Daily Current Affairs: March 17, 2021

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National News

A world-class winter sports academy is to be set up in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

  • The Government of India informed that the Rajya Sabha would set up a world-class winter sports academy in Gulmarg and 100 small sports centres under the ‘Khelo India’ mission across Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Two ‘Khelo India’ centres of excellence would also be set up in Srinagar and Jammu, with different disciplines.

Jammu and Kashmir

  • Capital: Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (winter)
  • Lt. Governor: Manoj Sinha
  • National Parks: Hemis National Park, City Forest (Salim Ali) National Park, Dachigam National Park, Kishtwar National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary, Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary, Baltal-Thajwas Wildlife Sanctuary, Karakoram (Nubra Shyok) Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Lakes: Mansar Lake, Nagin Lake, Wular Lake, Surinsar Lake, Dal Lake

Union Cabinet approved the closure of Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India Limited

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the closure of loss-making Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India Limited (HHEC). The Corporation had been continuously incurring losses since the financial year 2015-16 and not earning sufficient income to meet its running expenses.
  • HHEC is a Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSE) under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Textiles. The current Union Minister of Textiles is Smriti Irani.

International News

ReNew Power became the world’s first renewable company to enter WEF’s Global Lighthouse Network

  • Renewable energy firm ReNew Power was named to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Lighthouse Network that recognises companies using new technologies to achieve environmentally sustainable, community supportive, and profitable growth.
  • ReNew Power is an Indian renewable energy company. It has an asset base of over 8 GW, with around 5 GW

ReNew Power

  • Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
  • Chairman and Managing Director: Sumant Sinha

World Economic Forum (WEF):

  • Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
  • Founder & Executive Chairman: Kalus Schwab
  • President: Borge Brende
  • Founded: 24 January 1971
  • Motto: “Committed to improving the state of the world”

India and Maldives signed an MoU on cooperation in sports & youth affairs

  • The Union Cabinet signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of the Maldives for cooperation in Sports and Youth Affairs.
  • Bilateral exchange programmes in the field of sports and youth affairs between India and Maldives will help in expanding knowledge and expertise in the area of sports science, sports medicine, etc.


  • Capital: Male
  • Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
  • President: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Banking and Economy

India’s import of arms decreased by 33 percent: SIPRI Report

  • India’s import of arms decreased by 33 percent between 2011-15 and 2016-20 and Russia was the most affected supplier, according to a report released by Stockholm-based defence think-tank SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute).
  • Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of the US arms also fell, by 46 per cent.
  • The five largest arms exporters in 2016-20 were the US, Russia, France, Germany, and China, while the top importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia, and China.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI):

  • Headquarters: Oslo, Norway
  • Director: Dan Smith

State Bank of India inked the first SOFR-linked ECB deal with IOCL

  • State Bank of India (SBI) had inked the first deal in the external commercial borrowing (ECB) market using the new Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) of $100 million deal for five years.
  • SOFR is the new alternative benchmark rate that will replace LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), which is the existing benchmark rate. SOFR will replace LIBOR by the end of 2021. The sunset had been triggered by the decision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.

State Bank of India (SBI)

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman: Dinesh Kumar Khara
  • Tagline: “The Banker to Every Indian”

Reserve Bank of India imposed a ₹2 crore penalty on SBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had imposed a monetary penalty of ₹2 crore on the State Bank of India (SBI) for contravention of certain provisions of Section 10 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and the central bank’s specific directions issued to the bank on payment of remuneration to employees in the form of commission.
  • According to section 10 (1) (b) (ii) of the Banking Regulation Act, whereby no banking company shall employ or continue the employment of any person whose remuneration or part of the remuneration takes the form of commission or a share in the profits of the company.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI):

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Formation: 1 April 1935
  • Governor: Shaktikanta Das
  • Deputy Governors: 4 (BP Kanungo, MK Jain, MD Patra, M Rajeshwar Rao)
  • Subsidiaries: Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (BRBNM)


Centre appointed a high-level team headed by SK Singh to review medical care & public health arrangements for Kumbh Mela at Haridwar

  • The Centre had deployed a three-member high-level central team to review medical care and public health arrangements for Kumbh Mela at Haridwar in Uttarakhand.
  • The team is being led by SK Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). SK Jain, Additional Director, and Meera Dhuria, Deputy Director, both from NCDC are the high-level team members.
  • The team will focus on the status of implementation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Kumbh Mela issued by the Union Ministry of Health in the context of implementing preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Acquisitions and Mergers

ICSI signs an MoU with CUSAT for academic collaboration

  • The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) for academic collaboration.
  • As per the MoU, three top students from the School of Legal Studies of CUSAT would be bestowed with the ICSI Signature Gold Award.

Vayana Network partnered with CRIF India to launch a tech-enabled tool for MSMEs

  • Vayana Network, India’s largest supply chain financing platform had collaborated with CRIF Solutions, a leading provider of analytics, scoring, and decision solutions introduce the Good Business Score (GBS), a tech-based tool to help India’s MSMEs measure and manage their business health effectively.
  • GBS will help MSMEs signal their worth to prospective business partners, stand apart from the competition, and improve by understanding their strengths and weaknesses. The score will also serve as a criterion for large corporates and lenders associating with MSME businesses.

Vayana Network

  • Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra
  • Founder and CEO: RN Iyer

Science and Technology

Indian Army decommissioned two of the longest-serving artillery systems from service

  • Indian Army had decommissioned two of the longest-serving artillery systems from service. The 130mm Self Propelled M-46 Catapult Guns and the 160mm Tampella Mortars were decommissioned at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges.
  • The 130mm Catapult, with a range of more than 27 km, was a successful merger of two existing weapon systems: Vijayanta tanks and 130mm M-46 guns. The guns were inducted in 1981 and were employed successfully during several operations.


Sundeep Sikka re-appointed as the Executive Director and CEO of Nippon Life India Asset Management

  • Nippon Life India Asset Management Ltd had re-appointed Sundeep Sikka as the Executive Director and CEO for another five years. The appointment would be in effect from 22 April 2021.
  • Also, the company had named B Sriram as an independent director and Yutaka Ideguchi as a non-independent director. Ved Prakash Malik had been re-appointed as a non-executive independent director for the second term of five years.

MA Ganapathy appointed as the Chief of NSG and Kuldiep Singh to head CRPF

  • Senior IPS officers MA Ganapathy and Kuldiep Singh were appointed the Director-General of National Security Guard (NSG) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) respectively.
  • Ganapathy, a 1986 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Uttarakhand cadre, is currently the Director-General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
  • Kuldiep Singh, a 1986 batch IPS officer of the West Bengal cadre, is presently the Special DG of the CRPF. He will replace AP Maheshwari.

Books and Authors

Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi’s memoir “My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future” set to be released in September 2021

  • Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is set to publish her memoir “My Life in Full: Work, Family and Our Future”. The book will be published by Portfolio Books (the US publisher of the book) on 28 September.


Former Union Minister Dilip Gandhi passed away at 69

  • Former Union Minister Dilip Gandhi passed away at the age of 69. He tested positive for COVID-19. Gandhi had represented the Ahmednagar South constituency three times as an MP.

Former Union Minister Ram Swaroop Sharma passed away at 62

  • Former Union Minister Ram Swaroop Sharma passed way in Delhi. Ram Swaroop Sharma was elected to the 16th and 17th Lok Sabha from the Mandi parliamentary constituency in 2014 and 2019

Sports News

India to host Asian Boxing Championships 2021

  • International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced that the Asian Boxing Championships 2021 will be hosted by New Delhi, India from 21 – 31 May 2021. This will be the first boxing tournament in Asia to be held in 2021.
  • The Championships, earlier scheduled to take place in 2020, were postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

International Boxing Association (AIBA):

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

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju met the President of Inter-Parliamentary Union Duarte Pacheco

  • Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju met the President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco to discuss corporation among the international parliamentarians, especially in the field of Youth Affairs and Sports in New Delhi.
  • The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability, and cooperation among its members.

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founded: 1889
  • President: Duarte Pacheco
  • Secretary-General: Martin Chungong

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Daily Current Affairs Quiz – March 17, 2021