Daily Current Affairs: March 19, 2021
Daily Current Affairs (March 19, 2021) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK, and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness, and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.
Ordnance Factories Day in India- 18 March
- Ordnance Factory Day (OFD) is observed every year on 18 March to commemorate the foundation of the first Ordnance Factory in colonial India at Cossipore near Kolkata in 1802.
- The Indian Ordnance Factories, which operate under the Ministry of Defence (MoD), celebrate the day as an event that gives the unique opportunity to exhibit the research, development, production, marketing logistics of the vast array of arms and ammunition by the ordnance factories in the country.
Global Recycling Day on 18 march
- Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognise, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. It is a day for the world to come together and put the planet first.
- 2021 Theme: ‘Recycling Heroes’.
Manipur emerged as the model state for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana
- Manipur has emerged as the champion state where the Van Dhan programme has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribals.
- The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.
- Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme is a component of the Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP Scheme. The programme was launched in the state in October 2019.
- Capital: Imphal
- Chief Minister: N. Biren Singh
- Governor: Najma Heptulla.
J&K’s Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation to develop 850 MW project
- The J&K Administrative Council under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha approved the incorporation of the Joint Venture Company (JVC) under the name Ratle Hydro-electric Power Corporation to implement the 850 MW Ratle Hydro-Electric Project (HEP) on Chenab river at Drabshala in Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir.
- The proposed JVC will have an authorised capital of 1,600 crore with initial paid-up capital of Rs. 100 Crore, out of which the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDCL) will contribute Rs. 49 crore as initial equity.
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 WLS, Gulmarg WLS, Jasrota WLS, Baltal-Thajwas WLS, Karakoram (Nubra Shyok) WLS.
- Lakes: Mansar Lake, Nagin Lake, Wular Lake, Surinsar Lake, Dal Lake.
India’s first elevated Urban Expressway worth Rs. 8,662 crores to be completed by 2022
- Union minister Nitin Gadkari stated that the construction work on 8,662-crore Dwarka Expressway will be completed before 15 August 2022.
- The total length of the expressway that has been constructed under the Bharatmala Project is 29 kilometres out of which 18.9-kilometre length falls in Haryana while the remaining 1-kilometre length is in Delhi.
Ethanol blending in Petrol to be increased from existing 8.5% to 20% by 2025
- Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that the target year for achieving 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol which was initially kept as 2030 had been further reduced by 2025.
- Ethanol blending is done to reduce dependence on imported fuel and reduce the impact on foreign exchange since ethanol is to be procured domestically. Since ethanol contains oxygen, it is supposed to help in the complete combustion of fuel, resulting in lower emissions.
AIM, NITI Aayog and AWS announced new initiatives to boost innovation, entrepreneurship in India
- Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and Amazon Web Services announced new initiatives to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in India.
- They planned to empower school students with cloud computing skills and enabling entrepreneurs to build innovative education technology solutions on the cloud.
NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India):
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- CEO: Amitabh Kant
- Chairperson: Narendra Modi
- Vice Chairperson: Rajiv Kumar
8.76-gigawatt renewable energy capacity added in the country during the year 2019-20
- The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had informed that a total of 8.76-gigawatt renewable energy capacity had been added in the country during the year 2019-20.
- New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh stated that total installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources constitutes 49 percent of total installed electricity generation capacity in the country.
- India has committed to generate 40 percent of its total installed electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2030.
Government introduced Vehicle Scrapping Policy for phasing out of unfit and polluting vehicles
- The salient features of Vehicle Scrapping Policy is that private vehicles will be de-registered after 20 years if found unfit or in case of a failure to renew registration certificates and commercial vehicles will be de-registered after 15 years in case of failure to get the fitness certificates.
- The government has also fixed the deadline to scrap vehicles above 15 years of age which are used by the government departments as well as PSUs from 1st April 2022.
- For heavy commercial vehicles, the mandatory fitness testing will commence from 1st April 2023. Similarly, mandatory fitness testing will be carried out in a phased manner for other categories of vehicles from 1st June 2024.
- Minister of Road Transport and Highways: Nitin Gadkari.
Mission Gramodaya launched in Madhya Pradesh
- Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had launched the Mission Gramodaya in Madhya Pradesh. Besides providing housing facilities in rural areas, basic and fundamental infrastructure will also be expanded under the mission.
- The overall development of rural areas will be done through this mission. Under this mission, every village will have concrete roads, gram panchayat building, Muktidham, and sports grounds in every gram panchayat.
- Capital: Bhopal
- Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chauhan
- Governor: Anandiben Patel (Additional Charge)
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated ‘Amar Ekushey book fair’ in Dhaka
- Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the ‘Amar Ekushey book fair’ in Dhaka. Prime Minister Hasina also released the book ‘New China 1952’ which is the English translation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s book ‘Amar Dekha Naya Chin’.
- She also distributed prizes among the winners of the Bangla Academy Literary Award 2020. The main theme of the 2021 fair is “Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Golden Jubilee of Independence.”
- Capital: Dhaka
- Currency: Taka
- Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
- President: Abdul Hamid
India and US launched Artificial Intelligence Initiative to scale up the science & technology relationship
- India and the US have launched an Artificial Intelligence initiative that will provide key stakeholders an opportunity to share experiences, identify new R&D areas and opportunities which would benefit from synergistic activities, discuss the emerging AI landscape, and address the challenges of developing an AI workforce.
- The ambitious US-India AI Initiative (USIAI) leverages the India US Science and Technology Forum’s ability to bring together key stakeholders from India and the United States to create synergies that address challenges and opportunities at the interface of science, technology, and society.
USAID and DFC announced a $ 41 million loan for renewable energy in India
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have announced a USD 41 million-loan guarantee program to finance investment in renewable energy solutions by Indian SMEs.
- USAID and DFC are jointly sponsoring a USD 41 million loan portfolio guarantee to help finance investments by Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in renewable energy solutions, including rooftop solar installations. These loans will enable SMEs to access reliable power and cut costs.
Banking and Economy
Parliament panel suggests a systemic review of financial system headed by Jayant Sinha
- The Parliamentary standing committee on finance has recommended a systemic review by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to pre-empt a crisis of the sort that the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) group underwent in 2018.
- The Standing Committee on Finance headed by Jayant Sinha has also suggested a system of rotation of credit rating agencies (CRAs).
Punjab National Bank incorporated a new entity PNB Cards & Services for credit card business
- Public sector lender Punjab National Bank has incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary, PNB Cards & Services Limited, which will deal with the banks’ non-financial support services related to its credit card business.
- The authorized capital of the company is 25 crore (divided into 250,00,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each) and the paid-up capital is Rs. 15 crore (divided into 150,00,000 Equity Shares of Rs 10 each).
Punjab National Bank (PNB)
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
- Tagline: “The Name You Can Bank Upon”
Deutsche Bank executed the world’s first green hedge with Continuum
- Deutsche Bank and Continuum Energy Levanter Private Limited, a subsidiary of Continuum Green Energy (Continuum) announced they have executed the world’s first green hedging transaction with a second party opinion based on a specially designed green hedge framework.
- The aim is to develop a green hedge framework to support the implementation of Continuum’s green bond framework.
- Headquarters: Frankfurt, Germany
- CEO: Christian Sewing
- Founded: 10 March 1870
Acquisitions and Mergers
CSIR-CMERI Conducted Skill Development Programme on Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management for Zero Waste Solutions
- CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur conducted a three-day residential training programme on “Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management: Zero Waste Solutions”.
- The Institute has designed & developed a unique technology system that includes mechanised segregation of municipal solid waste, practicing the contactless operation and disposal of every type of bio-degradable waste including garden waste and non-biodegradable polymer waste.
- There are 25 participants including students and officials from Urban Water Supply & Sanitation Services Advisory Network (host organization: Pragati Bio and Renewable Energy), Bihar participated.
APEDA partnered with NSIC to support and empower agri entrepreneurs
- Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed an MoU to ensure cooperation in a range of areas focusing on harnessing exports potential of agricultural and processed food products manufactured by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- The MoU was signed by APEDA secretary Sudhanshu and NSIC Director in charge of planning and marketing P Udayakumar.
Ajay Mathur takes over as Director-General of International Solar Alliance
- Ajay Mathur has assumed office as Director-General of International Solar Alliance (ISA). He was elected for the role of the Special Assembly of the ISA. The appointment is for four years which can be renewed for an additional term.
- He replaced Upendra Tripathy, who has served as the Director-General since 2017.
Mark Rutte elected as the prime minister of the Netherland for the fourth time
- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte led his People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) to a fourth victory in a row. He became the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of the Netherlands.
- Preliminary results showed that VVD, the centre-right party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte won the election with 22% of the vote, getting 35 of the 150 seats in the national parliament (2 more than in 2017).
- Capital: Amsterdam
- Currency: Euro
- Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
Awards and recognitions
NTPC conferred with ‘Role Model’ award at 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21
- India’s largest integrated power generation company, NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) has been conferred the prestigious ‘Role Model’ Award at the most coveted and prestigious 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21.
- The award was presented at the virtual conference “Learn from the Achievers”. Since the institutionalization of the CII National HR Excellence Award, this is only the second time when the award of Role Model has been conferred to any organization. NTPC is the only PSU to have received this prestigious award.
Dhanalakshmi breaks PT Usha’s Federation Cup record
- Tamil Nadu’s S Dhanalakshmi clocked a meet record time of 23.26 seconds in the women’s 200m semi-finals at the 24th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships in Patiala, Punjab. Her timing broke PT Usha’s long-standing meet record of 30 seconds set in Chennai in 1998.
- Asiad champion Swapna Barman (West Bengal) won the heptathlon with a total of 5636 points.
Haryana won Sub-junior National Women’s Hockey Championship by defeating Jharkhand
- Haryana bagged the 11th national sub-junior women’s hockey championship title by defeating hosts Jharkhand in a penalty shootout at the Simdega Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Jharkhand.
- Capital: Chandigarh
- Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
- Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya
- National Parks (NP): Sultanpur NP, Kalesar NP
- Dance: Phag, Dhamal, Loor, Khoria
- Capital: Ranchi
- Chief Minister: Hemant Soren
- Governor: Draupadi Murmu
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