Current Affairs






Weekly Current Affairs 30th August 2021 to 05th September 2021



9 new Supreme Court judges, including 3 women, takes oath

Nine new judges, including three women, have been administered the oath of office as judges of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana. The strength of the Supreme Court would go up to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34, after the swearing-in of the nine new judges. Three out of these nine new judges — Justice Vikram Nath and Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice PS Narasimha — are in line to become the chief justice of India. This is the first time that nine judges were sworn in together in the history of the top court. Traditionally, new judges take the oath of office in the CJI’s courtroom, but due to that Covid pandemic, the swearing-in ceremony would be held in the auditorium of the Supreme Court’s additional building complex.

Here are the names of nine new judges of the Supreme Court:

1. Justice Vikram Nath

2. Justice BV Nagarathna

3. Justice PS Narasimha

4. Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka

5. Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari

6. Justice Hima Kohli

7. Justice CT Ravikumar

8. Justice MM Sundresh

9. Justice Bela M Trivedi.


Ramon Magsaysay Award 2021 names announced

Ramon Magsaysay Award 2021 names announced Ramon Magsaysay Award 2021 awardees have been announced, the winners will be formally awarded the Magsaysay Award during the November 28 event at the Ramon Magsaysay Centre in Manila. Among the awardees is Dr Firdousi Qadri of Bangladesh and Muhammad Amjad Saqib of Pakistan, as well as Philippine fisheries and community environmentalist Roberto Ballon, American citizen Steven Munsi, who works for humanitarian work and help refugees, and Indonesian WatchDoc for investigative journalism.

• List of awardees of Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2021:

• Muhammad Amjad Saqib: A visionary who founded one of the largest microfinance institutions in Pakistan, servicing millions of families.

• Firdausi Qadri: A Bangladeshi scientist who has been instrumental in discovering vaccines that have saved millions of lives.

• Steven Muncy: A humanitarian who has been helping the displaced refugees of Southeast Asia rebuild their lives.

• WatchDoc: A production house that ingeniously combines documentary filmmaking and alternative platforms to highlight underreported issues in Indonesia.

• Roberto Ballon: A fisherman from Southern Philippines who has led a community in restoring their rich aquatic resources and their primary source of livelihood.

About the Ramon Magsaysay Award: The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.


University of Oxford tops Times World University Rankings 2022

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022 has been announced. The University of Oxford is at the top of the list, followed by the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University at the second and third positions, respectively. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, is placed between the 301-350 position. Incidentally, it is also the only university in the top 350 rankings. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 includes record 1,662 universities from 99 countries and territories. The ranking is based on 13 balanced performance indicators.

Three Indian educational institutes have found a place in the top 400 list:

1. IISc Bangalore – 301-350 bracket

2. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar – 351-400 bracket.

3. IIT Indore – 401-500 bracket.

Top Five Universities in the world:

1. University of Oxford, UK

2. California Institute of Technology, US

3. Harvard University, US

4. Stanford University, US

5. University of Cambridge, UK.


Appointments

• The former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman, Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as an independent director of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Asia entity on August 30, 2021. He has also been appointed as a member of the Audit Committee and Risk Committee of the company.

• Vartika Shukla took charge as the first woman Chairperson and Managing Director of public sector enterprise Engineers India Ltd. She spearheaded the company's innovative energy programmes, including biofuels, coal gasification, waste to fuel and hydrogen energy, among others.

• Pankaj Kumar Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer from the Rajasthan cadre, has taken charge as the new Director General (DG) of the Border Security Force (BSF). Prior to this, he was serving as the special DG at the BSF headquarters in Delhi.

• Apart from this, Sanjay Arora, a 1988-batch IPS officers from Tamil Nadu cadre, has taken over as the new DG of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

• Rajya Sabha Chairman, M Venkaiah Naidu has appointed Dr PPK Ramacharyulu, who is the secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat since 2018, as the secretary general.

• Atul Bhatt has been appointed as chairman and managing director (CMD) of disinvestment-owned steel company Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL). He was the CMD of state-owned consultancy firm MECON, which offers a full range of services required to set up a project from concept to commissioning including turnkey execution. PK Rath retired as CMD RINL on May 31, after serving the company for 38 years.


Defence News

• Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has dedicated to the nation, the indigenously built Coast Guard Ship ‘Vigraha’ in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. According to the defence ministry, the 98-meter vessel will be based in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and will be operated by a company of 11 officers and 110 sailors. The ship has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro Ship Building Limited. With the joining of this ship, the Indian Coast Guard now have 157 Ships and 66 Aircraft in its inventory.

• The Indian Navy and the German Navy carried out a joint exercise in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen, in the Indian Ocean leg of Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021. The Indian Navy was represented by frigate “Trikand” while the German Navy was represented by frigate “Bayern”.

• The Indian Naval Ship, INS Tabar, is on her goodwill visit to the number of ports in Africa and Europe since June 2021 till September 2021. As a part of this visit, INS Tabar took part in the Maiden Maritime Partnership Exercise with Algerian Navy, off the Algerian coast, in the Mediterranean Sea. The Algerian Naval Ship ANS Ezzadjer participated in the exercise.

• Indian Army will participate in Exercise ZAPAD 2021, a Multi Nation exercise being held at Nizhniy in Russia from 3-16 September. ZAPAD 2021 is one of the theatre level exercises of the Russian Armed Forces and will focus primarily on operations against terrorists. Over a dozen countries from the Eurasian and South Asian Regions will participate in this signature event.


Defence News

• The Indian Naval Ship Tabar arrived at Portsmouth in England, to undertake the annual bilateral drill ‘Exercise Konkan 2021’ between the Indian Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy. The bilateral naval exercise Konkan is being held every year since 2004, to enhance the interoperability, synergy and cooperation between both navies. HMS Westminster of the Royal Navy took part from Britain’s side.

• In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army organised a 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA” Relay Marathon. The event was flagged off by Major General Rajeev Puri, General Officer Commanding, Ace of Spades Division, who led the relay, closely followed by other military personnel.

• The Indian Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) undertook a bilateral maritime exercise in the South China Sea, to strengthen the defence ties among the two navies. From India, INS Ranvijay and INS Kora took part in the exercise and from the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN), frigate VPNS Ly Thai To (HQ-012) participated in the drill.

• An ‘All Women Tri-Services Mountaineering Team’ successfully scaled Mt Manirang (21,625 ft) in Himachal Pradesh on August 15, 2021, and unfurled the national flag as a part of commemorative activities for ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, to celebrate the 75 years of Independence.

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have jointly developed an advanced chaff technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from enemy radar threats. Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, have developed the chaff cartridge meeting qualitative requirements of IAF.


Awards and Recognitions

• Odisha-born neurosurgeon Dr Basant Kumar Misra has been conferred the prestigious American Association of Neurological Surgeons’ ‘International Lifetime Achievement Award in Neurosurgery’. Misra is the first Indian physician to receive the AANS honor which was conferred on him at a virtual ceremony during the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting 2021 held in Orlando, Florida. He was the world’s first surgeon to perform Computer-Guided Aneurysm surgery.

• Mexican photographer Alejandro Prieto has emerged as the winner of the Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) 2021. He has won for capturing a photograph of a greater roadrunner staring up at the barbed-wire-clad border wall between the USA and Mexico, with what almost looks like a sense of bewilderment.

• Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a Maharatna CPSU under Ministry of Power, Government of India has been awarded the coveted “Association for Talent Development (ATD) 2021 BEST Award”. POWERGRID securing 8th rank among the 71 organizations from around the globe, thus becoming the only PSU to win this award and one of the only two companies of India in the Top 20.



Weekly Current Affairs 16th August 2021 to 22nd August 2021



4 more sites in India added to Ramsar list

Four more wetlands from India have been added to the list of Ramsar sites, giving it the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’. With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India have reached 46, covering a surface area of 1,083,322 hectares. The sites have been recognised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Two of these sites are in Haryana, while the other two are in Gujarat.

These sites are:

• Thol, Gujarat

• Wadhwana, Gujarat

• Sultanpur, Haryana

• Bhindawas, Haryana.


Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards 2021 announced

Here is the full list of winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2021:

• Best Feature Film: Soorarai Pottru

• Best Performance Male (Feature): Suriya Sivakumar (Soorarai Pottru)

• Best Performance Female (Feature): Vidya Balan (Sherni) & Honourable mention to Nimisha Sajayan (The Great Indian Kitchen)

• Best Director:Anurag Basu (Ludo) & Honorary Mention Prithvi Konanur (Pinki Elli?)

• Best Series:Mirzapur Season 2

• Best Actress in a Series: Samantha Akkineni (The Family Man 2)

• Best Actor in a Series: Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man 2)

• Equality in Cinema (Short Film): Sheer Qorma

• Equality in Cinema Award (Feature Film): The Great Indian Kitchen

• Best Indie Film: Fire in the Mountains

• Diversity in Cinema Award: Pankaj Tripathi

• Disruptor Award: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan

• Best Documentary Film: Shut Up Sona


President Ram Nath Kovind confers 144 Gallantry awards in 2021

President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has approved 144 Gallantry awards for armed forces, police and paramilitary personnel on the occasion of Independence Day 2021. Besides, President Kovide also approved 28 Mention-in-Despatches to the army personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations.

The 144 Gallantry awards include:

• Ashok Chakra: Babu Ram (posthumously), ASI, Jammu and Kashmir Police.

• Kirti Chakra: Altaf Hussain Bhat (posthumously), Constable, J&K Police. Shaurya Chakra

• Major Arun Kumar Pandey, The Rashtriya Rifles, Indian Army

• Major Ravi Kumar Chaudhary, The Rashtriya Rifles, Indian Army

• Captain Ashutosh Kumar, The Madras Regiment (Mysore)

• Captain Vikas Khatri, The Rashtriya Rifles

• Kumar, The Rashtriya Rifles

• Sepoy Neeraj Ahlawat, The Rashtriya Rifles

• Captain Sachin Reuben Sequeira, Indian Navy

• Group Captain Perminder Antil, Flying (Pilot), Air Force

• Wing Commander Varun Singh Flying (Pilot), Air Force

• Shri Chitesh Kumar, Deputy Commandant, CRPF

• Shri Manjinder Singh, Sub Inspector, CRPF

• Shri Sunil Choudhary, Constable, CRPF

• Shri Debasis Sethy, Commando, Odisha Police (Posthumous)

• Shri Sudhir Kumar Tudu, Commando, Odisha Police (Posthumous)

• Shri Shahbaz Ahmad, Special Police Officer, J&K Police (Posthumous) Bar To Sena Medal (Gallantry)

• Lieutenant Colonel Krishna Kant Bajpai, The Rajput Regiment

• Major Surendra Singh Lamba, The Grenadiers, 29th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

• Major Rahul Balamohan, The Mahar Regiment, First Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

• Major Ankit Dahiya, The Punjab Regiment, 22nd Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)

• Wing Commander Uttar Kumar, Flying (Pilot)

• Squadron Leader Deepak Mohanan, Flying (Pilot).


National Affairs

• India’s first Drone Forensic Lab and Research Center has come up in Kerala. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan was inaugurating the State police department’s ‘Drone Forensic Laboratory’ at the Kerala State Police CyberDome. Cyberdome is a technological research and development centre of the Kerala Police Department.

• Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam has become the first national park in India to be equipped with satellite phones. Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua handed over 10 satellite phones to the forest personnel of the Kaziranga National Park. The satellite phones will boost the anti-poaching measures in the park. BSNL will be the service provider of these phones.


International Affairs

• Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will shortly tender his resignation, as the government has surrendered to the Taliban forces, which entered Kabul and sought the unconditional surrender of the central government. Following this, a new interim government has been announced, which is likely to be headed by Ali Ahamd Jalali, a USbased academic.

• World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new advisory group named, The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO. The function of SAGO will be to systematically study the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential, and advise the development in this regard to WHO.

• Malaysia’s king appointed Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister on 20th Aug, replacing Muhyiddin Yassin, who stepped down this week after losing his parliamentary majority


Defence News

• The Indian Naval Ship Tabar arrived at Portsmouth in England, to undertake the annual bilateral drill ‘Exercise Konkan 2021’ between the Indian Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy. The bilateral naval exercise Konkan is being held every year since 2004, to enhance the interoperability, synergy and cooperation between both navies. HMS Westminster of the Royal Navy took part from Britain’s side.

• In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army organised a 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA” Relay Marathon. The event was flagged off by Major General Rajeev Puri, General Officer Commanding, Ace of Spades Division, who led the relay, closely followed by other military personnel.

• The Indian Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) undertook a bilateral maritime exercise in the South China Sea, to strengthen the defence ties among the two navies. From India, INS Ranvijay and INS Kora took part in the exercise and from the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN), frigate VPNS Ly Thai To (HQ-012) participated in the drill.

• An ‘All Women Tri-Services Mountaineering Team’ successfully scaled Mt Manirang (21,625 ft) in Himachal Pradesh on August 15, 2021, and unfurled the national flag as a part of commemorative activities for ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, to celebrate the 75 years of Independence.

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have jointly developed an advanced chaff technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from enemy radar threats. Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, have developed the chaff cartridge meeting qualitative requirements of IAF.


Ranks and Reports

• Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad was adjudged the second most polluted city out of the 50 ‘most polluted cities’ in the world in 2020 by a report prepared by British company HouseFresh. Preceding Ghaziabad, the Chinese city of Hotan in Xinjiang province has been named the most polluted city with a PM2.5 of 110.2µg/m3. According to the report, Bangladesh was the most polluted country across the world in 2020, followed by Pakistan, India and Mongolia. Meanwhile, Judbury in Australia bagged the top position in the list of cities with the cleanest air with a PM2.5 level of 2.4µg/m3.

• India has ranked second in terms of crypto adoption worldwide behind Vietnam, but ahead of countries such as the US, UK, and China, according to the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. This comes even as worldwide crypto adoption grew by 880% between June 2020 and July 2021, according to the report.

• Apple is the world’s most valuable company (USD 2,443 billion) according to the Hurun Global 500 Most Valuable Companies list 2021. The world’s top six valuable companies remained unchanged as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Tencent. Reliance Industries (USD 188 billion) ranked at 57 is the top Indian company in the list.


Sports News

• The 20-year-old Chess player Harshit Raja from Pune, Maharashtra has become the 69th Grandmaster of India in Chess. He achieved the feat of becoming the GM at Biel Masters Open 2021 where he drew his game against Dennis Wagner to get his final GM norm with one round to spare.

• A 15-year-old young Indian Grandmaster Raunak Sadhwani has won the 19th Spilimbergo Open chess tournament in Italy.

• Lionel Messi joined star-packed Paris St Germain after leaving Barcelona, the club where he had begun, after 21 years. Messi, a six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or for Europe’s best soccer player, signed a two-year contract with an option for a third year. Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain or PSG.

• The Odisha government will sponsor the Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced. The state government started sponsoring the national hockey teams in 2018. The teams have scripted history with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics,” the chief minister said, handing over a cash award of Rs 10 lakh to each player.

• The 2021 edition of the World Athletics U20 Championships has been started in Nairobi, Kenya. The impact of Covid on teams travelling and logistics of moving vital equipment around the world have proven to be a challenge, the governing body said in a release. The event was originally scheduled for 2020. The World U20 Championships were held from 17 to 22 August, 2021.



Weekly Current Affairs 17th May 2021 to 23rd May 2021



Andrea Meza crowned 69th Miss Universe 2020

Miss Mexico Andrea Meza has been crowned as the 69th Miss Universe 2020. On the other hand, Miss India’s Adline Quadros Castelino made it to the Top 4. Brazil’s Julia Gama is the first runner-up, Peru’s Janick Maceta is the second runner-up while India’s Adline Castelino and Dominican Republic’s Kimberly Perez are third runner-up and fourth runner-up, respectively. This year, the pageant is being held in Miami, Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood. Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa crowns her successor in the event.


Six Heritage Sites added to India’s UNESCO World Heritage sites Tentative List

The Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel recently announced that around six cultural heritage sites have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With this, the total number of sites in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tentative list has increased to 48. The following six places have successfully entered the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

• Ganga Ghats of Varanasi,

• Temples of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu,

• Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh,

• Maharashtra Military Architecture,

• Hire Benkal Megalithic site,

• Bhedaghat Lametaghat of Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh.


National Affairs

• The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (MCCIA) has launched India’s first agro-export facilitation centre in Pune, in collaboration with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The new Facilitation Centre will work as a one-stop-centre for the exporters in the agricultural sector as well as boost agricultural exports from the region, as per global standards.

• India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a Covid-19 antibody detection kit. The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spikes as well as nucleocapsid proteins of Coronavirus with a high sensitivity of 97%. It has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research and has been developed by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences lab of DRDO in association with Delhi’s Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd.

• The Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR has approved CoviSelf kit for the purpose of home testing. It stated that all symptomatic individuals who test negative by Rapid Antigen Test should get themselves immediately tested by RT-PCR. • The West Bengal cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has approved the formation of the Legislative Council. At present, only Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh have Legislative Council. Previously, West Bengal had a bicameral legislature but it was abolished by the United Front government in 1969.


International Affairs

• China successfully achieved the feat of landing its first Mars Rover ‘Zhu Rong’ on the red planet, on May 15, 2021, becoming the only second nation to do so. Till date, only the United States has successfully landed its rover on Mars. All other countries that have tried have either crashed or lost contact soon after reaching the surface.

• China has successfully sent a new oceanmonitoring satellite into orbit as part of its effort to build an all-weather and round-the-clock dynamic ocean environment monitoring system that would provide early warning on marine disasters. The satellite was launched by a Long March-4B rocket carrying the Haiyang-2D (HY-2D) satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.

• Martha Karambu Koome is Kenya’s first woman chief justice. She is the first woman to head any of the three branches of government. Koome, 61, a calm but staunch women’s rights crusader, takes over the judiciary ahead of next year’s general elections and would likely play a decisive role in adjudicating any eventual election disputes.


Banking/Economy/Business News

• The RBI has imposed monetary penalty on City Union Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank and two other lenders for contravention of certain directions issued by the central bank. A penalty of Rs 1 crore has been imposed on City Union Bank Limited for contravention of/non-compliance with certain provisions contained in the RBI (Lending to MSME Sector) Directions and Rs 1 crore on Tamilnad Mercantile Bank for noncompliance.

• The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade recently released Wholesale Price in India for the month of April 2021. The annual rate of inflation for the month of April 2021 was 10.49%. The WPI for the month of April 2021 stood at 128.1. The base year in calculating WPI is fixed as 2011-12.

• Indian renewable energy company, Adani Green Energy Ltd (ADNA.NS) would buy SoftBank Group Corp-backed (9984.T) SB Energy Holdings Limited for an enterprise value of $3.5 billion. It would buy the 80% stake held by SoftBank Group Capital Limited and the rest owned by Indian conglomerate Bharti Global Limited in a cash deal. The deal would allow Adani Green to achieve its targeted renewable portfolio of 25 gigawatts (GW) four years ahead of its expected timeline.

• Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of YES Asset Management (India) Limited (YES AMC) and YES Trustee Limited (YES Trustee) by GPL. GPL Finance and Investments Limited (GPL) will acquire 100% equity shares of YES AMC and YES Trustee.

• The Reserve Bank of India will transfer Rs 99,122 crore surplus to the Central Government for the accounting period of nine months ended March 31, 2021 (July 2020-March 2021). The Contingency Risk Buffer will remain at 5.50%.

• The Reserve Bank of India has increased the maximum amount outstanding in respect of fullKYC PPIs (KYC-compliant PPIs) from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. Apart from this, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that all prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) or mobile wallets such as Paytm, PhonePe and Mobikwik are fully KYCcompliant be made interoperable by March 31, 2022.


Appointments/Resignations

• Footwear company Bata India has appointed Gunjan Shah as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He will join Bata in his new role from 21 June 2021, for a period of five years. Shah replaces Sandeep Kataria, who has been elevated as the Global CEO of Bata Brands in November 2020.

• Indian-American Neera Tanden has been appointed senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. She is currently the president and CEO of a progressive think-tank, Center for American Progress (CAP). She withdrew her nomination as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget due to stiff opposition from Republican senators.

• Suzuki Motorcycle India has appointed Satoshi Uchida as the new Company Head. He has replaced Koichiro Hirao as part of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s global revamp.

• Star India hockey team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was re-appointed as a member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Athletes' Committee during the virtual meeting of the world body's Executive Board. He has been a member of the panel since 2017. The EB confirmed the appointment of four new members for the Athletes’ Committee. Sreejesh Parattu (IND), Marlena Rybacha (POL), Mohamed Mea (RSA) and Matt Swann (AUS) are now joining the Committee. Steve Horgan (USA), the new chair of the FIH Rules Committee, succeeding David Collier.


Science and Technology

• The United Launch Alliance launched the Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The Atlas V rocket carried SBRIS Geo-5 Missile Warning Satellite. The full form of SBRIS is the Space-Based Infrared System. It is designed for missile warning, missile battlespace and defence characterization.

• IIT Ropar has developed a portable eco-friendly electric cremation system. It is one of its kind of technology that produces no smoke despite using wood for cremation. It is based on wick-stove technology. The cart has been developed in collaboration with the company Cheema Boilers Limited.

• Iran has unveiled a new supercomputer named ‘Simorgh’, which is 100 times more powerful than the previous supercomputer of the country to date. The supercomputer has been developed indigenously by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT). It has been named after a mythical Phoenix-like bird ‘Simurgh’.

• Telecom operator Reliance Jio is constructing the largest international submarine cable system centred on India with global partners and submarine cable supplier Subcom to cater to increased data demand. The two submarine cable systems which the company plans to deploy will connect India with Asia Pacific markets (Singapore, Thailand & Malaysia) and others with Italy & Africa.


Awards and Recognitions

• An environmentalist from Nagaland’s remote Longleng district, Nuku Phom has won this year’s Whitley Awards 2021, also known as the Green Oscar. Nuku Phom’s name, along with that of five others, was announced recently in a virtual award ceremony organized by the UK-based Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN). Nuku and his team want to offer alternatives that engage communities in conservation using the Amur falcon as a flagship.

• The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced the creation of a new award — the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, to recognise players who are making strides in the fight for social justice. Each NBA team will nominate one player for consideration; from there, five finalists will be selected and ultimately one winner. The winning player will receive $100,000 for the charity of his choice.

• International Invincible Gold Medal of this year has been conferred on Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He has been recognised for his extraordinary commitment and outstanding service to humanity through his writings, social and illustrious public life.

• Los Angeles Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant has been posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was presented at the ceremony in Connecticut by NBA great Michael Jordan and his widow, Vanessa, accepted his induction on his behalf.


Sports News

• Rafael Nadal beat world number one Novak Djokovic to win a 10th Italian Open title. Second seed Nadal won through 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in 2hr 49min against the defending champion in the 57th career showdown between the pair.

• In the women’s category, Polish teenager Iga Swiatek crushed Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 to win the Italian Open title. Swiatek, ranked 15, claimed her third WTA title.


Obituaries

• Noted Indian mathematician, Professor MS Narasimhan has passed away. Professor Narasimhan, along with C. S. Seshadri, were known for their proof of the Narasimhan– Seshadri theorem. He is the only Indian to receive the King Faisal International Prize in the field of science.

• Renowned cardiologist and former national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr KK Aggarwal, has passed away battling with Covid. He was an eminent physician and cardiologist, who also has served as the head of the Heart Care Foundation of India. He was honoured with the Dr BC Roy Award in 2005 and the Padma Shri in 2010, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his contributions to the field of medicine.

• Noted Tamil folklorist and acclaimed writer Ki. Rajanarayanan has passed away. Famously called by his Tamil initials as KiRa, he was known as the pioneer of ‘Karisal Literature’. KiRa was honoured with the Sahitya Academy award in 1991 for his novel ‘Gopalapurathu Makkal’. He was an eminent writer of short stories, novels, folklores and essays and has published over 30 books.



Weekly Current Affairs 10th May 2021 to 16th May 2021



Naomi Osaka wins top title at 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards

World number two tennis player Naomi Osaka of Japan has been named “Sportswoman of the Year” at the 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards. This is Osaka’s second Laureus Sports Awards. In 2019, she won the “Breakthrough of the Year” award. In the men’s category, World number two Rafael Nadal of Spain won the 2021 “Laureus Sportsman of the Year” title. This is the second title for Nadal, who also claimed the prestigious award in 2011.

Here is the complete list of Winners:

• Sportsman of the Year Award: Rafael Nadal

• Sportswoman of the Year Award: Naomi Osaka

• Team of the Year Award: Bayern Munich

• Breakthrough of the Year Award: Patrick Mahomes

• The comeback of the Year Award: Max Parrot

• Sport for Good Award: KICKFORMORE by KICKFAIR

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Billie Jean King

• Athlete Advocate of the Year Award: Lewis Hamilton

• Sporting Inspiration Award: Mohamed Salah

• Sporting Moment of the Year Award: Chris Nikic.


Pakistan’s Babar Azam Wins ICC Players of the Month for April 2021

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has been named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for April 2021 for his consistent and stellar performances across all formats in the recently concluded series against South Africa. The ICC Player of the Month Awards recognise and celebrate the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year. Along with Babar, Australian women’s team wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy also bagged the ICC Women’s Player of The Month accolade for her incredible performances during the month of April. Healy’s consistency with the bat has played a significant role in Australia’s dominance. Healy has shown her class in all conditions and against all types of bowling in the recent series against New Zealand.


ISRO develops 3 cost-effective ventilators, oxygen concentrator

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), has developed three different types of ventilators and an oxygen concentrator at a time when a shortage of this critical medical equipment resulted in the deaths of many Covid-19 patients across the country. Based on designs, features and specifications, we have named them, Prana, VaU and Svasta. All three are user-friendly, fully automated and with touch-screen specifications, meeting all safety standards. Technology transfer will be done for the commercial production of these three ventilators and the one oxygen concentrator by this month itself. Likely to be priced around ₹1 lakh, the ventilators developed by the ISRO were cost-effective and easy to handle compared to the mini conventional ventilators that are currently priced around ₹5 lakh. About the Prana, VaU, Svasta and Shwaas:

• Prana is meant to deliver respiratory gas to the patient by automated compression of an Ambu bag, Svasta is designed to work without electric power, and the VaU is a low-cost ventilator equivalent to commercially available high-end ventilators.

• The VSSC has also developed a portable medical oxygen concentrator called Shwaas. It is capable of supplying 10 litres of enriched oxygen per minute, adequate for two patients at a time.

• It enhances the oxygen gas content by selectively separating the nitrogen gas from ambient air through Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) which is commonly used for the production of oxygen from the air.


National Affairs

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the eighth instalment of Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi. The Government of India transfers Rs 6,000 to the account of small and marginal farmers. These funds are transferred in three instalments. The first instalment of Rs 2,000 is made between April and June. The second Instalment is made between August and November. The third instalment is made between December and March.

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding and sole control of Ingram Micro Inc by Imola Acquisition Corporation.

• Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA). The MoU would enhance cooperation between the Institutes to work together to strengthen the Accounting profession and entrepreneurship base in Qatar.

• The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the Department of Heavy Industry for implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme 'National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ for achieving the manufacturing capacity of 50 GWh of ACC and 5 GWh of "Niche" ACC with an outlay of ₹18,100 crores.

• Himanta Biswa Sarma has been named as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam on May 08, 2021. He will replace incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal. He will take the charge of the office with effect from May 10, 2021.

• Puducherry has achieved the target of 100% piped water connection in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). Earlier, Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have provided tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission. So, Puducherry is the fourth State/UT to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under Jal Jeevan Mission.

• Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has declared Malerkotla as the 23rd district of the state on May 14, 2021, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Malerkotla is a Muslim-dominated area and has been carved out of the Sangrur district of the state. The government had promised that Malerkotla will be declared a district soon in 2017.

• The Telangana Government declared a complete ban on the controversial herbicide, Glyphosate, which is used rampantly by farmers to kill weeds in HTBt cotton crop. The reason for the ban is that the excess use of this herbicide by farmers is causing harm to soil and human health. Anybody violating the ban will be punished under the Insecticide Act 1968.

• New Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma declared Ajanta Neog as Assam’s first woman Finance Minister.


International Affairs

• The European Union recently approved the requests of Norway, Canada and the United States to participate in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) defence initiative. This is the first time, the European bloc has allowed a third state to participate in the PESCO project. The countries will now participate in the Military Mobility Project in Europe.

• Nepalese climber, Kami Rita has scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak. Rita, 51, first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then. He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success of the hundreds of climbers.

• Former Senator Bill Nelson was sworn in as the 14th NASA administrator tasked with carrying out the Biden-Harris administration’s vision for the agency. Nelson served in the U.S. Senate for 18 years from Florida and as a payload specialist on space shuttle mission 61-C in 1986.

• Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has lost the vote of confidence in the House of Representatives. K P Sharma Oli got 93 votes in his favour while 124 voted against him. In the 275- member House of Representatives, he required at least 136 Votes to win the trust vote in the lower of the House of Representatives.

• The Israeli military has bombarded rockets in different areas in Gaza. It is the most intense airstrikes in Gaza since 2014. Hamas had red hundreds of rockets towards Israel on Monday. After that, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza. The Gaza-based Palestinian group, Hamas, had red rockets towards Israel in protest of the clash between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. AlAqsa Mosque is located in Jerusalem. It is the third holiest place for Muslims.

• In Nepal, KP Sharma Oli was re-appointed as the Prime Minister of the country by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. Oli was administered the oath of office by the President on May 14, 2021. Now, he must prove that he has majority support in the House within 30 days. This will be his third stint as Prime Minister.

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of United Co-operative Bank Ltd over inadequate capital, regulatory non-compliance, based in Bagnan, West Bengal. Through an order dated May 10, 2021, the central bank has prohibited the co-operative lender from carrying on banking business, with effect from the close of business on May 13, 2021.


Appointments/Resignations

• 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. As the 38th National President of FLO Singhania will focus on empowering women by facilitating an enabling environment that promotes entrepreneurship, industry participation and economic development of women.

• Sankar Ghosh, an award-winning Indian-origin immunologist, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. He was among the 120 newly elected members announced by the Academy.

• Padmakumar M Nair has been appointed as the CEO of the proposed National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. Presently Padmakumar is the Chief General Manager of Stressed Assets Resolution Group at SBI.

• The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), the government’s head-hunter, has picked Arun Kumar Singh as the chairman and managing director of state-run oil refining and marketing firm Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

• Veteran British diplomat Martin Griffiths has been appointed as the new Chief at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), for a period of five years. Griffiths will replace Mark Lowcock as the new UnderSecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) of OCHA. He is currently serving as the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen.

• Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) announced that its general secretary Manisha Kapoor has been appointed to the executive committee of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS). Until April, ASCI served on the executive committee as a member for a two-year term. Now, Kapoor will play a leadership role on the committee till 2023. She will be one of the four global vice-presidents on the executive committee.

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the appointment of Ramesh Powar as the Head Coach of Team India (Senior Women).


Defence News

• The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-II to help in faster transportation of medical oxygen and other requirements from other countries to India, amid its worsening COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’, seven Indian Naval ships have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries. These warships are Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat.

• 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.


Sports News

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) won the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, held on 09 May 2021. This win is the fifth successive Spanish Grand Prix title of Lewis Hamilton and the third win of this season. Max Verstappen (Red Bull RacingNetherlands) came second followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) at third position. The race was the fourth round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

• In tennis, the world number seven, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, defeated world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia to win the 2021 Madrid Open women’s singles title.

• German Alexander Zverev earned his second Mutua Madrid Open title 2021 when he defeated Matteo Berrettini 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-3 to lift his fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy. He won his first Madrid title in 2018 in a final against Thiem.

• New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has announced he would be retiring from international cricket after the three Tests, including the World Test Championship final against India, on their upcoming England tour. Watling has played 73 Tests, 28 ODIs and 5 T20Is for the BlackCaps.

• Manchester City has crowned Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons after Manchester United crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Leicester. United started the century dominating English football, now City is the force with five titles in 10 seasons and the biggest spenders on transfers and salaries.


Awards and Recognitions

• Anupam Kher won the Best Actor award for his performance in the short film Happy Birthday at the New York City International Film Festival. The film has been directed by Prasad Kadam and produced by FNP Media. Besides Anupam, Happy Birthday stars Aahana Kumra. The film also won the Best Short Film award at the festival.

• Mumbai born, Dr Tahera Qutbuddin, a professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago, recently became the first person of Indian-origin to win the 15th Sheikh Zayed Book Award. The award is considered to be the Nobel Prize of the Arab world. She won the award for her latest book, “Arabic Oration – Art and Function” published by Brill Academic Publishers of Leiden in 2019.

• Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) has been conferred with the “Green Urja Award” for being the Leading Public Institution in the Financing Institution for Renewable Energy this year by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). IREDA gets the award for the pivotal and developmental role it plays in Green Energy Financing.

• Indian-origin global nutritionist, Dr Shakuntala Hark Singh Thilstad has received the “World Food Award” of the year 2021. She developed a holistic and nutritionally sensitive approach to seafood and food systems and has received an award for his research. The award is also known as the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture. Every year, the committee selects a person who will be awarded the $ 250,000 title and prize money.



Weekly Current Affairs 03rd May 2021 to 09th May 2021



RBI sets up an advisory group to assist RRA 2.0

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an advisory group to assist the second Regulatory Review Authority (RRA 2.0), which was set by the central bank on May 01, 2021 to streamline regulations and reduce the compliance burden of regulated entities. The Advisory Group will be headed by SBI Managing Director S Janakiraman. Other members of the 6-member advisory group are:

• T T Srinivasaraghavan (Former Managing Director and Non-Executive Director, Sundaram Finance),

• Gautam Thakur (Chairman, Saraswat Co-operative Bank),

• Subir Saha (Group Chief Compliance Officer, ICICI Bank),

• Ravi Duvvuru (President and CCO, Jana Small Finance Bank),

• Abadaan Viccaji (Chief Compliance Officer, HSBC India).


About the RRA 2.0:

• The second Regulatory Review Authority (RRA 2.0), has been set up for a period of one year from May 01, 2021, to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems and compliance procedures for streamlining them and making them more effective.

• The group will assist the RRA 2.0 by identifying regulations, guidelines, and returns that can be rationalised, and submit reports periodically to RRA containing the recommendations/suggestions.


National Affairs

• India and Russia have agreed to establish a ‘2+2 Ministerial Dialogue’ at the Foreign & Defence Minister level between the two countries. Russia is the 4th country and 1st 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.

• 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 coronavirus, 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.

• 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 Ministry of Civil Aviation granted a conditional exemption from the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Rules to the Indian Council of Medical Research for conducting a feasibility study of Covid-19 vaccine delivery using drones. The ICMR has partnered with IIT Kanpur for this project.

• India notified a revenue threshold of Rs 2 crore and a limit of 300,000 users for non-resident technology firms such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, to pay tax in India under new or revised bilateral tax pacts. This is part of the Significant Economic Presence (SEP) principle, which was introduced in the Finance Bill 2018-19. This will come into effect from April 1, 2022.


States in the News

• Mamata Banerjee was sworn as West Bengal Chief Minister for the third time in the shadow of Covid and post-poll violence in parts of the state. The oath ceremony took place with Covid 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.

• 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.

• Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit has appointed Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The 68-year-old is the son of the former fiveterm Tamil Nadu chief minister, the late M Karunanidhi. The DMK-led alliance won 159 seats, well ahead of the majority mark of 118 seats. The party alone won 133 seats in the election.

• The All India NR Congress (AINRC) founder leader N Rangasamy has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Puducherry, for a record fourth time, on May 07, 2021. N Rangasamy was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Lieutenant governor (additional charge) Tamilisai Soundararajan.

• The All India NR Congress (AINRC) founder leader N Rangasamy has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Puducherry, for a record fourth time, on May 07, 2021. N Rangasamy was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Lieutenant governor (additional charge) Tamilisai Soundararajan.

• Under the Parvat Dhara scheme, the Himachal Pradesh government has initiated rejuvenation of water sources and recharging aquifers through the forest department with an outlay of Rs 20 crore. The work was started in 10 forest divisions that include Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Jogindernagar, Nachan, Parvati, Nurpur, Rajgarh, Nalagarh, Theog and Dalhousie.

• The Maharashtra government has decided to implement the practice of appointing an "oxygen nurse", currently prevalent in the tribal-dominated Nandurbar district, across the entire state. The primary job of an "oxygen nurse" is to monitor its use among patients and ensure minimal wastage.


International Affairs

• Albania's ruling Socialist Party (PS) has secured its third consecutive mandate in a parliamentary election. Prime Minister Edi Rama claimed victory for his party with 49% of the vote. Democratic Party (PD) leader Lulzim Basha conceded defeat.

• Daniel Smith has taken charge as the US interim envoy to India. The position of US Ambassador to India had been lying vacant since January 20, when Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

• Ethiopia has added two armed groups to its “terror list”, including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The council of ministers approved a resolution to designate the TPLF as a “terrorist” organization, along with the OLF-Shene. They have been launching attacks against civilians and public infrastructure to achieve political objectives.

• The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially declared the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak, which killed six people in its eastern province of North Kivu. The recent resurgence was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 epidemic in the northeastern part of the country, in which 3,470 people were infected and 2,287 were killed.

• Canada is authorizing the use of Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15, the first doses to be allowed in the country for people that young. The Pfizer vaccine, produced by US company Pfizer with German partner BioNTech.

• NASA’s Parker Solar Probe detected a natural radio signal that revealed the spacecraft had flown through Venus's upper atmosphere. This was the first direct measurement of the Venusian atmosphere in nearly 30 years — and it looks quite different from Venus's past. This marks the latest clue to untangling how and why Venus and Earth are so different.


Banking/Economy

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has announced a Covid-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.

• Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL) announced 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).

• Gross revenues from the Goods and Services Tax hit a record high of ₹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 COVID-19 pandemic, as last year.


Appointments/Resignations

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive director T Rabi Sankar has been named as the fourth Deputy Governor of the central bank. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment. He is in charge of the payments system, fintech, information technology and risk management at the RBI. He succeeds BP Kanungo as the deputy governor, who retired on April 2 after getting a one-year extension in his position.

• 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 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.

• Raman Meenakshi Sundaram has been appointed as Director of the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR), an arm of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Prior to this elevation, he was working as Principal Scientist (Biotechnology) at the institute crop Improvement Section.

• 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.


Defence News

• The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-II to help in faster transportation of medical oxygen and other requirements from other countries to India, amid its worsening COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’, seven Indian Naval ships have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries. These warships are Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat.

• 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.


Sports News

• 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.

• In Snooker, English professional player Mark Selby has become the World Snooker Champion for the fourth time. He won the Championship title after defeating fellow mate Shaun Murphy by 18-15 victory at a professional snooker tournament, that took place from 17 April to 3 May 2021 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. Prior to this, Selby won the Championship title in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2021.


Obituaries

• Sitar maestro Pandit Debu Chaudhuri has passed away following COVID-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.

. • Actor Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, who has been a popular character in many films, TV shows and web series, has passed away due to Covid-19 complications.

• Parul Debi 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.

• 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.

• 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.



Weekly Current Affairs 05st April 2021 to 11th April 2021


RBI Monetary Policy: Policy Rate unchanged

The six-member monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das, has decided to keep key lending rates unchanged for the fifth consecutive time, in its April 2021 policy review meeting held between April 5 to 7, 2021. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to keep policy rates unchanged amid the uncertainty created by a fresh surge in coronavirus infections.

The key decisions taken in the Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:

• Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%

• Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%

• Marginal Standing Facility Rate:4.25% • CRR: 3% • Bank Rate: 4.25% • SLR: 18.00%.

RBI Monetary Policy Highlights & Key Decisions:

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

• RBI has also kept the accommodative monetary stance unchanged.

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

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

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

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

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



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

The Amazon.com Inc founder, Jeff Bezos has topped Forbes’ annual world’s billionaires list for the fourth consecutive year. India’s richest billionaire Mukesh Ambani ranked at 10th position with a total net worth of USD 84.5 billion. The 35th edition Forbes World’s Billionaires list was released on April 06, 2021, comprising a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires. The list is prepared based on the wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5, 2021.

Top five billionaires on the list :

Rank Name Company Net Worth in USD ($)
1 Jeff Bezos Amazon 177 billion
2 Elon Musk Tesla, SpaceX 151 billion
3 Bernard Arnault LVMH 150 billion
4 Bill Gates Microsoft 124 billion
5 Mark Zuckerberg Facebook 97 billion
6 Mukesh Ambani Reliance Industries 84.5 billion

National Affairs

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

• The Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the world’s first Microsensor based Explosive Trace Detector (ETD) called “NanoSniffer”. The ETD has been developed by NanoSniff Technologies, an IIT Bombay incubated startup. It is being marketed by Vehant Technologies, a spin-off from a former IIT Delhi incubated startup Kritikal Solutions.

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

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


International Affairs

• The world’s first animal vaccine against the novel coronavirus has been registered in Russia, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor. The vaccine for animals, developed by a unit of Rosselkhoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance), was named Carnivac-Cov.

• Kosovo’s parliament elected Vjosa Osmani as the country’s new president. Osmani received 71 votes from the lawmakers at the third round of voting in the Assembly of Kosovo.

• Vietnam’s legislature voted to make Pham Minh Chinh, a member of the Communist party with a history as a security official, the country’s next Prime Minister. Outgoing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was appointed the new President.

• Niger President Mohamed Bazoum appointed Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou to head his new cabinet as the country’s new prime minister. He was previously served as a minister in charge of the finance and mining portfolios.



Defence News

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

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


Awards and Recognitions

• Odisha-born Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan received the Kalinga Ratna Samman for 2021. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu conferred Biswabhusan with the prestigious award in Cuttack on the occasion of the 40th annual day of the Sarala Sahitya Sansad at the Sarala Bhawan.

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

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

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

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


Sports News

• President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Umar Kremlev during his visit to Uzbekistan officially announced that AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships will take place in Tashkent in 2023. The city of Tashkent is awarded the 2023 AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships after the successful bid presentation by the Boxing Federation of Uzbekistan. The AIBA Board of Directors voted in favour of the major event candidate city.

• Hubert Hurkacz of Poland won the biggest title of his career by beating 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the Miami Open final. Hurkacz became his country’s first Masters 1000 champion. The world number 37 is the lowest-ranked player to win a Masters event since Tomas Berdych in Paris in 2005.

• FIFA has suspended the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and Chadian Football Association (FTFA) with immediate effect due to claims of outside interference. The suspension will be lifted once the relevant government decisions have been repealed.


Obituaries

• Japanese Physicist Isamu Akasaki, a co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, has passed away. Akasaki, a professor at the university, had been recognized for the invention which has contributed to bright and energy-saving white light sources, widely known as LED lamps.

• Founder member of the Samajwadi Party and former UP minister Bhagwati Singh passed away. He was 89-year-old. The last rites of Singh will not be done as he had pledged to donate his body to the King George Medical University.

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

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

• Former Union Environment Minister and an MLA from Wankaner in Gujarat, Digvijaysinh Zala has passed away. The veteran Congress leader became the first Environment Minister of India under the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1982 to 1984.

• The president of Gita Press, Radheshyam Khemka, passed away. He is credited for taking the Sanatan literature to the masses. Khemka for 38 years was the editor of the prominent ‘Kalyan’ magazine printed at the press. He last edited the magazine’s April 2021 issue.

• Fatima Rafiq Zakaria, a Padma Shri awardee, renowned journalist, academician and chairman of Maulana Azad Educational Trust and Khairul Islam Trust Mumbai, passed away. She was awarded the Padma Shri in recognition of her work in education in 2006.

• India’s first female cricket commentator Chandra Naidu passed away. She was the daughter of the country’s first Test captain CK Naidu. She had done her first commentary during a match between national champions Bombay (now Mumbai) and MCC in Indore in 1977. She had also penned a book titled ‘CK Nayudu: A Daughter Remembers’ on her late father, who was a distinguished cricketer.

• Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away. The 99-year-old royal passed away just months before his 100th birthday in June. He had retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history who was a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades..



Weekly Current Affairs 21st March 2021 to 27th March 2021


IIT Kharagpur wins CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0

A team of four undergraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

• emerged as winners at the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0, sponsored by Cushman and Wakefield, KI and IA: Interior Architects. The team comprised Siddhant Samarth, Pratim Majumdar, Rishita Raj and Utkarsh Agrawal and were guided by Prof. Jenia Mukherjee (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences). The team from IIT Kharagpur was one of the four teams to progress into the final round out of

• 1300 teams all over the world and were pitted against the University of Washington, New York University and the University of Denver in the final round hosted online on 18th March 2021. This is the first time that a squad from India has emerged as winners in the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge since the inception of the competition in 2015.



Vizag gets mobile water from air kiosk and Water Knowledge Centre

The Hyderabad-based startup, Maithri Aquatech has set up the world’s first mobile water-fromair kiosk and ‘Water Knowledge Centre’ in the smart city of Visakhapatnam. This initiative is

• supported by Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) and project SEWAH (Sustainable Enterprises for Water and Health) – an alliance between USAID and SWN (Safe Water Network). The kiosk will provide clean potable water from the air by making use of Maithri Aquatech’s

• Meghdoot solution as a source to generate water with no dependency on groundwater as well as surface water resources. The kiosk will also function as a Water Knowledge Resource Centre (WRKC) by creating

• awareness and imparting necessary information to members of the local underserved communities as well as nearby schools on the benefits of good water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vajra’ commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard L

•&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vajra was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, at Chennai. ICGS Vajra is the sixth vessel in the series of seven OPVs being built by L&T under a Ministry of Defence contract signed in the year 2015. Like the five OPVs in the series, ICGS Vajra was also delivered ahead of the contractual schedule. OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including

• island territories with helicopter operation capabilities. Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and

• surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles. It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots. The entire design and construction process has been certified by the American Bureau of

• Shipping as well as the Indian Registrar of Shipping and overseen by the ICG’s resident team at Kattupalli.


India conducts first-ever joint patrol in Madagascar EEZ

In a first, the navies of India and Madagascar undertook joint patrolling of Madagascar’s

• Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX). 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 Naval Ship INS Shardul made a port call at Antsiranana, Madagascar as part of the First

• Training Squadron’s (1TS) Overseas Deployment. INS Shardul and Malagasy Navy ship MNS Trozona carried out a Passage Exercise (PASSEX). The Joint exercise bears testimony to the growing bonds between the maritime forces of both the nations and aimed at common objectives of ensuring mariti.



APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Saurabh Garg appointed as new CEO of UIDAI Senior bureaucrat, Saurabh Garg has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of

• Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre. Mr Garg is at present serving in his cadre state Odisha. He is a 1991 batch IAS officer. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Garg as

• the CEO, UIDAI in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.


Atish Chandra appointed as CMD of Food Corporation of India

Atish Chandra has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of

• India in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary. Mr Chandra, a 1994 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, is currently Joint Secretary, Department of

• Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. Anish Shah to take over as M&M’s Managing Director, CEO Anish Shah who is set to take over as the managing director and CEO of Mahindra and Mahindra

• from 2 April will become the first professional executive to oversee the entire business of the $19.4 billion Mahindra Group. Pawan Goenka will retire as MD and CEO and member of the board effective April 2. Group chairman Anand Mahindra will be taking on a non-executive role. The markets regulator

• Sebi has mandated that from April 2022 the chairperson of the board of top 500 listed entities must be a non-executive director and not be related to the MD or CEO.


Appointments/Resignations

• The former head of the News Services Division of All India Radio, Jaideep Bhatnagar, took over as Principal Director General of the Press Information Bureau. Prior to his current charge as head of the organisation, Bhatnagar has worked in PIB for six years in different capacities. He will take over from Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, who superannuated on February 28, 2021.

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

• IPS officer Kuldiep Singh has given an additional charge of CRPF director general (DG) after incumbent chief A P Maheshwari retires. Kuldiep Singh is working as the special DG of its central zone, will hold the additional charge of the CRPF head till “the appointment and joining of the successor or until further orders.

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

• 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).


INTERNATIONAL
Indian-American Doctor Vivek Murthy appointed as US Surgeon General

The US Senate has voted, 57-43, to confirm the appointment of Indian-American doctor Vivek

• Murthy as the Surgeon General under US President Biden’s administration. The 43-year-old Dr Murthy would occupy the position of America’s Surgeon General for the

• second time. Prior to this, Dr Murthy was appointed as surgeon general under the Obama administration in 2011 but was fired by former President Trump in 2017.


World’s first Ship Tunnel to be built in Norway

The Norwegian Coastal Administration has received the green signal to start working on the

• construction of the world’s first tunnel, being built exclusively for ships. The tunnel is dubbed as “Stad Ship Tunnel” and would be built under the mountainous Stadhavet peninsula in northwestern Norway. About the Tunnel: The 1.7 km tunnel will be able to handle ships of up to 16,000 tonnes and give ships a safer

• passage through the treacherous Stadhavet Sea. The tunnel will be 49 metres (161 ft) high and 36 metres (118 ft) wide.

.• It is estimated to cost at least 2.8 billion Norwegian kroner (NZ$460 million) the construction of

• this ship tunnel. The construction would begin in 2022 and would take three to four years to complete.


APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Sanjeev Kumar appointed as Chairman of Airports Authority of India

IAS Sanjeev Kumar has appointed as Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the

• Ministry of Civil Aviation. Kumar is a 1993-batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre. The Appointments Committee of the

• Cabinet (ACC) has approved his appointment.


Principal Scientific Advisor K. VijayRaghavan gets extension

• a year. He was appointed PSA in 2018 after retiring as Secretary of, Department of Biotechnology. His contract ends on April 2 but has now been extended until April 2022. Since the pandemic began, the Office of the PSA has been among the key coordinating agencies

• with industry, research bodies, health and science ministries to accelerate the development of diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. The PSA office has also been instrumental in formulating the National Science Innovation and Technology Policy as well as the forthcoming National Research Foundation.


AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Asha Bhosle to be honoured with ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’

Legendary singer Asha Bhosle will be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan

• Award for the year 2020. A committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to select Ms Bhosle for the award for the year 2020. Ms Bhosle, whose sister Lata Mangeshkar won the award for 1997, said she got to know from Mr Thackeray that she has been selected for the award for 2020. Ms Bhosle received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000. The award, instituted in 1996 by the State government to recognise distinguished work and

• achievements of eminent persons from the State, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh and a citation. The first Maharashtra Bhushan awardee was Marathi writer P.L. Deshpande and the last winner

• of this award was historian Babasaheb Purandare who got it for the year 2015.



Weekly One Liners 01st March 2021 to 07st March 2021


Golden Globe Awards 2021 announced

The Golden Globe Awards 2021 was held to recognise excellence in film, both American and international, and American television.

This was the 78th edition of the annual event, which honoured the best in American television, as well as film in 2020 and early 2021, as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

American TV series “The Crown” won the most awards for the ceremony with four awards.

Late American actor Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in Drama category, posthumously, for his portrayal of Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.



Winners in the Film category

• Best Film – Drama: Nomadland

• Best Film – Musical/Comedy: Borat Subsequent Movie film

• Best Director: Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

• Best Actress – Drama: Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday

• Best Actor – Drama: Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

• Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Rosamund Pike for I Care A Lot

• Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat Subsequent Movie film

• Best Supporting Actress: Daniel Kaluuya for Judas And The Black Messiah

• Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7

• Best Foreign Language Film: Minari

• Best Animated Feature: Soul

• Best Original Score: Soul

• Best Original Song: ‘Io Si (Seen)’ from The Life Ahead


Winners in the Television category :

• Best TV Series – Drama: The Crown

• Best TV Series – Musical/Comedy: Schitt’s Creek

• Best Limited Series, Anthology or TV Film: The Queen’s Gambit

• Best Actress – Drama: Emma Corrin for The Crown

• Best Actor – Drama: Josh O’Connor for The Crown

• Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek

• Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso

• Best Supporting Actress: Gillian Anderson for The Crown

• Best Supporting Actor: John Boyega for Small Axe

• Best Actress (Limited Series, Anthology or TV Film): Anya Taylor-Joy for The Queen’s Gambit

• Best Actor (Limited Series, Anthology or TV Film): Mark Ruffalo for I Know This Much Is True.


10th Hurun Global Rich List 2021 announced

The 10th Edition of Hurun Global Rich List 2021 was released, which ranked 3228 billionaires from 2,402 companies and 68 countries.

The report showed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the world added 8 billionaires every week in 2020 and 421 in a year, taking their total number to a record 3,288.

The total wealth of all billionaires across the globe surged 32 per cent, an addition of $3.5 trillion, to take their total wealth to $14.7 trillion, during the period under review. The wealth calculations taken into account is as of January 15, 2021.

Top three billionaires:

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

• Amazon.com Inc CEO Jeff Bezos ranked second with $189 billion in net worth.

• Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury-goods company ranked third with a net worth of $114 billion.

India in the list • With 60 Billionaires from the Hurun India Global List 2021, Mumbai became the capital for India’s rich followed by New Delhi (40) & Bengaluru (22).

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

• Apoorva Mehta of Instacard & Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha (both 34 years) became the youngest Indian Billionaires with a net worth of USD 1.7 Billion.

• Gautam Adani of Adani Group (Global Rank – 48)

• Shiv Nadar of HCL (Global Rank – 58)

• Lakshmi N Mittal of ArcelorMittal (Global Rank – 104)

• Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum (Global Rank – 113).

ASIA: Zhong Shanshan (Founder of Chinese Bottle Water Maker – Nongfu Spring) with USD 85 Billion became Asia’s Richest person, followed by Mukesh Ambani. He also broke into the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 for the 1st time with a rank of 7.



International Affairs

• The Russian space corporation Roscosmos successfully launched its first satellite to monitor the Arctic’s climate and environment. The satellite called “Arktika-M”, was launched on February 28, 2021, onboard Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This satellite will help to collect information to solve operational meteorology and hydrology problems, and monitoring the climate and environment in the Arctic region.

• The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has recommended the graduation of Bangladesh from the category of Least Developed Country (LDC). Bangladesh has fulfilled the eligibility criteria in terms of per capita income, human assets and economic and environmental vulnerability.

• Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

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

• Australian conservationists have unveiled plans to build the world’s first refuge for the platypus, to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the duckbilled 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 semiaquatic creatures, at a zoo 391 km from Sydney, by 2022.


Banking/Economy/Business News

• The gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in the month of February 2021 is Rs. 1,13,143 crore of which CGST is Rs. 21,092 crore, SGST is Rs. 27,273 crore, IGST is Rs. 55,253 crore (including Rs. 24,382 crores collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs. 9,525 crore (including Rs. 660 crores collected on import of goods). Revenues for February are 7% higher than the GST revenues of February 2019. Revenues from the import of goods were 15% higher than Feb ’19.

• The State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Funds has launched its first overseas offering on 1 March 2021. The fund titled SBI International Access — US Equity FOF is an open-ended fund of funds scheme investing in a mutual fund scheme/ETFs that invest in US markets, which are domiciled overseas.


Appointments/Resignations

• The former head of the News Services Division of All India Radio, Jaideep Bhatnagar, took over as Principal Director General of the Press Information Bureau. Prior to his current charge as head of the organisation, Bhatnagar has worked in PIB for six years in different capacities. He will take over from Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, who superannuated on February 28, 2021.

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

• IPS officer Kuldiep Singh has given an additional charge of CRPF director general (DG) after incumbent chief A P Maheshwari retires. Kuldiep Singh is working as the special DG of its central zone, will hold the additional charge of the CRPF head till “the appointment and joining of the successor or until further orders.

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

• 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).

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Defence News

• The Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in Exercise Desert Flag-VI, which has been organised from March 03 to 27, 2021 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE. The purpose of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces, train them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment, provides an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with the mutual exchange of best practices.

• 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).


Science and Technology

• India’s Polar rocket has successfully launched Amazonia-1 of Brazil and 18 other satellites from the spaceport here, in the first mission of the year for space agency ISRO. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 lifted from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) and first injected into orbit primary payload Amazonia-1.

• Indian Scientists at Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES), Nainital, have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical Spectrograph named as Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC). It has been commissioned on the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand.

• 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.


Awards and Recognitions

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received the CERAWeek global energy and environment leadership award during an annual CERAWeek Conference-2021. The award is given to him for his commitment to sustainability in energy and the environment.

• 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

• All India Football Federation confirms Odisha as the venue for the forthcoming Hero Indian Women’s League 2020-21 edition. This is the fifth edition of IWL, the top division women’s league in India. The Odisha government is a strategic partner of the AIFF (All India Football Federation) as it provides the necessary infrastructure to various men and women agegroup teams.

• Star Indian wrestler, Vinesh Phogat has defeated 2017 world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskay of Belarus to win a gold medal at the XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial tournament, held in Kiev, Ukraine.

• India’s Varun Kapur and Malvika Bansod clinched the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the 2021 Uganda International Badminton tournament in Kampala. Varun beat compatriot Sankar Muthusamy 21-18, 16-21, 21-17 in the men’s singles final.

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

• 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.



Weekly One Liners 22nd February 2021 to 28th February 2021



Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards

The prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival awards 2021 were announced, to honour the best in Indian cinema, television, music, and OTT. Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput was posthumously awarded ‘Critics Best Actor’ for his performance in ‘Dil Bechara’.

The winner of the Award for 2021 are as follows:

1. Best Actor (Female): Deepika Padukone, Chhapaak

2. Best Actor (Male): Akshay Kumar, Laxmii

3. Critic’s Best Actress: Kiara Advani, Guilty

4.Critic’s Best Actor: Late Sushant Singh Rajput, Dil Bechara

5. Best Film: Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

6. Best International Feature Film: Parasite Most Versatile Actor – Kay Kay Menon

7. Best Director: Anurag Basu, Ludo

8. Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Vikrant Massey, Chhapaak

9. Best Actress in Supporting Role: Radhika Madan, Angrezi Medium

10. Best Actor in Comic Role: Kunal Kemmu, Lootcase

11. Best Actor (Web Series): Bobby Deol, Aashram

12. Best Actress (Web Series): Sushmita Sen, Aarya

13. Best Web Series: Scam (1992)

14. Album of the Year: Titliyaan

15. Best Television Series: Kundali Bhagya

16. Photographer of the Year: Daboo Ratnani

17. Style Diva of the Year: Divya Khosla Kumar

18. Best Actress in Television Series: Surbhi Chandna

19. Best Actor in Television Series: Dheeraj Dhoopar

20. Performer of the Year: Nora Fatehi

21. Outstanding Contribution to Film Industry: Dharmendra

22. Outstanding Contribution to Literature in Indian Cinema: Chetan Bhagat.



Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka wins Australian Open 2021

In tennis, Japan’s Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam title on February 20, 2021, after she beat American Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles game of the Australian Open final 2021.

The four Grand Slam title for Osaka comes two Australian Open titles (2021 and 2019) and two US Open title (2018 and 2020).

In Men’s singles final, Novak Djokovic claimed his ninth Australian Open crown and the 18th Major Grand Slam overall, as he defeated Daniil Medvedev.

• Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (Serbia) defeated Daniil Medvedev (Russia)

• Women’s Singles: Naomi Osaka (Japan) defeated Jennifer Brady (US)

• Men’s Doubles: Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Filip Polášek (Slovakia )defeated Rajeev Ram (US) and Joe Salisbury (UK)

• Women’s Doubles: Elise Mertens (Belgium) and Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) defeated Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) and Kateřina Siniaková(Czech Republic )

• Mixed Doubles: Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) and Rajeev Ram of the US defeated the Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden.


Spacecraft Named in Honor of Black Woman ‘hidden Figures’ Mathematician

A space supply ship, Cygnus NG-15 cargo dubbed as ‘S.S. Katherine Johnson has been named in honour of Katherine Johnson, a Black NASA mathematician, who played a critical role in the success of the first U.S. crewed spaceflight, Mercury-Atlas 6 Mission.

The S.S. Katherine Johnson arrived on February 22, 2021, and will be at the International Space Station until May 2021.

Cygnus NG-15 cargo:

• A Northrop Grumman-built Cygnus cargo ship, a space supply ship, was launched by NASA on February 20, 2021, from Virginia to carry vital supplies for astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).

• The launch coincided with the 59th anniversary of America’s first orbit around the Earth. On 20 February 1962, astronaut John Glenn, became the first American to orbit Earth.

• The space supply ship carried more than 8,200 lbs. (3,719 kilograms) of cargo including scientific equipment, fresh food and supplies, new hardware and spacewalk equipment for the seven astronauts onboard the International Space Station.

• About Katherine Johnson: Mrs Johnson was a pioneering mathematician known for her hand-written calculations. She helped astronaut John Glenn, to become the first American to orbit Earth, after personally verifying his Mercury missions’ orbital trajectory calculations. Her contributions were also featured in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.



National Affairs

• Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0, (IMI 3.0), to expand immunization coverage across the country. The focus of IMI 3.0 will be on children and pregnant women who missed their vaccine doses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered the inaugural address at the 2nd Khelo India National Winter Games through a video conference. The second edition of the Khelo India-Winter Games has been organised at the world-famous ski-resort Gulmarg in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.

• The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal has laid the foundation of the first skill university of eastern India in Darrang district in Assam. The state-of-the-art skill university would be built with a financial outlay of Rs 1,000 crore. It will impart training to over 10,000 students in 12 disciplines. The university is expected to be completed by 2026. It will have “understandings” with countries like Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, Japan, England.

• Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan has inaugurated India’s first Digital University named Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology. A Digital University has been set up in Kerala’s Technocity, Mangalapuram. Kerala University is established by upgrading the twodecade-old state government’s Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala (IIITM-K).


Defence News

• The Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy conducted the Passage Exercise (PASSEX) on February 18, 2021, in the Arabian Sea. The military exercise between the navies of both countries aims to enhance operational interoperability and overall cooperation among them. Indian naval ship INS Talwar and the Indonesian Navy’s multirole corvette KRI Bung Tomo participated in the exercise.

• Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane has flagged off the 100th K9 Vajra tracked self-propelled howitzer built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at its armoured system complex at Hazira in Gujarat. L&T had completed the delivery of all the howitzers under the contract awarded in May 2017 ahead of schedule.

• Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has inaugurated Skill Development Centre (SDC) for Fire Safety Training of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) through virtual mode at Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh. The first of its kind in India facility has been created by Delhi based DRDO laboratory ‘Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES)’.

• Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted two successful launches of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM). DRDO carried out the launch from a static vertical launcher from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

• The Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICG) named C-453 was commissioned into services in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This was the 17th interceptor boats out of the 18 which are being indigenously built by Larsen & Toubro Ltd.


Awards and Recognitions

Anjali Bharadwaj, an Indian social activist working on issues of transparency and accountability, is one of the 12 “courageous” individuals named by the Biden administration for the newly-instituted International Anti-Corruption Champions Award.

The 48-year-old Bhardwaj has served as an active member of the Right to Information Movement in India for over two decades.

She is the founder of the Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), a citizens’ group which promotes transparency and accountability in government and encourage the active participation of citizens.

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Sports News

President Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the newly revamped Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, which has been renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium.

The biggest cricket stadium in the world will hold its first international match, with the newly renovated Sardar Patel Stadium to host the third Test between India and England.

Both India and England had a forgettable outing in their last pink-ball outings.

• The second edition of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2021, is scheduled to be held in Karnataka. This announcement was made by the Karnataka Chief Minister, Shri BS Yediyurappa and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju. The KIUG-2021 will be hosted by JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), Bengaluru, in partnership with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

• Former India all-rounder, Yusuf Pathan has announced his retirement from all formats of cricket. He played 57 ODIs and 22 T20Is for India since making his international debut in 2007. He was part of the Indian team that won the ICC T20 World Cup 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.


Obituaries

• The first prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Michael Somare has passed away. He was known as the “father of the nation” because he led the Pacific archipelago to independence from Australia in 1975. He had served as the prime minister of the country four times, between 1975 to 2011, and has been the longest-serving prime minister (17 years).

• Renowned Malayalam poet, the priest and academician Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri, has passed away. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2014, for his contribution to the world of Malayalam literature for decades.



Weekly One Liners 15th February 2021 to 21th February 2021



Four Women Scientists wins SERB Women Excellence Award 2021

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has announced the SERB Women Excellence Award for the year 2021,on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Four young women fellows of National Science Academies have been awarded SERB Women Excellence Award 2021.


The winners include:

• Dr Shobhna Kapoor - Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, working in the area of Chemical Biology with expertise in ‘HostPathogen Interactions and Membrane Biology, Chemical Biology and Biophysics’

• Dr Antara Banerjee – Scientist B National Institute For Research In Reproductive Health, Mumbai, Maharashtra from the Health Sciences area with expertise in Signal Transduction, Biology of Reproduction and Endocrinology,

• Dr Sonu Gandhi –Scientist D from National Institute Of Animal Biotechnology, Hyderabad from Bionanotechnology area focusing on Nanosensors, Design and Fabrication of Label-free Biosensors .

• Dr Ritu Gupta – Assistant Professor at Indian Institute Of Technology Jodhpur, Rajasthan working on Nanotechnology with expertise in Materials Science, Nanodevices and Sensors, Health & Energy About SERB Women Excellence Award 2021

• It is a one-time award being presented by SERB to women scientists since 2013 to support basic research in the frontier areas of science and engineering.

• The women scientists should be below 40 years of age.

• She must have received recognition from any one or more of the National Academies such as Young Scientist Medal, Young Associateship, etc.

• The award provides a grant of Rs. 15 lakhs for a period of three years to the awardees to pursue their research ideas.


Bhim Army's Chandra Shekhar Azad named in TIME's list

Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and five Indian-origin personalities have been featured in the 2021 TIME100 Next.

TIME100 Next 2021 is the second edition of the annual list of Time magazine’s 100 ‘emerging leaders who are shaping the future.

About Bhim Army:

Bhim Army is a Dalit rights organisation based in Uttar Pradesh to help Dalits escape poverty through education.

It was founded by Satish Kumar, Vijay Ratan Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad in 2015.

The five Indian-origin persons in Time100 Next list are:

• Twitter lawyer: Vijaya Gadde

• UK’s Finance Minister: Rishi Sunak

• Instacart founder and CEO:: Apoorva Mehta

• Get Us PPE executive director and doctor: Shikha Gupta

• Founder of nonprofit Upsolve’s: Rohan Pavuluri.


National Affairs:

• Union road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari has launched India’s first-ever diesel tractor, converted to a much cleaner (compressed natural gas) CNG variant. With this, farmers will be able to save more than ₹1 trillion annually on fuel cost, which will help them to improve their livelihood.

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently launched an online portal ‘e-Chhawani’ and mobile app, to facilitate ‘ease of living’ and ‘ease of doing’ for the residents of the Cantonment Boards across the country. The ‘e-Chhawani’ portal will provide online municipal services to more than 20 lakh citizens across all 62 Cantonment Boards of India while sitting at home.

• The National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has launched an instant messaging platform called “Sandes”. Similar to WhatsApp, the new government instant messaging systems (GIMS) platform can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone using a mobile number or email id.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually launched ‘Mahabahu-Brahmaputra’ initiative in Assam. He laid the foundation stone for the Dhubri Phulbari bridge. PM also perform the bhumi puja for the construction of Majuli Bridge in Assam.

PM has announced the details stated that the landmark day in the development journey for Assam as Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative is going to be launched.


International Affairs:

• The former European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Italy on 12 February 2021.

• The United States has extended the “New START” nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia for a period of five years. The New START, which stands for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation.

• The People’s Republic of China has overtaken the United States (US) as the biggest trading partner of the European Union (EU) in 2020, according to the data by the European Union statistics agency, Eurostat. Britain, which left the European Union in 2020, was the third-largest trading partner for the bloc, behind China and the United States.

• The first day of the spring called ‘Pahela Phagun’ was celebrated in Dhaka, Bangladesh despite the continued shadow of Corona pandemic in the country. Cultural organisations held programmes at different venues in the city to herald the beginning of the spring. Programmes were held at the Suhrawardy Udyan, Nandan Manch of Shilpakala Academy and several other locations.

• The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia has announced his resignation. The 45-year-old Gakharia served as the Prime Minister from 8 September 2019 to 18 February 2021. He was stepping down because of disagreements within his own team over the decision to arrest Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement opposition party.


Apointments/Resignations:

• Tata Motors Limited has appointed Marc Llistosella as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD). The appointment of Llistosella will be effective from July 1, 2021.

• The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has announced Dr Ajay Mathur as its new DirectorGeneral following his election at the first special assembly of ISA members. Dr Mathur replaces Mr Upendra Tripathy, who has served as DirectorGeneral since the ISA was founded in 2015.

• The UN Capital Development Fund has appointed Indian-origin investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its Executive Secretary, the highest leadership rank in the institution. She succeeds Judith Karl. He will work with a focus on providing micro-finance assistance to women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises in under-served communities.

• Ajai Malhotra became the first Indian to be elected as the Chairperson of the United Nations Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council. He has been on the Indian team negotiating issues such as biological diversity, climate change, desertification, education, energy, forestry, health, human rights, human settlements, intellectual property, international law, labour, ozone depletion, sustainable development and trade.


Defence News:

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has handed over the indigenous main battle tank Arjun Mk-1A to the Army in a function at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane received the model of the tank, designed and developed by Chennai-based Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE), a unit of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

• India joined Iran and Russia in the naval exercise dubbed as “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021”, which kicked-off in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. The Chinese navy will also join the exercise. The purpose of the drill is to enhance the security of international maritime trade, confront maritime piracy and terrorism, and exchange information.

• Indian Naval Ship Pralaya reached Abu Dhabi in UAE to participate in the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 21) and International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 21) from February 20 to 25, 2021. NAVDEX 21 and IDEX 21 is one of the leading international naval and defence exhibitions of the region.

• Defence Research and Development Organisation has successfully carried out joint user trials of indigenously developed Helina and Dhruvastra Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from the Advanced Light Helicopter at the Pokhran deserts in Rajasthan.


Obituaries:

• Noted jurist and a former Governor of Bihar and Jharkhand, Justice (Retd.) M. Rama Jois has passed away. The former Rajya Sabha MP, had also served as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. He was also a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India.

• War veteran Major General (retired) Basant Kumar Mahapatra, who had participated in major battles including the 1962 Indo-China war, and 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan war, has passed away.

• Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Captain Satish Sharma passed away. He served as the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas from 1993 to 1996 in the Narasimha Rao government.


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