Daily Current Affairs 23 March 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Afghan Foreign Minister arrives in India on 3-day visit
Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit on the back of a new push by the US to speed up the peace process in Afghanistan.
- Atmar hold talks with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar on the way forward in the peace process and also on strengthening bilateral cooperation.
- The Afghan foreign minister said he was looking forward to holding talks with Jaishankar and senior Indian officials on the Afghan peace process as well as on security and economic cooperation.
Maharashtra farmers start fresh fruit cake ‘movement’ to sustain during pandemic
Fruit growers in rural Maharashtra have started an innovative ‘movement’ to promote fresh fruit cakes as a healthier option, instead of the traditional bakery-made cakes, to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.
- As part of the movement, farmers, their families and various organisations of cultivators are encouraging cakes made locally using fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, grapes, orange, pineapple and banana while celebrating special events.
PM Modi launches Catch the rain campaign on the occasion of World Water Day
On the occasion of World Water Day on March 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign in a bid to conserve water through a participatory approach.
- The water conservation campaign — launched under the theme: ‘Catch the Rain, where it falls, when it falls’ — will be implemented in all districts, rural as well as urban areas, of the country during the period March 22, 2021 to November 30, 2021 (the pre-monsoon and monsoon period).
- Launched as a ‘jan andolan’ to conserve water and manage its usage, the campaign aims to ensure effective implementation of improved rainwater harvesting.
Over 23 lakh loans sanctioned to beneficiaries under PM SVANidhi scheme
Government has said that more than 23 lakh loans have been sanctioned to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors, Atma Nirbhar Nidhi Scheme – PM SVANidhi.
- The PM SVANidhi scheme was launched on 1st June last year, with the objective to facilitate collateral free working capital loan up to ten thousand rupees, to about 50 lakh street vendors across the country whose businesses had been adversely affected due to lockdown.
- The scheme also provides for incentives in the form of interest subsidy at the rate of seven per cent per annum on regular repayment of loan and cash-back reward upto one hundred rupees per month on undertaking prescribed digital transactions.
More than 57,000 lakh rupees disbursed under Atal Pension Yojana till February this year
Government has said that more than 57 thousand lakh rupees have been disbursed under Atal Pension Yojana till February this year.
- Atal Pension Yojana is a Government Scheme is open to all citizens of India between 18 to 40 years of age, having a savings bank account in a bank or post office. The benefits of the scheme will arise to the subscribers on attaining the age of 60 years and under the scheme, five pension plan slabs are available from one thousand to five thousand rupees.
National highways construction pace touches record 34 km/day
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has constructed 12,205.25 km of National Highways in the current financial year 2020-21, till 22nd March, with the construction of 34 kilometres per day.
- This is almost three times of the rate of construction of highways of about 12 km per day in 2014-15. This is also 1,205 km more than the target (11,000 km) fixed for the current fiscal.
- This achievement is significant as the first few months of the current financial year were lost due to nation-wide lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Construction activities were badly affected during the period.
Madhya Pradesh launches Sankalp campaign on covid appropriate behaviour
Madhya Pradesh launched a state wide Sankalp or resolution campaign for a week to create awareness on covid appropriate behaviour. State continues to register high covid positivity rate.
- Sirens will be played at 11 am and 7 pm in the state. The public will stop at their place and take a 2-minute resolution for the use of masks and maintaining social distancing.
Bihar first state to come up with new ethanol policy
Bihar became the first state in the country to have its own ethanol policy, called Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, which has been approved by the Cabinet.
- The new policy would permit ethanol production in Bihar from all feed stocks permitted by National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, and subsequently by National Biofuel Co-ordination Committee.
- The Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, of Bihar promotes new standalone ethanol manufacturing units by providing them additional capital subsidy at 15% of cost of plant and machinery up to a maximum of ₹5 crore. This capital subsidy will be in addition to existing incentives under Bihar Industrial Investment Promotion Policy, 2016.
India slips 13 places to 56th position in global home price index
Roiled by the pandemic, home prices in India fell 3.6 per cent in December quarter 2020, pushing down its global ranking to the lowest 56th as compared to 43rd in the year-ago period, while Turkey continued to lead the tally, says a report.
- According to international property consultancy Knight Frank, India was the weakest-performing housing market in October-December last year with a decline of 3.6 per cent year-on-year in prices.
- During the quarter, Turkey continued to lead the annual rankings with prices up by 30.3 per cent year-on-year, followed by New Zealand at 18.6 per cent and Slovakia at 16 per cent.
- In the US, the worst affected by the pandemic, the home prices rose 10.4 per cent in the quarter.
BANKING & FINANCE
Government to borrow Rs 20,000 crore less this fiscal
The government has decided to cancel its Rs 20,000 crore borrowing scheduled for March 26 on review of position of cash balance, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.
- This means, the government would be borrowing Rs 20,000 crore less than its target of Rs 12.8 lakh crore announced in the Budget on February 1 for the current fiscal.
- As per the revised Issuance Calendar issued on February 1, 2021 for government of India dated securities, the next auction is scheduled to be held on March 26, 2021.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Pandemic pushed back India’s $5-trillion GDP goal by 3 years to FY32: Report
The pandemic-induced shocks to the economy which have already shaved off 15.7 per cent of the GDP from the previous year, will delay the ambitious target of becoming the third largest economy by three years to 2031-32 now, says a report.
- Currently, the country is the fifth largest economy in the world behind Germany. The government has set a target of becoming a USD5-trillion economy by 2030.
- The report however did not ascribe a size to either the domestic economy, which stood at USD 2.65 trillion in 2019-20, or to that of Japan, which in 2020 stood at USD 4.87 trillion.
India supplies two Mobile Harbour Cranes each weighing 100 tons to Iran
India supplied two Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) each weighing 100 tons to Iran. It is part of India’s continued commitment towards development of phase-I of Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar.
- This is the second such consignment of equipment shipped to the strategic port at Chah Bahar. India had earlier supplied two 140-ton MHCs in January this year.
LT Foods becomes first company to be certified by UN-backed Sustainable Rice Platform
LT Foods Limited has become the first Company globally to be certified with highest level of verification – L3, by UN-backed Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) ecolabel.
- This will enable the Company to use Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) verified logo on the packs of Rice produced by verified 1,000+ farmers growing sustainable rice.
- LT Foods works with farmers to grow sustainable & residue free basmati rice as per the SRP standards under its Agri Program.
Defence Ministry signs deal with BDL to acquire 4,690 anti-tank guided missiles
The Defence Ministry sealed a deal with state-run Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) to acquire 4,960 anti-tank guided missiles at a cost of ₹1,188 crore for the Indian Army.
- The missiles, having a range of 1,850 metres, can be fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers and their induction is planned to be completed in three years.
- The missiles are being produced by BDL under license from French defence major MBDA Missile Systems.
ISSF World Cup: India’s Divyansh Singh Panwar & Elavenil Valarivan win gold medal
India’s Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event at the The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup being held in Delhi.
- USA’s Lucas Kozeniesky and Mary Carolynn Tucker finished third, narrowly beating the Polish team of Aneta Stankiewicz and Tomasz Bartnik 17-15 in a hotly-contested bronze medal match.
- Divyansh Singh Panwar, who had won the bronze in the 10m Air Rifle individual event.
RBI appoints panel for new universal bank & SFB licences, Shyamala Gopinath to head panel
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a five-member committee, headed by former RBI Deputy Governor Shyamala Gopinath, for evaluating applications for universal banks and small finance banks.
- The other members of the panel — Standing External Advisory Committee (SEAC) — include RBI Central Board Director Revathy Iyer, National Payments Corporation of India Chairman B Mahapatra, former Canara Bank Chairman T N Manoharan and former Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Chairman Hemant Contractor.
67th National Film Awards announced
The 67th National Film Awards were announced in New Delhi. The ceremony bestowed honours on films and artistes for the year 2019. The awards are given out by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation that comes under the Ministry of Information and
Here are the winners in the feature films category:
- Best Actor — Manoj Bajpayee, Bhonsle; Dhanush, Asuran
- Best Actress — Kangana Ranaut, Manikarnika, Panga
- Best Director — Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, Bahattar Hoorain
- Best Feature Film — Marakkar Lion of the Arabian Sea, Priyadarshan
- Best Supporting Actress — The Tashkent Files, Pallavi Joshi
- Best Supporting Actor — Super Deluxe, Vijay Sethupathi
- Best Child artiste — Naga Vishal
- Special Mention Award — Biryani, Jonaki Pa, Lata Bhagwan Kare, Picasso
- Best Film on Social Issue — Anandi Gopal
- Best Film providing wholesome entertainment — Maharishi
- Best Cinematography: Jallikattu (Malayalam)
- Best Children Film: Kastoori (Hindi)
- Best Film on Environment Conservation: Water Burial
- Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director – Helen, Mathukutty Xavier
Best Regional Films
- Best Tulu Film: Pingara
- Best Paniya Film: Kenjira
- Best Mishing Film: Anu Ruwad
- Best Khasi Film: Lewduh
- Best Haryanvi Film: Chhoriyan Chhoron Se Kam Nahi Hoti
- Best Chattisgarhi Film: Bhulan The Maze
- Best Telugu Film: Jersey
- Best Tamil Film: Asuran
- Best Punjabi Film: Rab Da Radio 2
- Best Odiya Film: Sala Budhar Badla and Kalira Atita
- Best Manipuri Film: Eigi Kona
- Best Malayalam Film: Kalla Nottam
- Best Marathi Film: Bardo
- Best Konkani Film: Kaajro
- Best Kannada Film: Akshi
- Best Hindi Film: Chhichhore,
- Best Bengali Film: Gumnaami
- Best Assamese Film: Ronuwa- Who Never Surrender
- Best Action Direction Award Stunt: Avane Srimannarayana (Kannada)
- Best Choreography: Maharshi (Telugu)
- Best Special Effects: Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (Malayalam)
- Special Jury Award: Oththa Seruppu Size-7 (Tamil)
- Best Lyrics: Kolaambi (Malayalam)
Best Music Direction
- Songs: Viswasam (Tamil)
- Music Direction: Jyeshthoputro (Bengali)
- Best Female Playback Singer: Bardo (Marathi)
- Best Male Playback Singer: Kesri, ‘Teri Mitti ‘(Hindi)
- Make-Up Artist: Ranjith, Helen
- Best Costume Designer: Sujith Sudhakaran and V Sai, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham
- Best Production Design: Anandi Gopal
- Best Editing: Jersey (Telugu)
- Best Audiography: Lewduh (Khasi)
- Best Original Screenplay — Jyeshthoputro, Kaushik Ganguly
- Best Adapted Screenplay — Gumnaami
- Best Dialogues — Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, Takshent Files
- Most Film-Friendly state — Sikkim
- Best Book on Cinema: A Gandhian Affair: India’s Curious Portrayal of Love in Cinema by Sanjay Suri
- (Special mention- Cinema Paharana Manus written by Ashok Rane; Kannada Cinema: Jagathika Cinema Vikasa-Prerane Prabhava written by PR Ramadasa Naidu)
- Best Film Critic: Sohini Chattopadhyay
The winners in the non-feature films category are:
- Best Narration: Wild Karnataka, Sir David Attenborough
- Best Editing: Shut Up Sona, Arjun Gourisaria
- Best Audiography: Radha (Musical), Allwin Rego and Sanjay Maurya
- Best On-Location Sound Recordist: Rahas (Hindi), Saptarshi Sarkar
- Best Cinematography: Sonsi, Savita Singh
- Best Direction: Knock Knock Knock (English/Bengali), Sudhanshu Saria
- Family Values: Oru Paathiraa Swapnam Pole (Malayalam)
- Best Short Fiction Film: Custody (Hindi/English)
- Special Jury Award: Small Scale Societies (English)
- Best Animation Film: Radha (Musical)
- Best Investigative Film: Jakkal
- Best Exploration Film: Wild Karnataka (English)
- Best Education Film: Apples and Oranges (English)
- Best Film on Social Issues: Holy Rights (Hindi) and Ladli (Hindi)
- Best Environment Film: The Stork Saviours (Hindi)
- Best Promotional Film: The Shower (Hindi)
- Best Art and Culture Film: Shrikshetra-Ru-Sahijata (Odia)
- Best Biographical Film: Elephants Do Remember (English)
- Best Ethnographic Film: Charan-Atva The Essence of Being a Nomad (Gujarati).
- Best Debut Non-Feature Film of a Director: Khisa (Marathi).
- Best Non-Feature Film: An Engineered Dream (Hindi) .
Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 Conferred on Sheikh Mujibur Rehman; 2019 Prize for Late Sultan of Oman
The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the culture ministry said.
- The prestigious prize for the year 2019 is being conferred on late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman in recognition of his vision to strengthen relations with India, and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region, the ministry said.
- The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by government of India since 1995, the 125th birth anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi.
Former Sebi chairman GV Ramakrishna passes away
Former chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) GV Ramakrishna passed away in Chennai after a brief illness. He was 91.
- In his 50 years of government service, he headed several assignments, including diplomatic, like the minister of economic affairs at the embassy in Washington in 1972 and ambassador to the European Economic Community (European Union) in 1989.
- Ramakrishna was appointed as the chairman Sebi in 1990 when it lacked legal status. Among his many works, he was known for strongly advocating to ban the badla stock trading system in 1994. He headed Sebi till that year and then became the first chairman of the Disinvestment Commission in 1996.
World Poetry Day
World Poetry Day is celebrated every year on March 21 and is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- It is the occasion to honor poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music, and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.
World Meteorological Day
World Meteorological Day is observed every year on March 23 to highlight the importance of the role that people and their behaviour play in protecting Earth’s atmosphere.
- The day also commemorates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which is an intergovernmental body, on March 23, 1950.
- The theme of World Meteorological Day 2021 is “The Ocean, Our Climate and Weather.” The theme has been chosen to reflect the organisation’s focus on “connecting the ocean, climate and weather within the Earth System.”
Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs’ day is observed on many days in India, especially on January 30 and March 23, to pay homage to the freedom fighters of our country.
- On this day, Indians pay tributes to the people who laid down their lives in the struggle for the country’s independence from British rule.