Daily Current Affairs 18 January 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Petroleum Ministry launches ‘SAKSHAM’ Campaign to create awareness on Green & Clean Energy
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry launched month-long mass awareness campaign ‘SAKSHAM’ in New Delhi to spread awareness about green and clean energy. The pan-India campaign will focus on adoption of cleaner fuels.
- The campaign will spread awareness about seven key drivers that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently mentioned. They include moving towards a gas-based economy, cleaner use of fossil fuels, greater reliance on domestic sources to drive bio-fuels and increased use of electric vehicles.
PM Modi Announces Rs 1,000-Crore ‘Startup India Seed Fund’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of Rs 1,000-crore ‘Startup India Seed Fund‘ at the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’ to support startups and help budding entrepreneurs pursue innovative ideas.
- The ₹1,000 crore startup India seed fund to help new startups grow in the country. The government trying to create a startup system which is based on the mantra ‘of the youth, by the youth, for the youth.
Kerala Governor opens ‘One School One IAS’ scheme for financially weak students
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has launched Vedhik Erudite Foundation’s ambitious scheme ‘One School One IAS’ to provide free coaching for civil services and other competitive examinations to 10,000 meritorious but financially weak students across the State.
- This higher education platform will give children a chance to completely redecorate their future plans and broaden their horizons totally, rewriting their value capital. This program being implemented with the support of sponsors.
- Malayalam film Actor Manju Warrier made the first sponsorship declaration by adopting 10 girl students across Kerala meeting their coaching expenses for civil service exams.
India collected just 3% e-waste generated in 2018, 10% in 2019: CPCB report
India collected just 10 per cent of the electronic waste (e-waste) estimated to have been generated in the country 2018-19 and 3.5 per cent of that in the generated in 2017-18, said a recent report by the Central Pollution Control Board.
- India generated 708,445 tonne e-waste in 2017-18 and 771,215 tonne the following fiscal, the report estimated. In 2019-20, the figure rose 32 per cent to 1,014,961 tonne.
- The figures have taken into account the 21 types of electrical and electronic equipments listed in the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016. These include discarded computer monitors, mobile phones, chargers, motherboards, headphones, television sets, among other appliances.
PM Modi flags off 8 trains to boost connectivity to Statue of Unity
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off eight trains connecting different parts of the country to Kevadia in Gujarat, via video conferencing.
- These trains will connect Kevadia to Varanasi, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Rewa, Chennai and Pratapnagar.
- These trains will help boost tourism in the tribal region and increase connectivity to the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity.
- The Ahmedabad-Kevadia Jan Shatabdi Express, one of the eight trains, has been equipped with the ‘Vista-dome tourist coach’ which offers large viewing areas with rooftop glasses and seats for passengers.
Pakistan permits Dubai Royals to hunt “Houbara Bustard’
Pakistan recently issued special permits to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and five other members of their family to hunt Houbara Bustard during the 2020-21 hunting season.
- After the permission, 11 members of the United Arab Emirates’ royal family reached the Panjgur district in Balochistan, Pakistan for hunting the highly vulnerable and internationally protected houbara bustard under Pakistan’s foreign ministry license.
- The houbara bustard is a terrestrial bird found in parts of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The Asian houbara (Chlamydotis macqueenii) and North African houbara (Chlamydotis undulata) are separate species. After breeding in central Asia during spring, the Houbara bustards migrate south to spend the winter in Pakistan.
US designates UAE, Bahrain as ‘Major Strategic Partners’
The United States has designated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain as its major strategic partners, the White House announced, amid preparations for a transition from the Donald Trump administration to that of President-elect Joe Biden.
- The designation of a ‘Major Security Partner’ is a status unique to the UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
- Both the countries have been designated for their commitment to countering violent extremism across the region, exceptional security partnership, and exemplified by their hosting thousands of United States airmen, soldiers, marines, and sailors.
BANKING & FINANCE
Kotak Mahindra AMC signs up with Climate Action 100+
Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company has become a signatory to Climate Action 100+, which drives focus on clean energy transition and helps achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals.
- Climate Action 100+ is an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. Five investor networks, including the PRI, jointly support the initiative.
- These initiatives are part of KMAMC’s broader sustainability and responsible investment strategy to increase awareness, compliance and disclosures on ESG factors and opportunities in the Indian context.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw selected as one of US-India Business Council’s vice-chair
US-India Business Council (USIBC) has selected Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw as one of its vice-chairs effective immediately.
- US Chamber of Commerce’s USIBC announced three vice-chairs to its 2021 Global Board of Directors. The two other business executives joining Shaw as vice-chairs are Amway CEO Milind Pant and Edward Knight who is the vice-chair at Nasdaq.
- The three new appointees will now work with USIBC President Nisha Biswal and the Council’s policy directors. Their aim is to elevate priorities in important sectors and also to lead meetings between the government and the industries.
Bihar’s Bicycle Girl Jyoti Kumari Becomes Brand Ambassador for Anti-drug Abuse Programme
The Bihar government has chosen “bicycle girl” Jyoti Kumari, who had pedalled 1,200 km from Gurugram to Darbhanga taking her injured father on the rear carrier during the nationwide lockdown, as the Brand Ambassador for an anti-drug abuse programme.
- Kumari will be propagating the central government’s National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025 in Bihar.
- The programme formulated by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy.
Veteran actor Biswajit Chatterjee conferred ‘Indian Personality of the Year’ award at IFFI
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar announced veteran actor, director and singer Biswajit Chatterjee as the recipient of the ‘Indian Personality of the Year’ award at the opening ceremony of the 51st edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) .
- The 84-year-old actor will be given the honour during the National Film Award, to be held in March this year. He is known for featuring in films like “Bees Saal Baad”, “Night In London” and “April Fool”.
- The honour aims to celebrate film personalities for their exemplary contribution to cinema.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA targets final test of ‘world’s most powerful rocket’
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is looking to carry out the eighth and final test in its “Green Run” test series, the space agency has said.
- This eighth stage, termed “hot fire,” will bring to an end a series of tests which gradually bring together the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) to life for the very first time.
- The core stage of the SLS will form the backbone and will be the “most powerful rocket in the world” and will power its next-generation human Moon Missions.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Doppler Weather Radars at Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand and Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
Union Minister for Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan commissioned two of the ten indigenously built Doppler weather radars which will closely monitor the weather changes over the Himalayas.
- Services of X-band Doppler radars at Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand and Kufri in Himachal Pradesh were virtually inaugurated on the 146th foundation day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- Covering the central and western Himalayas, these dual polarised radars will gather atmospheric variations and pick signals of extreme weather events. Eight other radars will also be installed in the Himalayas in the due course.
Legendary Indian classical musician Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passes away
Legendary Indian classical musician and Padma Vibhushan awardee Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan died at his residence in Mumbai. He was 89.
- He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, followed by Padma Bhusan in 2006 and Padma Vibhushan in 2018.
- In 2003 he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artistes.
Puducherry MLA K G Shankar passes away
The BJP’s nominated legislator, K.G. Shankar, died due to cardiac arrest at his residence. He was 71.
- Shankar had been a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party since 1984 and served as State Treasurer for the fourth consecutive term.
- He also served as the organizer of the State Department of Industry and Commerce and had been instrumental in holding National Level Business and Trade Organization Meetings in Pondicherry.