Daily Current Affairs: March 18, 2021

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National News

Union Government formed an experts committee headed by HK Mittal for Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

  • The Union government had constituted an Experts Advisory Committee that will be responsible for the overall execution and monitoring of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS). The committee would be chaired by HK Mittal from the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) was approved for the period of the next four years starting from 2021-22. It will be implemented with effect from 01 April 2021.
  • The Union government had announced that 945 crore corpus will be divided over the next four years for providing seed funding to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India. The scheme is expected to support about 3,600 startups.

Indian Railways connected the bottom ends of the main arch of the world’s tallest bridge over Chenab

  • Indian Railways connected the two ends of the main arch of the world’s highest bridge- the “Chenab Bridge”. This bridge is being constructed on a challenging 111km long stretch called Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) by the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) at a cost of Rs. 12, 000 Crores.

International News

Italy joined the International Solar Alliance under the amended ISA Framework Agreement

  • Italy had joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) under the amended ISA Framework Agreement. The amendments to the Framework Agreement of the ISA entered into force, opening its membership to all member states of the UN. The Framework Agreement was signed by Italy’s Ambassador, Vincenzo De Luca.

International Solar Alliance:

  • ISA is an alliance of over 120 nations initiated by India. It was jointly launched by the French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, 2015 or the COP21, in Paris, France.


  • Capital: Rome.
  • President: Sergio Mattarella.
  • Prime Minister: Mario Draghi.

Bangladesh sent food products to India through Inland Waterways for the first time

  • The maiden river-borne shipment of food products from Bangladesh to India began its journey from Narsingdi to Kolkata, marking the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
  • The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority took the initiative of exporting food items through waterways under the waterways protocol agreement between the two countries.


  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Currency: Taka
  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • President: Abdul Hamid

India and Israel launched a joint venture to boost India’s e-Mobility aspirations

  • Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, along with Israel’s Minister of Energy, Yuval Steinitz launched a Joint Venture called IOC Phinergy Private Limited between Indian Oil Corporation Limited (Indian Oil) and Phinergy, an Israeli startup company specialising in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems.


  • Capital: Jerusalem
  • Currency: Israeli Shekel
  • Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
  • President: Reuven Rivlin.

World Bank provided $ 200 million to Bangladesh to support the COVID 19 affected youth, returnee migrants

  • The World Bank had approved $ 200 million to help Bangladesh to provide support and services to the low-income urban youths impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the migrants who had to return involuntarily.
  • The $ 200 million financing is from the World Banks’ International Development Association (IDA) which provides concessional lending over a 30-year term, including a grace period of 5 years.

World Bank:

  • Headquarters: Washington DC, United States
  • President: David Malpass.
  • Founded: 1944.

Appointments and Resignations

Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev inducted into PGTI as a board member

  • Legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev was inducted as one of the board members of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI). The official inclusion of Kapil Dev into the board was made while announcing the Prometheus School Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship 2021 held in Gurugram, Haryana.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appointed as the Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board

  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was appointed as the Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis from India by 2025. Harsh Vardhan will serve a three-year term, commencing from July 2021.
  • The Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body with the power to fight against TB. The Stop TB Partnership was established in 2001 to eliminate tuberculosis as a public health problem. The secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The SDGs have set the target of ending the TB epidemic by 2030.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Advisor PK Sinha resigned

  • Former Cabinet Secretary and Principal Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) PK Sinha has resigned from his position, citing personal reasons.
  • Sinha is a retired IAS officer (1977 batch) of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, was appointed the officer on special duty in the PMO in August 2019. He also served as Union Cabinet Secretary from 2015 to 2019.

Awards and Recognitions

Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal to receive the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize

  • Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, Anne Lacaton (1955, Saint-Pardoux, France) and Jean-Philippe Vassal (1954, Casablanca, Morocco) from Lacaton & Vassal have been selected as the 49th and 50th laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, for their architectural work that has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment.
  • Anna Lacaton became the first French female architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize.


Delhi remained the world’s most polluted capital for the third straight year: IQAir report

  • New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital for the third straight year in 2020, according to IQAir, a Swiss group that measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles known as 5.
  • India was the 3rd most polluted country in the world in 2020 after Bangladesh and Pakistan. The report is prepared in the form of the “World Air Quality Report 2020”. The report states that twenty-two of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India.

Gautam Adani became the world’s biggest wealth gainer in 2021: Bloomberg Billionaires Index

  • Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani become the world’s biggest wealth gainer in 2021 as per the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He had surpassed wealth giants like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in 2021. Adani is now the 26th richest person in the world.


Bangladesh former Prime Minister Moudud Ahmed passed away at 81

  • Bangladesh’s former Prime Minister Moudud Ahmed died in Singapore. Ahmad served the nation as Prime Minister 1988–1989, Vice President 1989–1990, and Law Minister 2001–2006 of the country. He was one of the founding members of the BNP party.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli passed away at 61

  • Tanzania’s President John Magufuli had passed away at the age of 61. The President died of a heart ailment that he had battled for over 10 years. He was Tanzania’s first president to die while in office.


  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Currency: Tanzanian shilling

Sports News

Dhanalakshmi beat Dutee Chand in the 100m final of the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships 2021 held in Patiala, Punjab

  • The 22-year-old Dhanalakshmi of Tamil Nadu won the gold medal by clocking 11.39 seconds ahead of Dutee Chand (11.58) of Odisha to become the fastest woman of the championships. Archana Suseendran of Tamil Nadu was third in 11.76 seconds.
  • Gurindervir Singh of Punjab won the men’s 100m final in 10.32 seconds, while Elakkiyadasan Kannada of Tamil Nadu (10.43) and Maharashtra’s Satish Krishnakumar (10.56) were second and third, respectively.

UAE players Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar banned for eight years for breaching the ICC anti-corruption code

  • Two United Arab Emirates (UAE) players Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar Butt have been banned from all cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for eight years for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
  • The ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found them guilty, and they were provisionally suspended for attempting to corrupt games at the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in the UAE.

Murali Sreeshankar set a national record and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2021

  • The 21-year-old Murali Shreeshankar qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the long-jump event after he set a national record after making a jump of 26 metres in his final attempt at the Federation Cup.
  • He surpassed his own record of 20 metres and the Olympic qualifying mark of 8.22 metres.

Hashmatullah Shahidi became the first Afghanistan cricketer to hit Test double ton

  • The 26-year-old Hashmatuallah Shahidi became the first Afghanistan cricketer to hit a double ton in an innings of a Test match. He achieved the feat in the second Test against Zimbabwe at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, United Arab Emirates.
  • Shahidi is also only the third Afghanistan batsman to hit a century in the longest format of the game. Rahmat Shah and skipper Asghar Afghan are the other two batsmen who have hit a Test ton.

International Shooting Sport Federation Shooting World Cup 2021 is set to begin in Delhi

  • International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shooting World Cup 2021 will begin at the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in Delhi. More than 300 shooters from as many as 43 countries are expected to participate in the season’s first World Cup being held in all three disciplines – shotgun, rifle, and pistol.

International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF):

  • Headquarters: Munich, Germany
  • President: Vladimir Lisin
  • Founded: 1907

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