly with the payment interface of eNAM, to enable quick and safe transactions for Agri participants who have joined the platform.

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Important Current Affairs 7th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India, France and Australia hold Foreign Ministerial Dialogue

• The first-ever India-France-Australia Trilateral Foreign Ministerial Dialogue was held in London, UK, on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar from India, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne.

• The France, India, Australia trilateral meet was launched in September 2020 at Foreign Secretaries’ levels but has been elevated to ministerial level within one year of its inception. It has three joint priorities which are maritime security, environment, and multilateralism.

NATIONAL

Nation’s first ‘Drive in Vaccination Center’ unveiled in Mumbai (Maharashtra)

• The Nation’s first ‘Drive in Vaccination Center’ was inaugurated by MP Rahul Shewale in Mumbai. This center has been set up in the parking lot of Kohinoor Square Tower at Dadar. This first of its kind ‘Drive-in Vaccination Center’ facility has been made available to the citizens at a time when people with disabilities are facing difficulties in getting to the vaccination center.

• The center also provides transportation facilities to the citizens who do not have their own vehicles. The vaccination has been started and the facility is available for all sections of society. MP Rahul Shewale informed that this facility will be provided in other multi-parking lots in the city, after assessing the success of this first project.

Odisha government announced Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana for journalists

• Odisha government has announced Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana for journalists. Odisha has declared the journalists as frontline Covid warriors. It will benet more than 6500 journalists of the state.

• Under the Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana, a health insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh will be provided to each Journalist. Under the scheme, financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh will be provided to the families of journalists who died from C-19 while performing duty.

OBITUARY

Rashtriya Lok Dal Founder Ajit Singh Passed Away

• Former Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) founder and leader Ajit Singh has passed away battling C-19. He was the son of former Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh.

• Ajit Singh had served as Minister of Commerce & Industry under Prime Minister V. P. Singh; Minister of Food Processing Industries in P. V. Narasimha Rao’s cabinet; Minister of Agriculture in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government and Minister of Civil Aviation in Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Former Personal Secretary, V Kalyanam Passed Away

• Mahatma Gandhi’s former personal secretary V Kalyanam passed away. He was Gandhi’s personal secretary from 1943 to 1948, when the Mahatma was assassinated.

• Kalyanam was preserving letters written by Gandhiji, a cheque bearing his sign and other literature associated with him. He was proficient in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and English. A staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he was also associated with Rajaji in the 1960s.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

THDCIL has appointed Vijay Goel as CMD

• THDC India Ltd has announced that Vijay Goel assumed as chairman and managing director. His appointment will come into effect from May 1, 2021. He joined the company in 1990 as a senior personnel officer (SPO) from NHPC Ltd. He has more than 35 years of varied experience in the field of human resource management.

• During his tenure as general manager, he was also in charge of corporate communications, law and arbitration functions. His key areas of interventions are policy formation, manpower planning, establishment and estate functions, employee relations, compliance of labour laws and overall formulation and implementation of policies. He played a vital role in putting in place initial HR systems immediately after the establishment of the THDCIL.

MK Stalin takes oath as Tamil Nadu CM

• DMK chief MK Stalin was sworn in as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday along with 33 members of his Cabinet. The event at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai was a simple ceremony due to C-19 restrictions in place. Stalin's wife Durga Stalin and son Udhyanidhi Stalin and sister Kanimozhi were present during the ceremony. Udhyanidhi Stalin had made his political debut this year and won from Chennai's Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni assembly seat.

• Political strategist Prashant Kishor was also present at the event. Stalin, who's 69-year-old, has assumed the office as Chief Minister for the first time. Stalin was also sworn in as the home minister of the state. He'll also hold other portfolios like administrative and police service, special programmes and welfare of differently-abled persons. Stalin's Cabinet, including him, is 34-member strong and he has retained senior leaders like Duraimurugan and over a dozen will be ministers for the first time.

N Rangasamy takes oath as Puducherry CM

• AINRC Chief N Rangasamy will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Union Territory of Puducherry at a brief ceremony on Friday. The oath of office will be administered by Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at a brief session on the precincts of Raj Bhawan. 

• Notably, Rangasamy alone would be inducted as Chief Minister today although he would be heading an NDA dispensation which has the BJP as the other constituent. However, the swearing in of other ministers, including those from BJP will take place in the next few days.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Oil and Gas PSUs inks MoU for Shri Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand

• The top Oil and Gas PSUs of India, including Indian Oil, BPCL, HPCL, ONGC and GAIL, have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with the Shri Badrinath Utthan Charitable Trust, for Construction and Redevelopment of Shri Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand as a Spiritual Smart hill Town.

• These PSUs will contribute Rs. 99.60 crore in the first phase of the project.

• Phase I will include developmental activities such as river embankment work, building all-terrain vehicular path, building bridges, beautifying existing bridges, establishing gurukul facilities with accommodation, creating toilet and drinking water facilities, installing streetlights, mural paintings etc.

• The initiative is part of the Government’s effort to boost tourism by attracting more tourists, which in turn would strengthen the economy of the state. The rejuvenation work of Shri Badrinath Dham is expected to be completed within a span of three-year time.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Former Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir Gita Mittal to be awarded

• Former Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal has been declared as one of the two recipients of the Arline Pacht Global Vision Award for 2021.

• The announcement was made by International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) which instituted the award in 2016.

Singer Pink bags Icon Award at Billboard Music Awards

• Singer Pink will be honoured with the Icon Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs). The award aims to recognize artists who have achieved success on the Billboard charts and left an indelible impact on music.

• Pink joins previous honourees that include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Garth Brooks.

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Important Current Affairs 6th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World’s largest aeroplane, designed to transport hypersonic vehicles

• The world’s largest aeroplane, designed to transport hypersonic vehicles and facilitate easy access to space, soared into clear skies over California’s Mojave Desert. The company Stratolaunch designed it to transport hypersonic vehicles and facilitate easy access to space.

• The aircraft named ‘Roc’ features a twin-fuselage design and the longest wingspan ever flown, at 385 feet (117 m), surpassing the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat of 321 feet (98 m). The Stratolaunch is intended to carry a 550,000-pound payload and will be able to launch rockets from high altitude.

NATIONAL

Mamata Banerjee takes oath 3rd consecutive time as CM of WB

• Mamata Banerjee was sworn as West Bengal Chief Minister for the third time in the shadow of C-19 and post-poll violence in parts of the state. The oath ceremony took place with C-19 protocols in place at the “Throne Room” at the Raj Bhavan. The rest of the cabinet and the council of ministers will be sworn in on May 9, the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

• Mamata Banerjee won a landslide victory in the Bengal election to secure a third straight term. The Trinamool won 213 of 292 seats while its strongest rival, BJP, finished second with 77 seats. Mamata Banerjee will head to her office Nabanna, where she will be given a guard of honour by the Kolkata Police.

PepsiCo Foundation partners with SEEDS

• PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, said it has partnered with the not-for-profit organisation, Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) to launch a community C-19 vaccination drive and set up C-19 care centres. To focus on Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana. As part of the partnership, SEEDS will drive C-19 vaccinations for the community at large, set up Covid care centres equipped with beds and medical facilities, including oxygen cylinders.

• Over 1 lakh vaccines doses will be provided to communities, to be administered through the local healthcare system, while five C-19 care centres will be set up for three months that will be equipped with beds and medical facilities, including oxygen cylinders, PepsiCo India said in a statement.

Armed Forces Launched “CO-JEET” for Mental Health Of C-19 Patients

• The armed forces have launched operation “CO-JEET” to aid anti-C-19 efforts, like strengthening the medical system in India and oxygen supply chains. Along with these, CO-JEET also take measures to ensure the mental wellbeing of people. Apart from medical therapy, patients necessitate the assurance that “they will be fine” and at times that is all they need to gain back self-confidence and courage.

• Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Medical) Kanitkar is the third woman to become a three-star general in the armed forces. Vice Admiral Dr. Punita Arora & Air Marshal Padmavathy Bandopadhyay are the 1st & 2nd.

Indian Army Launched First Solar Plant in Sikkim

• The Indian Army recently launched the first Green Solar Energy harnessing plant in Sikkim. It was launched to benefit the troops of the Indian army. The plant uses Vanadium based battery technology. It was built at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The capacity of the plant is 56 KVA. It was completed in collaboration with IIT Mumbai.

• In January 2021, Vanadium was discovered in Arunachal Pradesh. This was the first discovery of Vanadium in India.

• India consumes 4% of global vanadium production in the world.

• It is found in sixty different minerals and ores that includes carnotite, vanadate, roscoelite, patronite.

SPORTS

ICC Banned, Former Sri Lanka player Nuwan Zoysa for 6 years

• Former Sri Lanka player and coach, Nuwan Zoysa has been banned from all cricket for six years after an ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching the ICC anti-corruption code. The ban for Zoysa is backdated to 31 October 2018, when he was provisionally suspended.

• Zoysa guilty of “being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or another aspect (s) of an International Match.” The other charge is about “directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach Code Article 2.1.”

OBITUARY

Former Governor of J&K Jagmohan Malhotra Passed Away

• Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Jagmohan Malhotra has passed away. Jagmohan served two terms as Jammu and Kashmir Governor, once from 1984 to 1989, and then from January 1990 to May 1990. He had also served as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Goa and Daman & Diu.

• Jagmohan was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and served as the Union Minister for Urban Development and Tourism in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998. Apart from this, he was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1971, Padma Bhushan in 1977 and Padma Vibhushan in 2016.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International No Diet Day 2021: 06 May

• International No Diet Day is observed on May 6, and its symbol is a light blue ribbon. It is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. It means recognising that your body is beautiful exactly as it is and worry less about your weight, body shape and more about being healthy and active.

• The day is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Maria Ressa has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO

• Maria Ressa has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The $25,000 prize “recognizes outstanding contributions to the defence or promotion of press freedom especially in the face of danger,” according to UNESCO. The prize was named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, the Colombian journalist.

• UNESCO cited Ressa’s more than a 3-decade career as a journalist, including her work as CNN’s lead investigative reporter for Asia and as news chief of Philippine broadcast giant ABS-CBN. Recently, her citation added, Ressa “has been the target of online attacks and judicial processes” for her investigative work and her position as CEO of Rappler.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI Announced Term Liquidity Facility of Rs. 50,000 Crore For Healthcare

• RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has announced a C-19 healthcare package of Rs 50,000 crore, for lending to entities such as vaccine makers, medical equipment suppliers, hospitals and related sectors, besides the patients in need of funds for treatment.

• The new on-tap special liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crore will be made available to the banks at the repo rate, for access to emergency health security amid the economic stress due to the second wave of C-19 in India.

• Banks can give loans under this facility till March 31, 2022. This C-19 loan will be provided for a tenure of up to 3 years and will be classified as a priority sector loan till repayment or maturity.

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Important Current Affairs 5th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Virtual summit: India and UK adopted the ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’

• India and the UK on Tuesday adopted the ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ during the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, to elevate bilateral ties to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.

• “The Roadmap will pave the way for a deeper and stronger engagement over the next ten years in the key areas of people to people contacts, trade and economy, defence and security, climate action and health,”.

• In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “We welcomed the launch of an Enhanced Trade Partnership as a roadmap to a comprehensive FTA, with a target to more than double the bilateral trade by 2030. We also agreed upon several new initiatives in health, technology, energy, etc.”

NATIONAL

Facebook introduces vaccine finder tool on mobile app

• Facebook has partnered with the GOI to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its mobile app in India, which will help people identify places nearby to get inoculated. The social media giant had, earlier this week, announced a USD 10 million grant for emergency response efforts for the C-19 situation in the country.

• Partnering with the GOI, Facebook will begin rolling out its Vaccine Finder tool on the Facebook mobile app in India available in 17 languages to help people identify places nearby to get the vaccine.

• In this tool, vaccine centre locations and their hours of operation have been provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

• The cumulative number of C-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 15.22 crore.

SPORTS

BCCI granted NOC to 4 Indian Women cricketers

• The BCCI has granted “No Objection Certificates” to four Indian women cricketers, including T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, to play in the inaugural ‘Hundred’ tournament in the United Kingdom starting on July 21.

• Opener Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Deepti Sharma are among the four bound for the 100-ball tournament.

• It is learnt that these four Indian players will extend their stay in the UK following the completion of India’s multi-format tour of England in June-July.

• The tour begins with a one-off Test at Bristol on June 16 and concludes with the third and final T20I on July 15.

OBITUARY

First female IAS officer of Assam, Parul Devi passed away

• Parul Devi Das, the first female IAS officer from Assam, passed away. She was an Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer.

• She was the daughter of the former cabinet minister of undivided Assam – Ramnath Das. She was the sister of former Assam Chief Secretary Naba Kumar Das.

‘Shooter Dadi’ passed away due to C-19

• Shooter Chandro Tomar, nicknamed ‘Shooter Dadi’, passed away at the age of 89 due to C-19.

• She was hailing from the Baghpat village in Uttar Pradesh, Tomar was 60-plus when she picked up the gun for the first time but went on to win many national competitions for veterans, her feats ultimately inspiring the award-winning Bollywood movie ‘Saand ki Aankh’.

Scientist Manas Bihari Passed Away

• The Indian aeronautical scientist, Manas Bihari Verma, who played an instrumental role in the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas, has passed away. He worked as a scientist at the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) for 35 years in the aeronautical stream.

• He was given the responsibility for the design of the Tejas aircraft mechanical system, where he led the team responsible for the full-scale engineering development of the Tejas aircraft in the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). The noted scientist has conferred the Padma Sri civilian honour in 2018.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the Midwife 2021: 05 May

• International Day of the Midwife is observed globally on 5 May every year since 1992. This day is celebrated to recognise the work of midwives and raise awareness about the status of midwives for the essential care they provide to mothers and their newborns.

• The theme for 2021 International Day of the Midwife is “Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives.”

• The idea of having a day to recognize and honour midwives came out of the 1987 International Confederation of Midwives conference in the Netherlands. International Midwives’ Day was first celebrated May 5, 1991, and has been observed in more than 50 nations around the world.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2021: 05 May

• Every year, the World Hand Hygiene Day is observed on May 5. The day is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness among people across the globe about the importance of hand hygiene in warding off many serious infections.

• The theme for 2021 is ‘Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’. The day recognizes hand washing as one of the most effective actions that can be taken to avoid a huge range of infections including the C-19 virus.

World Asthma Day 2021: 04 May

• World Asthma Day is observed every year on the 1st Tuesday of May. This year, World Asthma Day is observed on May 4, 2021. The day spread awareness about asthma disease and care around the world. Whilst the primary focus is supporting the person with asthma, support may also extend to family, friends and caregivers. The theme for 2021 World Asthma Day is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions“.

• World Asthma Day is annually organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). In 1998, the first World Asthma Day was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Ms Ujjwala Singhania has been appointed as the National President of FICCI FLO

• Ms Ujjwala Singhania has been appointed as the National President of FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), the oldest women-led & women-centric business chamber of Southeast Asia.

• She took over as the 38th President of FLO at the FLO’s 37th Annual Session in presence of eminent personalities including Smt. Smriti Irani, Honourable Minister for Women & Child Development, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Honourable Minister for Rural Development, Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, Government of India among others.

• As the 38th National President of FLO Ms Singhania will focus on empowering women by facilitating an enabling environment that promotes entrepreneurship, industry participation and economic development of women. Under her leadership, FLO will carry out many interventions towards fostering larger contributions of women in India’s Industrial and economic Growth story.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

 RBI imposed monetary penalty of Rs.3 crore on ICICI Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs.3 crores on ICICI Bank for non-compliance with its directions in the matter of shifting of securities from one category to another. The monetary penalty has been imposed on the Bank for contravention of certain directions contained in its Master Circular on ‘Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operation of Investment Portfolio by Banks.’

• This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act). RBI observed that an examination of correspondence in the matter of shifting of securities from one category to another revealed, inter alia, contravention of the aforesaid directions issued by it. This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

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Important Current Affairs 4th May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India and Russia to established a ‘2+2 ministerial dialogue’

•India and Russia have agreed to establish ‘2+2 Ministerial Dialogue’ at the Foreign & Defence Minister level between the two countries. Russia is the fourth country and first Non-Quad member country with which India has established the ‘2+2 Ministerial dialogue’ mechanism. India has such a mechanism with the US, Japan and Australia. It is expected to boost the bilateral strategic partnership between India & Russia.

•Relations between India and Russia are rooted in history, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation. This is a strategic partnership that has withstood the test of time, and which enjoys the support of the people of both countries.

•Diplomatic relations between India and Russia began even before India achieved independence, on 13 April 1947.

NATIONAL

Wipro become the third most-valued Indian IT firm

•Wipro regained its position as the third largest Indian IT services company by market capitalization of Rs. 2.65 trillion by suppressing HCL Technologies’ Rs. 2.62 trillion market cap. TCS remains at the top of the list with a market cap of Rs. 11.51 trillion followed by Infosys.

•Wipro has also announced its commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040, in line with the objective of the Paris Agreement to cap temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius. The country’s third-largest largest software services company has set an intermediate target of 55 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 in absolute emission levels compared to its base year of 2016-17 (April-March).

SPORTS

Lewis Hamilton won Portuguese Grand Prix

•Lewis Hamilton overtook title rival Max Verstappen and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to win the Portuguese Grand Prix. Verstappen finished second, while Bottas, who started from pole, came in a disappointing third place. Sergio Perez took the flag in fourth, with Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.

•The reigning Formula One champion dropped to third in the opening laps but made two impressive moves in nine race-winning laps to claim his second victory of the season.

Sri Lankan cricketer Thisara Perera Announced Retirement

•Sri Lankan all-rounder and former captain, Thisara Perera has announced his retirement from international cricket, ending his international career which spanned nearly 12 years.

•Perera played six Tests, 166 ODIs (2338 runs, 175 wickets), and 84 T20Is (1204 runs, 51 wickets) for Sri Lanka, after making his debut in December 2009. The 32-year-old would continue to play domestic and franchise cricket.

Sindhu, Michelle Li appointed ambassadors for IOC’s ‘Believe in Sport’ campaign

•The Badminton World Federation announced that India shuttler PV Sindhu and Canada’s Michelle Li have been nominated as athlete ambassadors for the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ‘Believe in Sport’ campaign aimed at preventing competition manipulation.

•Sindhu and Li will be working alongside other athlete ambassadors from around the world to raise awareness on the topic of competition manipulation amongst athletes and encourage. The pair have been global ambassadors for BWF’s ‘i am badminton’ campaign since April 2020. The IOC’s ‘Believe in Sport’ campaign was launched in 2018 to raise awareness among athletes, coaches and officials of the threat of competition manipulation.

OBITUARY

Film and TV Actor Bikramjeet Kanwarpal passed away due to C-19

•Actor Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, who has been a popular character in many films, TV shows and web series, has passed away due to C-19 complications. The actor was latest seen in Anil Kapoor’s series 24 and web series Special OPS. He was a retired Army officer. Some of his well-known films include Creature 3D, Horror Story, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Bypass Road and Shortcut Romeo.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Mahesh Balasubramanian appointed as MD of Kotak Mahindra Life

•Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited (KLI) on 1st May announced it has appointed Mahesh Balasubramanian as managing director of the company. He has been appointed following the retirement of G Murlidhar.

•The company is in receipt of approval from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India for the appointment of Balasubramanian. The appointment is for a period of three years. Suresh Agarwal has been elevated to MD & CEO of Kotak General Insurance.

Justice Prafulla Chandra appointed NHRC as acting chairperson

•The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member Justice (retired) Prafulla Chandra Pant had been appointed as the acting chairperson of the Commission with effect from April 25. A former Supreme Court judge, Justice Pant was appointed member of the NHRC on April 22, 2019.  The post of a chairperson has been vacant since Justice H.L. Dattu, a former Chief Justice of India, completed his tenure on December 2, 2020.

•Previously, he was appointed the first Chief Justice of the newly established Meghalaya High Court at Shillong on 20th September 2013 and continued till 12th August 2014.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD): 04 May 2021

•The International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4 every year since 1999. The day is celebrated to recognise and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible.

•The day was instituted, after the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia on 2 December 1998.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Japanese Government awarded Shyamala Ganesh the “Order of Rising Sun”

•The Japanese Government recently awarded the “Order of Rising Sun” to a Bengaluru based Japanese teacher, Shyamala Ganesh. She is a Japanese teacher at the Septuagenarian institution and also at the Ohara School of Ikebana in RT Nagar, Bengaluru. She has tutored more than hundreds of students since its inception 38 years ago. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement.

•The award is presented to those who have made distinguished achievements in the promotion of Japanese culture, achievements in international relations, advancements in their field and conservation of the environment.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

GST revenues touch high of Rs.1.41 lakh crore in April

•Gross revenues from the Goods and Services Tax hit a record high of Rs.1.41 lakh crore in April 2021 in India, suggesting economic activity may not yet be as badly affected amidst the ongoing second wave of the C-19 pandemic, as last year.

•April’s GST collections surpassed the previous highest collections of Rs.1.24 lakh crore in March 2021 by 14%, and mark the seventh month in a row since October that GST revenues have crossed Rs.1 lakh crore.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Nepal Govt closes 22 entry points with India

•The Nepal government has decided to close 22 border points with India amid a sharp surge in C-19 cases in India.

•The decision came after the C-19 Crisis Management Coordination Committee (CCMC) on Friday recommended to the Council of Ministers to shut down 22 out of a total of 35 border points between Nepal and India.

•Now only 13 border points between Nepal and India will remain operational.

•The decision comes in the wake of rising cases of C-19 infections in the southern neighbour.

S Jaishankar set for G7 ministers' meet in UK

•External affairs minister S Jaishankar will on Monday begin a four-day visit to the United Kingdom to participate in the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting and to hold bilateral meetings with British interlocutors.

•The UK is hosting the first in-person G7 foreign ministers meeting in two years, in London, from May 3 to 5. India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa and the chair and secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have been invited as guests.

•The visit will come ahead of a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

•The G7 foreign ministers’ meeting will focus on geopolitical priorities, such as Russia, China and Iran, the British foreign office said in a tweet. It will also take up global challenges, including climate change, the C-19 pandemic and famine.

Nigeria restricts visitors from India, Brazil

•Nigeria will ban entry to non-Nigerian passengers who travelled to India, Brazil, and Turkey in the last two weeks because of concerns over the rapid spread of coronavirus in those three nations.

•The travel ban announced on Sunday does not apply to passengers who transited through those countries, Nigeria’s presidential steering committee on C-19.

OLA to launch e-scooter internationally

•Ola Electric is looking at taking its electric scooter to international markets, including countries like France, Italy and Germany, this fiscal.

•The company, which is working on setting up a 'Hypercharger Network' for its electric vehicle, is slated to launch its electric scooter in India in July this year.

•Last year, Ola had announced a Rs 2,400-crore investment for setting up its first electric scooter factory in Tamil Nadu. Upon completion, the factory will create nearly 10,000 jobs and will be the world's largest scooter manufacturing facility that will initially have an annual capacity of 2 million units.

NATIONAL

Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra launched Project ‘Oxygen on Wheels’

•The Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra has rolled out a project titled ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ to ease the transportation of oxygen from producing plants to hospitals and homes, following acute oxygen shortage amid a severe second wave of coronavirus. The ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ initiative will bridge the gap between oxygen production and its transportation in India, especially in Maharashtra.

•Mahindra has lined up around 70 Bolero pickup trucks to connect oxygen producers with hospitals and homes, to deliver oxygen cylinders.

OBITUARY

Famous Doordarshan Anchor Kanupriya Passed Away due to C-19

•A known face on India’s national television network, Kanupriya died of C-19 on Friday. She was on oxygen support for the last two days before breathing her last on April 30. Her sister BK Shivani shared the news on social media.

•Kanupriya had made her TV debut with Doordarshan and currently hosted the daily show Awakening with Brahma Kumaris. Apart from news anchoring, she was also an actress and a filmmaker.

Sitar maestro Pandit Devabrata Chaudhuri Passed Away due to C-19

•Sitar maestro Pandit Debu Chaudhuri has passed away following C-19 related complications. The Legend of Sitar belonged to the Senia or Gharana style of music.

•He had been awarded the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri. He was also a teacher and writer and had penned six books and composed many new ragas.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Press Freedom Day 3 May

•World Press Freedom Day is observed globally on 3 May every year. It is also known as World Press Day. The day also pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives. They risk their lives at times or may even have to face tough situations in order to bring the news from different corners of the world in front of the public.

•This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good”. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

World Tuna Day: 2nd May Every year 

•World Tuna Day is observed globally on 2nd May every year. This day is established by the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness about the importance of tuna fish. It is observed for the first time in 2017. According to the UN, an outsized number of nations worldwide depend upon tuna for both food security and nutrition. At the same time, more than 96 countries have tuna fisheries, and their capacity is constantly growing.

•The World Tuna Day was officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting resolution 71/124 in December 2016. Its aim was to spotlight the importance of conservation management and make sure that a system is required in place to prevent tuna stocks from crashing. The primary internationally recognized World Tuna Day was observed on 2 May 2017.

World Laughter Day: First Sunday of May, every year

•World Laughter Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May every year. It is a day to raise awareness about laughter and its many healing benefits.

•In 2021, the day falls on 02 May 2021. World Laughter Day was first celebrated on May 10, 1998, in Mumbai upon the initiation of Dr Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal

• Hidden between rock-strewn mountains covered with lush greenery and yellow flowers inside the UNESCO-recognised Arouca Geopark, the bridge hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing River Paiva.

• Hugo Xavier became one of the first people to cross the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge when it opened on Thursday.

UK:  World’s First country to allow Driverless cars on roads

• The United Kingdom has become the first country to announce regulation for the use of self-driving vehicles at low speeds. The UK wants to be at the forefront in rolling out autonomous driving technology. The Government of the UK forecasts that around 40% of UK cars will have self-driving capabilities by 2035. This will create 38,000 jobs in the country. The speed limit of the ALKS is to be set at 37 miles per hour. The ALKS shall drive itself in a single lane.

• A self-driving vehicle is fully autonomous. No driver is required for the safe operation of the vehicle. Self-driving technologies have been developed by Uber, Google, Nissan, Tesla. Most of the self-driving systems maintain an internal map. They use lasers, sensors and radars to map their surroundings. Based on the map created, instructions are delivered to the actuators of the vehicle.

NATIONAL

NFAI publishes rich treasure of oral history on the occasion of Dadasaheb Phalke anniversary

• On the occasion of the 151st birth anniversary of the father of Indian cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has published a rich treasure of audio recordings in the public domain.

• About 8000 minutes of interviews of veteran film artists from the Indian film industry are now made available on the NFAI website. Starting from the silent era of Indian cinema, these are the fascinating tales of journeys of actors, technicians, producers, directors and studio owners. Conducted mostly in the 1980s, these interviews were recorded as part of the Oral History Project of NFAI’s Research Programme and features long interviews of pioneering film personalities, narrating the experiences about their life, stories and anecdotes from the world of cinema.

Serum institute of India to start vaccine production outside India

• The Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca C-19 vaccine, is planning to start vaccine production in other countries as it struggles to meet supply commitment.

• Mr. Poonawalla said last week that the Serum Institute would be able to raise its monthly output to 100 million doses by July, later than a previous timeline of end-May. Several states have run out of vaccines against C-19.

Karnal administration (Haryana) rolled out ‘Oxygen on wheels’ to tackle oxygen crisis

• In wake of the acute oxygen shortage across the country, the Karnal administration (Haryana) has rolled out ‘Oxygen on wheels’ to assist hospitals in the fight against the C-19 pandemic and oxygen crisis. The purpose is to ensure a smooth supply of medical oxygen to hospitals treating C-19 patients.

• Under this initiative, a carrier vehicle called a Mobile oxygen bank loaded with 100 Oxygen Cylinders reaches out to any district hospital which requisitions its urgent supply. This Round clock service has been able to cater to the demands of various hospitals in the area. The initiative is functional 24*7 for all hospitals in the Karnal district.

OBITUARY

Former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin passed away

• Former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin passed away on Saturday. He was being treated at the DDU hospital in New Delhi after testing positive for C-19.

• Shahabuddin, serving a life sentence for murder in Tihar jail, had contracted the virus on April 20, after which he was admitted to DDU hospital.

IMPORTANT DAYS

400th Parkash Purab of guru Tegh bahadur

• The auspicious occasion of Guru Tegh Bahadur's 400th Prakash Purab has celebrated on May 1, this year. He was the 9th of the 10 Gurus that founded the Sikh religion.

• He was also considered to be the leader of Sikhs from 1665 until his demise in 1675.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Indian Bank signs MoU with BSNL to provide seamless telecom services

• Indian Bank signed an MoU with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to provide seamless telecom services to the Indian Bank at competitive market rates. This means the telco might be availing its services to the bank for a lower market rate than usual.

• The bank is already using the services of BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited for its Wide Area Network across the country Dr VK Sanjeevi, chief general manager of Chennai Telephones said that BSNL and its subsidiary MTNL is connecting 5,000 branches and ATMs of Indian Bank.

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Important Current Affairs 1st May 2021

OBITUARY

South Africa's zulu Queen Mantfombi passed away

• The Zulu royal family in South Africa has announced the death of its monarch Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu just a month after she became regent.

• Queen Mantfombi, 65, became interim leader of the country's largest ethnic group last month after the death of her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini.

American Astronaut Michael Collins Passed Away

• The American astronaut, Michael Collins, who was the command module pilot for the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, has passed away, after losing his battle to cancer.

• During the three-man Apollo 11 crew mission in 1969, Collins kept the command module flying while the other two members, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. Collins spent seven years of his career as an astronaut with NASA.

TV Journalist and news anchor Rohit Sardana Passed Away

• Renowned TV journalist and news anchor, Rohit Sardana, has passed away, due to a heart attack, following the deadly C-19 infection. The young journalist was just 41-year-old. Sardana was associated with Zee News since 2004, before moving to AajTak in 2017.

• With Zee News, he hosted Taal Thok Ke, a programme that discusses contemporary issues in India, while with AajTak, he was hosting the debate show ”Dangal.” Sardana was awarded the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Puraskar by the Indian government in 2018.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Niraj Bajaj Appointed as Bajaj Auto Chairman of the board

• Bajaj Auto has announced the appointment of Neeraj Bajaj as its new Chairman of the Board with effect from May 1, 2021. The automaker has also announced Rahul Bajaj as its Chairman Emeritus. This will be taken up at the ensuing annual general meeting for the approval of the shareholders.

• Rahul Bajaj, Non-executive Chairman of the Company, having been at the helm of the Company since 1972 and the Group for five decades, considering his age, has tendered his resignation as a non-executive director and Chairman of the Company with effect from close of business hours on 30 April 2021.

Amitabh Chaudhry Re-appointed as MD & CEO of Axis Bank for three years

• Amitabh Chaudhry has been re-appointed as the Managing Director and CEO of the private sector lender Axis Bank for three more years by the bank board. His second 3 years term will begin with effect from January 1, 2022, up to December 31, 2024.

• Chaudhry was first appointed as Managing Director (MD) and CEO of Axis Bank for a period of three years, with effect from January 1, 2019 up to December 31, 2021. Prior to that, he was the MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company.

IMPORTANT DAYS

1st May: Maharashtra day and Gujarat Day

• Each year, the Marathi community celebrates Maharashtra Day all around the world on May 1. Most people are aware that May 1 is Labour Day but not many people know that this day is also celebrated as Maharashtra Day.

• Along with Maharastra Day, Gujarat Day is also celebrated on May 1 each year as the states of Maharashtra and Gujrat were formed on May 1.

International Workers’ Day or May day: 1st May

• International Labour Day (also known as May Day or International Workers’ Day) is celebrated across the world on the 1st of May every year. The day celebrates the struggle, dedication and commitment of the working class and is an annual public holiday in several countries.

• On 1 May 1886, Chicago and a few other cities were the sites of a major union demonstration in support of the eight-hour workday demand. In 1889, the International Socialist Conference declared that in commemoration of the Haymarket affair, 1 May would be an international holiday for the labour force, now known as International Workers’ Day.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

TRIFED inks MoU with ‘The LINK Fund’ for tribal development

• Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED), has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The LINK Fund, for a collaborative project titled “Sustainable Livelihoods For Tribal Households in India”.  Under the project, both the organisations will work together towards.

• Tribal Development and Employment Generation, by providing support to tribals for increasing value addition in their produce and products.

• Sustainable livelihoods and value addition, for the increase in income and employment generation through technological intervention for efficiency in value addition for MFPs, produce and crafts diversification, skill training and enhancement of value additions in minor forest produce.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SIDBI launched SHWAS and AROG Loan Schemes for MSMEs

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), has launched two loan products for MSMEs to help them with the required financial support in the fight against the C-19. These two new quick credit delivery schemes will facilitate funding for production and services related to the supply of oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, oximeters and essential drugs by MSMEs.

Two new loan products:-

• SHWAS – SIDBI assistance to Healthcare sector in War Against Second wave of COVID19.

• AROG – SIDBI Assistance to MSMEs for Recovery & Organic Growth during COVID19 pandemic.

Brand Finance Insurance report 2021: LIC Among Top Ten Most-Valuable Insurance Brand Globally

• The state-owned insurance behemoth ‘Life Insurance Corporation (LIC)’ has emerged as the third strongest and the tenth most valuable insurance brand globally, in Brand Finance Insurance 100 report for 2021. The annual report is released by London-based brand valuation consultancy firm Brand Finance, to identify the most valuable and strongest insurance brands globally.

• The brand value of LIC increased by almost 7 per cent to $8.65 billion in 2021.

• Chinese firm ‘Ping An Insurance’ emerged as the world’s most valuable insurance brand, despite recording a 26 per cent drop in brand value in 2021 over the previous year.

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Important Current Affairs 30th April 2021

NATIONAL

Vaishali is the first woman officer to Appointed in BRO

• Vaishali S Hiwase became the first woman officer to be appointed as officer commanding in the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) where she will be responsible for providing connectivity through an Indo-China border road.

Odisha government has started ambitious initiative of crop diversification

• Odisha government has started ambitious initiative of crop diversification in mega lift point ( MLIP) ayacut areas of the State.

• The action plan for coming Khariff season towards this effect was discussed in a high level meeting held on digital mode under the chairmanship of chief secretary Suresh Chnadra Mahapatra here in Lokseba Bhawan wherein agriculture secretary Suresh Kumar Vashishth outlined the issues for discussion.

SPORTS

ASBC Asian boxing championship 2021 will be held in Dubai

• In the wake of international travel restrictions to India, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), in consultation with Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC), has decided to conduct the upcoming 2021 edition of the ASBC Asian Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships in Dubai.

• The event will now be organised by BFI in association with UAE Boxing Federation.

• The prestigious tournament was earlier scheduled to take place between May 21 to 31 at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi. BFI had also received the NOC from the Sports Ministry to host the tournament and the preparations were in full swing.

OBITUARY

Allahabad high court judge passed away due to C-19

• Justice Virendra Kumar Srivastava of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court died of Covi-19 on Wednesday. He was 59.

• Srivastava, who had tested positive for coronavirus, was undergoing treatment at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute (SGPGI) in Lucknow.

Eminent Indian educationist, popular columnist Manoj Das Passed Away

• Eminent Indian educationist, popular columnist and prolific author, who wrote in Odia and English, Manoj Das has passed away.

• The first book of Das was of poetry called ‘Satavdira Artanada’, in Odia, which was published when he was in high school. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2020 for his contributions in the field of literature and education.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ravindra Jadeja has appointed ASICS brand ambassador

• Japanese Sportswear brand ASICS announced that it has appointed Ravindra Jadeja, the all-rounder of the Indian cricket team and Chennai Super Kings as its brand ambassador. The company, which focuses on sporting gear for the running category.

• ASICS has been working with young and fresh athletic talent across various genres of sports. In India, ASICS is promoted by actor Tiger Shroff. In Asia, ASICS currently has over 55 stores across India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Ayushman Bharat Diwas: April 30

• Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated on April 30 ever year in India. The Ayushman Bharat Diwas is celebrated to achieve twin missions. They are to promote health and wellness to the poor and also to provide insurance benefits to them. The day aims to promote affordable medical facilities in remote areas of the country based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census database. It will also promote health and wellness and provide insurance benefits to the poor.

• The Scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018.

• According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ayushman Bharat Scheme has so far operationalised 75,532 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre. It has fixed a target of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centre by 2022.

International Jazz Day: 30 April

• The International Jazz Day is celebrated on 30 April every year to highlight the importance of jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people in all corners of the globe. The 2021 celebration marks the 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day. The day was created on the idea of jazz pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock.

• The musical form of Jazz was developed by African Americans. It was influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. It originated in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Project Ladakh Ignited Minds: Indian Army signs MoU with HPCL & NIEDO

• Ladakhi youth Army under the aegis of Fire and Fury Corps signed MoU for Ladakh Ignited Minds project with corporate partner Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and executing agency National Integrity and Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) HQ 14 Corps Leh.

• The project Ladakh Ignited Minds: A Centre of Excellence and Wellness has been conceptualized to secure a better future for the youth of UT of Ladakh.

• The programme under the aegis of Fire and Fury Corps of the Indian Army would be executed by National Integrity & Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO) a Kanpur-based NGO.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Wild Innovator Award 2021: Krithi Karanth becomes 1st Indian woman

• Dr. Krithi K Karanth, Chief Conservation Scientist at Bengaluru-based Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), has been chosen as the first Indian and Asian woman for the 2021 ‘WILD Innovator Award’. This award given by the ‘‘WILD ELEMENTS Foundation” brings together a coalition of innovators, advocates and partners to “disrupt the status quo and identify solutions to global sustainability and conservation,”.

• The Foundation’s distinctive approach to addressing climate change is the “Power of Three,” recognising the interconnectedness of animal-kind, humankind, and plantkind for the future planetary wellness of our shared home.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank launched Digital banking Platform ‘Merchant Stack’

• The ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a digital and contactless banking platform, especially for retail merchants. The service, called ‘Merchant Stack’, is targeted at the over 2 crore retail merchants in the country, covering grocers, supermarkets, large retail store chains, online businesses and large e-commerce firms.

• Retail merchants can avail the ‘Merchant Stack’ services on InstaBIZ, the mobile banking application of ICICI Bank for businesses.

• The wide range of banking, as well as value-added services, will enable merchants to meet their banking requirements seamlessly so that they can continue to serve their customers in the challenging times during the pandemic.

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Important Current Affairs 29th April 2021

INTERNATIONAL

China Launched Robot Prototype ‘NEO-01’ Clear Space Debris

• The Chinese government has launched a robot prototype named as ‘NEO-01’, in the Earth’s low orbit, on its Long March 6 rocket. The 30kg robot prototype has been developed by Shenzhen-based space mining start-up ‘Origin Space’.

• To observe small celestial bodies in deep space and to experiment with space debris removal techniques.

Time magazine's 100 most influential firms

• Two Indian firms, Reliance Industries’ technology arm Jio Platforms and e-learning startup Byju’s have figured in the Time Magazine’s first-ever list of 100 most influential companies. On its website, Time said companies shaping the future are at the heart of the first ever TIME100 Most Influential Companies.

• It listed Jio Platforms under the Innovators category alongside Zoom, Adidas, TikTok, Ikea, Moderna and Netflix. “Over the past few years, Reliance Industries, the Mumbai-based conglomerate, has built India’s largest 4G network.

NATIONAL

Uttar Pradesh Govt. won “E-Panchayat Puraskar 2021”

• The Uttar Pradesh government won the “E-Panchayat Puraskar 2021”, ranking first in Category I. It was followed by Assam and Chhattisgarh at the second position, while Odisha and Tamil Nadu stood third.

• Every year, the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj awards those states, which ensure maximum use of information technology to keep a tab on the work done by gram panchayats.

India's first 3d printed house at Madras

• India’s first 3D printed house built by IIT-Madras startup Tvasta was inaugurated on the campus.

• The house, which has a built-up area of 600 square feet, has a bedroom, a hall and a kitchen. The entire house was designed using software and printed using concrete 3D printing technology.

• Using this technology, a new house can be built in five days against four or five months in conventional mode. Further, the cost of the house is reduced by around 30% and life of the building can exceed 50 years.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Arun Raste has appointed new MD & CEO of NCDEX

• Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved to the appointment of Arun Raste as MD and CEO of National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) for a period of five years.

• Raste is currently associated with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) as an Executive Director and prior to NDDB, he has worked with organisations like IDFC First Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, NABARD, ACC Cement, and a non-profit NGO IRFT.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw joins the board of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

• Biocon Ltd has announced that its Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), a leader in cancer treatment and research, based in New York, US. She will serve for a term of three years.

•  Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is among the 52 members on the board and will serve for a term of three years with effect from April 14, 2021 and she is the first woman of Indian nationality to be appointed for this prestigious role.

T V Soma Nathan new finance secretary

• Expenditure Secretary TV Somanathan has been designated as the Finance Secretary.

• He is a 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Mr Somanathan, Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance as the Finance Secretary, the order said.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Dance Day 29 April 2021

• The International Dance Day is observed globally on 29 April every year. The day celebrates the value and importance of the dance and encourages participation and education in this art form through events and festivals. The day 29 April has been chosen as it marks the birth anniversary of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810), who is known as the creator of modern ballet.

• The theme of International Dance Day 2021: ‘Purpose of dance’.

• The day was created in 1982, by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO.

RANKING

India Ranked 49th in CGGI 2021

• India has been placed at 49th position among 104 nations in the Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) 2021. Finland has topped the CGGI Index 2021 and Venezuela is the last ranked country at 104.

• The Chandler Good Governance Index is released by the Chandler Institute of Governance headquartered in Singapore. The index is prepared based on seven pillars namely leadership and foresight, strong institutions, robust laws and policies, attractive market place, financial stewardship, helping people rise, global influence and reputation.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Oxford Economics has revised downwards the GDP growth forecast for India

• The Global forecasting firm Oxford Economics has revised downwards the GDP growth forecast for India to 10.2 per cent for fiscal 2021-22.

• Earlier it predicted this at 11.8 per cent. The downward revision is based on the country’s serious health burden, weak vaccination rate and lack of a convincing government strategy to contain the pandemic.

Shivalik Small Finance Bank Limited commenced operations as a Small Finance Bank

• The UP-based Shivalik Small Finance Bank Limited commenced operations as a Small Finance Bank (SFB) with effect from April 26, 2021. It must be remembered that the Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank (SMCB) is the first urban co-operative bank (UCB) in India to receive licence from RBI to operate as a Small Finance Bank (SFB).

• The bank has received the licence from RBI under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of small finance bank in India. Shivalik SFB area of operation is Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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