Daily Current Affairs 21 May 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
West Bengal government to set up a Legislative Council
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee approved setting up of the Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad in the state during a cabinet meeting conducted through video conferencing with several Departmental Secretaries. This was one of the poll promises of the Trinamool Congress(TMC).
- Six states currently have Legislative Councils including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar. The bicameral legislatures were set up before Independence in 1935.The first-ever Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad had come into existence in West Bengal in 1937.
Karnataka No.1 state in establishing Health & Wellness Centres: Health dept
Karnataka stands at first place when it comes to establishing health and wellness centres (HWC) under the Ayushman Bharat programme to provide comprehensive primary health care in rural areas. With a score of 90 out of 95, the state ranks on top when it comes to the implementation of the project for the year 2020- 21 as per the health and family welfare department.
- The Union government had set a target of establishing 2,263 HWC sub-centers. The state has upgraded 3,300 centers till March 31. It is 146% more than the set target. Centre has given the target of upgrading 2,096 PHC to HWC. 2,168 have been upgraded so far which is 103% more than the set target.
- Also against the target of upgrading 294 urban PHCs, the state has already upgraded 364 PHCs. This is 124% more than the set target.
‘Medicine from the sky’ pilot at Vikarabad area hospital
The State government has selected 16 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) spread around Vikarabad area hospital for pilot testing the ambitious ‘Medicine from the sky’, the first-of- its-kind project involving delivery of medicines through multiple drones.
- The area hospital has been selected as central point owing to the presence of cold chain facilities and the selected PHCs are both within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) range.
- A consortium of seven operators headed by Blue Dart Med-Express had been selected for the project to be launched in the VLOS range of 500 metres initially and will be scaled up gradually to 9 km range.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India, China, South Africa fared “relatively better” than other major economies in Q1 of 2021: UN
India, China and South Africa have performed “relatively better” than other major economies in imports and exports in the first quarter of 2021, according to the the Global Trade Update by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
- In India, the import of goods increased 45% in the first quarter of this year compared to average of last year. The services import was up by 14%, according to the UN data. Export of goods climbed to 26% for the period under review, the data claimed. While India’s services exports rose 2%.
- Trade growth is expected to remain strong in the second half of 2021,” UNCTAD said. The positive outlook remains largely dependent on subsiding pandemic restrictions. The growth in the first quarter was led by East Asian economies.
Google floats News Showcase in India with top publishers
Amid mounting pressure from media houses urging technology platforms to pay a fair price and share a part of the advertising revenue for featuring articles, Google launched its global licensing programme, News Showcase, in India.
- The initiative, rolled out last October, pays publishers for news content and allows them to provide limited access to pay-walled stories for users.Showcase is part of Google’s $1-billion investment to support quality journalism.
- Google has sealed agreements with 30 Indian publishers to offer access to some of their content such as HT Digital Streams Ltd, The Hindu Group, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, Indo Asian News Service (IANS) and Asian News International (ANI).
India is second largest insurtech market in Asia Pacific, S&P Global says
According to S&P Global Market Intelligence data, India is the second largest insurance-technology market in Asia-Pacific, accounting for 35% of the US$ 3.66 billion in insurtech-focused venture investments made in the country.
- In Asia-Pacific, at least 335 private insurtechs are operative, with 122 of them reporting a total of US$ 3.66 billion in capital raised through private placement transactions.
- According to a survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence, China and India present nearly half of all private insurtech companies in the APAC region, attracting > 78% of all investments
India climbs to 3rd spot on EY index on impressive show by solar PV segment
India has moved a notch higher at the third spot on EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index due to an exceptional performance on the solar photovoltaic (PV) front.
- Also, India’s solar sector is expected to grow significantly post the pandemic, with generation from solar PV forecast to exceed coal before 2040.
- This dramatic change has been driven by the Indian government’s policy ambitions, which has led solar PV to be the most cost competitive source of power in the region and improving further with time.
- The US retains top position on RECAI 57 and is expected to hold its position under President Joe Biden. Similarly, China has remained a buoyant market and maintains the second position, adding 72.4GW of new wind power in 2020, as developers rushed to beat an onshore wind subsidy cut.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Adani Green To Acquire SB Energy For $3.5 Billion
Adani Green Energy Ltd has agreed to buy Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Bharti Enterprises Ltd’s solar power unit SB Energy Holdings Ltd for an equity value of around $625 million.
- The deal, which has an enterprise value of around $3.5 billion, follows the collapse of an earlier plan to sell SoftBank’s entire 80% stake in SB Energy to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). India’s Bharti Global Ltd holds the remaining 20% stake.
Penpa Tsering elected as President of Central Tibetan Administration
The former speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Penpa Tsering, has been elected as the President of the Central Tibetan Administration and also declares the 45 elected members of the 17th Tibetan parliament
- The Chief Election Commissioner of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Wangdu Tsering Pesur informed during an online press briefing that Penpa Tsering was successfully able to secure 34,324 votes for the post of ‘Sikyong’ (President) of the 17th Parliament-in-Exile of the Central Tibetan Administration.On the other hand, Kalsang Dorjee Aukatsang won 28,907 votes in the recently held polls.
Professor Shankar Balasubramanian and Professor David Klenerman win Millennium Technology Prize
Cambridge University chemists Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman were declared the winners of the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize, a prestigious global science and technology prize awarded for their development of revolutionary sequencing techniques which means DNA can now be read in super-fast times.The Prize is worth one million euros.
- The duo’s Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology means DNA can now be read in super-fast times. This means huge benefits to society, from helping the fight against killer diseases such as COVID-19 or cancer, to better understanding crop diseases and enhancing food production.
- This is the first time that the prize has been awarded to more than one recipient for the same innovation, celebrating the significance of collaboration.
Arunachal’s Tashi Yangjom becomes First Indian Woman Climber to scale Everest in 2021
Tashi Yangjom from Arunachal Pradesh successfully scaling Mt Everest and becoming the first Indian woman climber to summit the world’s highest peak this year.
- She was trained at the National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) in the village. The ninth climber from the institute to scale Mt Everest, the 37-year-old reached the peak on May 11, showing the world what human determination can achieve even during a pandemic.
Suresh Mukund becomes the first Indian to win ‘The World Choreography Award 2020’
The Emmy Award-nominated Indian choreographer Suresh Mukund, has won the 10th Annual ‘World Choreography Award 2020’, (also known as Choreo Awards), becoming the first Indian to win the prestigious honour.
- He won the award in the ‘TV REALITY SHOW/COMPETITION’ category, for his work on the hit American TV reality show ‘World of Dance’.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Iran Reveals Simorgh, Nation’s First Completely Self-Developed Supercomputer
Iran has unveiled a supercomputer, its strongest till date developed domestically by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), according to the state-run news website IRNA.
- The supercomputer named Simorgh after a mythical Persian bird has a performance capacity of 0.56 petaflops at the moment and will reach one petaflops in two months.
- The supercomputer will offer large-scale data analysis services for a variety of state-run and private scientific research, according to its developers. Among other things, it will be used in analysing artificial intelligence, crunching traffic and weather data, and image processing.
China successfully launches new ocean observation satellite Haiyang-2D
China successfully sent a new ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit as part of its effort to build an all-weather and round-the-clock dynamic ocean environment monitoring system which would provide early warning on marine disasters.
- The satellite was launched by a Long March-4B rocket carrying the Haiyang-2D (HY-2D) satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.
- The HY-2D will form a constellation with the HY-2B and HY-2C satellites to build an all-weather and round-the-clock dynamic ocean environment monitoring system of high frequency and medium and large scale.
Atlas V rocket launches SBIRS Geo-5 missile warning satellite for US Space Force
The United Launch Alliance launched the Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The Atlas V rocket carried SBRIS Geo-5 Missile Warning Satellite.
- The full form of SBRIS is the Space-Based Infrared System. It is designed for missile warning, missile battlespace and defence characterization.
- SBRIS is basically a Space Tracking and Surveillance System. SBRIS was designed to meet the Infrared Space Surveillance of the United States Space Force System.
Jharkhand launches App for online booking of hospital beds – Amrit Vahini
Jharkhand Chief minister Hemant Soren launched a one-stop online portal and a mobile application for booking beds across private and government hospitals, a move that could save patient families the trauma for having to desperately search for medical help at a time when Covid cases are spiralling.
- Titled Amritvahini (www.amritvahini.in), the website and its mobile interface were rolled out in the presence of health minister Banna Gupta and other senior officials. A WhatsApp number (8595524447) was also released for residents to consult medical experts.
Noted environmentalist Sundarlal Bahuguna passes away
Environmentalist and Chipko movement pioneer Sunderlal Bahuguna died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences after battling COVID-19 for several days. He was 94.
- Bahuguna is considered the pioneer of the Chipko movement of the 1970s which he had launched along with dedicated environment conservationists like Gaura Devi to save forests.
- Conferred with the Padmavibhushan and many other honours for his pioneering work in the field of environment protection, Bahuguna also led the protests against the construction of the Tehri dam.
Former Rajasthan CM Jagannath Pahadia passes away
Veteran Congress leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Jagannath Pahadia has died due to COVID-19 at the age of 89.
- The veteran Congress leader was elected MP four times and later MLA in 1980, 1985, 1999 and 2003. He served as a Union Minister of State three times after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur and Bayana seats.
- He served as Chief Minister in 1980-81 and was also a former Governor of Haryana and Bihar.
World Bee Day
World Bee Day is celebrated on May 20 each year to make people aware of the threats bees face.
- The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.
- The theme of World Bee Day 2021 is: Bee Engaged – Build Back Better for Bees.
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
Every year on May 21, The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is observed globally.
- This day helps in spreading awareness among people regarding the richness of the world’s cultures and highlight the significance of cultural diversity.
National Anti Terrorism Day
The National Anti Terrorism Day is observed in India on May 21 to commemorate the death anniversary of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.
- The day is also observed to spread the message of peace, harmony, and humankind and to promote unity among the people.
International Tea Day
International Tea Day is celebrated all across the world on May 21.
- The reason for UN celebrating May 21 as International Tea Day is that the season of tea production begins in May in most of the tea producing countries.
World Metrology Day
World Metrology Day is observed globally on 20th May every year
- World Metrology Day is an annual celebration of the signature of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875 in Paris, France by representatives of seventeen nations.
- The theme for World Metrology Day 2021 is Measurement for Health. This theme was chosen to create awareness of the important role measurement plays in health, and thus in the wellbeing of every one of us.