Daily Current Affairs 16th March, 2021

Daily Current Affairs 16 March 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Govt. reconstitutes panel for studying Sarasvati river
The Centre has reconstituted an advisory committee to chalk out a plan for studying the mythical Sarasvati river for the next two years, after the earlier panel’s term ended in 2019.

  • The committee would continue to be chaired by the Culture Minister and include officials from the Culture, Tourism, Water Resources, Environment and Forest, Housing and Urban Affairs Ministries; representatives of the Indian Space Research Organisation; officials from the governments of Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan; and an ASI official. Among the “non-official members” of the 27-member panel are archaeologists B.R. Mani, Vasant Shinde, K.N. Dixit and K.K. Muhammed, and historian Balmukund Pandey. The committee includes Madan Gopal Vyas, Ratnesh Tripathi, Prabhu Sundarji Bhai Thakkar, S. Kalyan Raman, Prashant Bhardwaj, Amit Rai Jain, V.M.K. Puri and Mukesh Garg.

Uttar Pradesh CM launches ‘kalanamak’ rice festival
After the grand success of the Strawberry Festival in Jhansi and the Jaggery Festival in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh state government is organising a three-day ‘Kalanamak Rice Festival’ in Siddharthnagar district.

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in his sustained efforts of creating new income opportunities for the farmers, has stressed on promoting the localised production and providing them with a market.
  • The event is being organised in order to promote, market and branding of selected products as ODOP under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Local for Vocal’ campaign.

Indian Railways’ 1st fully centralised AC terminal in Bengaluru to begin operations soon: Piyush Goyal
The country’s first centralised air-conditioned railway terminal in Bengaluru would be operational soon. It will be named after one of the foremost civil engineers, Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya,Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said.

  • According to railway officials, the new coach terminal was planned at Baiyappanahalli in the city to meet the demand to introduce more express trains connecting Bengaluru.
  • Once this terminal is operational, more long-distance trains from Bengaluru to other metros such as Mumbai and Chennai and also trains connecting Bengaluru to all districts within Karnataka can be run.

Punjab to join hands with UN, other global agencies to empower women
The Punjab government is going to join hands with various the United Nations arms, besides other global agencies in an effort to ensure women empowerment. Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh will also virtually launch eight special initiatives to mark the International Women’s Day.

  • Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh will also virtually launch eight special initiatives to mark the International Women’s Day.
  • The initiatives include handing over of the appointment letters for 2,407 master cadre women teachers in various government schools, launch of the Sanja Shakti helpdesks and 181 Sanjh Shakti helpline for women at all police stations, with women operators to run the helpdesk and the helpline for prompt and sensitive response to crimes against women.
  • The state government has decided to collaborate with international agencies to safeguard women from crimes, protect their rights and introduce gender sensitisation curriculum in school syllabus. These agencies include UN Women, UNDP (United Nations Development Fund), UN Population Fund, J-PAL (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) and FUEL (Friends Union for Energizing Lives).

Government to set up Winter Sports Institute in Gulmarg, says Kiren Rijiju
Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has said that the government is working to set up a Winter Sports Institute in Gulmarg, Kashmir. Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha Mr. Rijiju informed that the Khelo India Winter Games this season witnessed unprecedented participation of Kashmiri youth.

  • He added that the government is committed to promote and ensure active participation of people from Kashmir in all Olympic sports along with other games including football and Cricket.
  • Mr. Rijiju said that though organizing International cricket matches in Kashmir Valley does not come under the purview of the Sports Ministry, the government has a specific roadmap to work towards promoting and training Kashmiri youth in all major sports domains.


BANKING & FINANCE

Govt collects Rs 26,457 crore by decreasing stakes in six DPSUs in last 5 years
The government has collected Rs 26,457 crore by decreasing its shareholding in six defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) in the last five years, according to details provided by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik in Rajya Sabha.

  • A total of Rs 14,184.70 crore was collected by decreasing stakes in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) while the amount was Rs 8,073.29 crore from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Rs 2,371.19 crore from Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
  • Similarly, Rs 434.14 was fetched from Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI), Rs 420.52 crore from Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRESE) and Rs 974.15 crore was collected from Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).

Allianz, Kotak Investment partner to invest in Indian private credit market
Kotak Investment Advisors (KIAL) and Allianz Investment Management SE (Allianz) – the investment management arm of Germany’s Allianz Group – announced that they are partnering to invest in Indian private credit market. 

  • So far, Allianz – the investment management arm of Allianz Group – has invested around USD 650 million in the country’s private credit market and plans to increase it to USD one billion in 2021. 

RBI asks banks to implement image-based Cheque Truncation System in all branches by Sep 30
Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to implement the image-based Cheque Truncation System (CTS) in all branches by September 30 this year.

  • The move is aimed at faster settlement of cheques resulting in better customer service.
  • The Apex bank said that to leverage the availability of CTS and provide uniform customer experience irrespective of location of her/his bank branch, it has been decided to extend CTS across all bank branches in the country. To facilitate this, banks will have to ensure that all their branches participate in image-based CTS under respective grids by September 30.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India FX reserves surpass Russia’s to become world’s 4th biggest
India’s foreign-exchange reserves surpassed Russia’s to become the world’s fourth largest, as the South Asian nation’s central bank continues to hoard dollars to cushion the economy against any sudden outflows.

  • Reserves for both countries have mostly flattened out this year after months of rapid increase. India pulled ahead as Russian holdings declined at a faster rate in recent weeks.
  • India’s foreign currency holdings fell by $4.3 billion to $580.3 billion as of March 5, the Reserve Bank of India said, edging out Russia’s $580.1 billion pile. China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan and Switzerland on the International Monetary Fund table.

India ranks high in workplace satisfaction: JLL HPI Index
JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), a commercial real estate and investment management company, released the Human Performance Indicator (HPI), a new formula that gives a comprehensive view of how different aspects of the workplace function.

  • The report found that India is leading with 81 per cent of high performers practicing flexible working, including flexible hours and work-from-home, in comparison to other APAC countries.
  • Compared to the other APAC countries surveyed, India ranked highest in workplace satisfaction, with a percentage of 98 per cent. This is followed by China at 97 per cent.
  • The report noted that overall, technology workers (53 per cent) and young professionals aged 25 to 34 (37 per cent) make up the majority of High Performers. As much as High Performers were champions of flexible work, they felt that the office was a critical factor to performance.


SPORTS

Bhavani Devi becomes first ever Indian fencer to qualify for Olympics
Tamil Nadu’s C.A. Bhavani Devi has become the first ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

  • The sabre fencer secured a spot in the World Cup in Hungary after the hosts lost in the quarterfinals of the team event, allowing South Korea to progress to the semi-final.
  • Bhavani Devi qualifies through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) Method. Two individual spots were up for grabs for the Asia and Oceania region based on the World Rankings as of April 5, 2021. She is ranked 45th and occupies one of the two available slots based on the ranking.


AWARDS

Grammy Awards 2021 announced
The 63rd edition of the annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. The 2021 Grammy awards recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year.

Grammy Awards 2021:

  • Album Of The Year:“Folklore” by Taylor Swift
  • Record Of The Year:“Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
  • Best New Artist : Megan Thee Stallion
  • Best Rap Album: “King’s Disease” by Nas
  • Best R&B Album Winner :“Bigger Love” by John Legend
  • Best Rap Song:    “Savage” by Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany
  • Best Country Album: “Wildcard” — Miranda Lambert
  • Song Of The Year: “I Can’t Breathe” by Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas
  • Best Rock Album: “The New Abnormal” by The Strokes
  • Best Rock Song : “Stay High” by Brittany Howard, songwriter (Brittany Howard)
  • Best Dance/Electronic Album: Bubba by Kaytranada
  • Producer of the Year, Classical:    David Frost
  • Best Music Video:Brown Skin Girl by Beyoncé, Blue Ivy & WizKid
  • Best Country Song:Crowded Table by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby & Lori McKenna
  • Best Folk Album:All the Good Times
  • Best Comedy Album:Black Mitzvah by Tiffany Haddish.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India launching first project to map genomes in Indian Ocean
India is launching a 90-day scientific cruise mission in the second week of March to sample water, sediments, planktons and various organisms in search of genomes and micro-nutrients, that may help strengthen country’s research into commercial biotechnology applications including anticancer treatments as well as help understand new climate change patterns.

  • CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has been commissioned to conduct genome and proteome mapping (micro nutrients) present inside single-cell organisms in the Indian ocean.
  • The 90-day long expedition will take off with 30 scientists, starting from Visakhapatnam, going up to 30°S, touching the waters between Australia and Maldives, and then circling back to Goa, covering 9,000 nautical miles by mid-May.

HP makes first ever PCs with plastic waste in ocean
Computer maker HP made its first ever consumer PC using plastic waste in ocean, a move that builds on the company’s sustainability commitment.

  • Newly launched Pavilion 13, Pavilion 14, and Pavilion 15 Laptops were manufactured using ocean-bound plastics.
  • HP estimates that the use of these plastics in devices will keep around 92,000 plastic bottles out of the oceans and landfills. The outer boxes and fibre cushions used to pack the products are also 100% recyclable material.


OBITUARIES

Former Boxing Champion ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler passes away
The former undisputed middleweight boxing legend “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler has passed away. He was 66.

  • Hagler, the American legend, ruled as the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987.
  • He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

Renowned artist, Padma Bhushan awardee Laxman Pai passes away  
Renowned artist and painter from Goa and Padma Bhushan awardee Laxman Pai passed away at his residence in Goa. He was 95.

  • Laxman Pai was an Indian artist and painter. He served as the Principal of the Goa College of Art from 1977 to 1987.
  • He was a recipient of several awards including the prestigious Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Nehru Award and Lalit Kala Akademi Award.


IMPORTANT DAYS

World Consumer Rights Day
With the aim to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs, World Consumer Rights Day is observed every year on March 15, since 1983.

  • The theme of the World Consumer Rights Day 2021 is ‘Tackle plastic pollution’. “Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet.

National Vaccination Day
National Vaccination Day Aslso called the National Immunization Day, is celebrated every year on March 16 to convey the importance of vaccination to the entire nation.

  • The day is observed to celebrate the Indian government’s Pulse Polio Campaign which was an initiative to eradicate polio from the country.
  • This year, the National Vaccination Day is important as the country has started its biggest Covid-19 immunization programme early this year and has already crossed the 30 million mark.

International Day of Mathematics 
International Day of Mathematics is annually celebrated on March 14. The day was recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) during its general conference in 2019.

  • Before this, the day was marked as Pi Day. The day was first celebrated in 1988 after Physicist Larry Shaw.
  • This year, the theme of the International Day of Mathematics is “Mathematics for a Better World”.

International Day of Action for Rivers
International Day of Action for Rivers is marked on March 14 across the world.

  • The day is observed to sensitise people about the importance of rivers. It aims to bring people across borders, together to discuss issues pertaining to river management, river pollution, river conservation etc at a global level.
  • The theme for the 24th International Day of Action for Rivers is to celebrate the ‘Rights of Rivers’.


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