Current Affairs 11th March 2021

Table of Contents

1. World Kidney Day: 11 March

World Kidney Day is celebrated every year on 11 March. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. 10% of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD) with over 2 million people worldwide receiving treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant.

2. Indian Navy commissions INS Karanj

The Indian Navy commissioned Scorpene-class submarine INS Karanj on March 10, 2021. This is the third submarine of its class. It was under trials for more than 100 days before being commissioned. INS Karanj has a length of over 65 metres and was constructed by public sector shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd. (MDL) in collaboration with French company Direction des Constructions Navales (DCNS).

3. Delhi govt to launch ‘Saheli Samanvay Kendra’

Delhi government has announced to launch a new scheme “Saheli Samanvay Kendra” to empower women. Under the new scheme, 500 anganwadi hubs will be set up for incubating individual start-ups and to promote self-help groups. The Delhi government has set aside Rs. 4,750 crores for the Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development and welfare of SC/ST/OBC.

4. New Air Independent Propulsion system tested

DRDO crossed an important milestone on 8 March 2021, when it demonstrated an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system that will allow Indian Navy submarines to operate for up to two weeks without having to surface to recharge their batteries. The system has been developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) of DRDO. Six Project-751 submarines will be powered by AIP systems.

5. Former Rajasthan Governor passes away

Former Rajasthan Governor Anshuman Singh passed away in March 2021. Anshuman Singh was a retired Justice who served as the Governor of Rajasthan from January 1999 till 2003. He was born in 1935 in Allahabad and pursued arts and law. He was also appointed as the Governor of Gujarat state in 1998.

6. Navy deploys women officers on warships

On International Women’s Day, the Indian Navy deployed four women officers onboard its warships after over three decades. Two of them are posted on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya while two are deployed onboard the Indian naval tanker ship INS Shakti. The last time women officers were posted on . warships was in 1998.

7. Indian and Uzbekistan’s joint exercise

The armies of Indian and Uzbekistan are carrying out a joint exercise from March 9 and 21, 2021 in Chaubatia near Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. The second edition of exercise Dustlik is aimed at carrying out joint counter-terror operations in a mountainous rural and urban scenario. The Indian Army is being represented by 13 Kumaon known as the Rezang La battalion.

8. Centre of Excellence to be setup in Rajasthan

To provide better facilities to livestock breeders in Rajasthan, a Centre of Excellence in the dairy sector will soon be established with the help of Denmark. Danish Ambassador Freddy Svane discussed this while meeting CM Ashok Gehlot during his visit to Jaipur. He assured to provide all possible cooperation in order to avail benefits of the advancements made in the field of dairy science.

9. Amitabh Bachchan to be presented FIAF Award

Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with an award by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). The veteran actor will be the first Indian cinema personality to be bestowed with the FIAF Award for his dedication and contribution to the preservation of the world’s film heritage. He will be presented the award during a virtual showcase scheduled to take place on March 19, 2021.

10. Southampton to host World Test final

The final of the ICC World Test Championship between India and New Zealand will be played in a bio-secure bubble at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. The decision, taken by the ICC Board, follows discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). India qualified for the final after beating England 3-1 in the recently concluded Test series.

11. IndoSpace acquires 55 acres in Haryana

IndoSpace and Model Economic Township Ltd (METL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), have jointly acquired 55 acres at Farukhnagar, in Haryana, to develop a warehousing facility. The land parcel has a development potential of 1.28 million sq ft. With this, IndoSpace has expanded its footprint in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) to over 480 acres across eight industrial parks.

12. India’s biggest floating solar plant

The world’s largest floating 600 MW solar energy project to be constructed at Omkareshwar dam on Narmada river in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh will begin power generation by the year 2022-23. The estimated investment in this project stands at Rs. 3,000 crore. The International Finance Corporation, World Bank, and Power Grid have granted in-principle consent for providing aid for it.

13. GP Samanta: Chief Statistician of India

The Indian government has appointed Dr. G P Samanta as the new Chief Statistician of India (CSI). Dr. Samanta was currently deputed as an advisor in the RBI’s Department of Statistics and Information Management. He will replace 1986-batch IAS officer Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji who was holding the additional charge of the post since September 2020.

14. Technology and Extension Centres inaugurated

Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the two Technology Centres and three Extension Centres of MSME on 10 March 21. The Technology Centres have been set up at Visakhapatnam and Bhopal and the Extension Centres at Srinagar, Jaipur & Nagaur. Technology Centres System Programme aims to develop the competitiveness in ecosystems of MSME in the country.

15. 3000 HP cape gauge locomotive flagged off

Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal flagged off 3000 HP Cape Gauge Locomotive for export to Mozambique on 10 March 2021. These locomotives are developed indigenously by Banaras Locomotive Works, Varanasi. Indian Railways is exporting the first batch of 2 locomotives as part of the total order of 6 locomotives of 3000 HP cape gauge locomotive.

16. E-services facilities inaugurated in J&K

Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Commissioner Secretary of Labour and Employment Department, Saurabh Bhagat inaugurated e-services (electronic services) on March 10, 2021. E-services include online system for auto-renewal of license, online services for submission of integrated consolidated return under different labour laws and availability of online dashboard in public domain.

17. Kashmiri pandits observe “Herath” festival

Festival Mahashivratri locally known as ‘Herath’ in Kashmir is being celebrated across J&K by Kashmiri Pandit Community with religious fervour by offering “Watak Nath Pooja”. The three-day festival is being celebrated from March 11 to 13, 2021. The festival assumes colossal importance among the Kashmiri Pandit Community who celebrate it to mark the wedding of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati.

18. ESI and Ayushman Bharat schemes converged

Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar launched the convergence of Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme with Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, PM-JAY, on 10 Mar 21. Initially, the convergence will be effective in 113 districts of Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra. The convergence ensures ESI beneficiaries to avail cashless medical services.

19. King Bhumibol World Soil Day – 2020 Award

Ambassador of India to Thailand Suchitra Durai received the prestigious King Bhumibol World Soil Day – 2020 Award of the Food and Agriculture Organization on the behalf of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on 10 March 2021. This award is recognition of ICAR’s excellent contributions in “Soil Health Awareness” on the theme “Stop soil erosion, save our future” during the year- 2020.

20. PMSSN: A single non-lapsable reserve fund

The Union Cabinet approved the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN) as a single non-lapsable reserve fund on 10 March 2021. It is valid for a share of health from the proceeds of Health and Education Cess levied under Finance Act, 2007. PMSSN will enhance access to universal & affordable health care resources, ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of the fiscal year.

21. Maju Varghese appointed as WHMO Director

Indian-American Maju Varghese on March 9, 2021, was formally appointed as Director of the White House Military Office. As the WHMO Director, Varghese will oversee all military operations aboard Air Force One on Presidential missions worldwide. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Biden campaign during the 2020 presidential election.

22. Anurag Thakur: Captain in Territorial Army

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur was promoted as Captain in the Territorial Army as a regular commissioned officer on 10 March 2021. He has become the first serving Union Minister to be promoted as Captain in the Indian Territorial Army. Thakur has been promoted to the rank of Captain at 124 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Sikh).

23. Pierre Bruno: Wipro’s CEO for Europe business

IT services firm Wipro appointed Pierre Bruno as Chief Executive Officer of its European operations on 10 March 2021. Bruno joined Wipro from DXC Technology, where he was Vice President and Managing Director of Southern Europe. Bruno will lead Wipro’s business in six distinct regions across Europe.

24. Indian Bank to raise Rs. 4,000 crore

The Committee of Directors of state-owned Indian Bank has given approval for raising up to Rs. 4,000 crores through share sale. The fund raising would be subject to all statutory and regulatory approvals. The bank required to increase its public shareholding to at least 25% within a period of three years from August 3, 2018. The government holds 88.06% in the Chennai-headquartered Indian Bank.

25. Kindle version of Bhagavad Gita launched

PM Narendra Modi launched the Kindle version of Swami Chidbhavanandaji’s Bhagavad Gita through virtual mode on 11 March 2021. The event was organized to commemorate the sale of over five lakh copies of the Swami Chidbhavanandaji’s Bhagavad Gita. Swami Chidbhavananda is the founder of Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam Ashram at Thirupparaaythuray situated near Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.

26. Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill

The Parliament gave its nod to the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 with Rajya Sabha passing it on 10 March 2021. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in February 2021. The Act contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration. The Bill replaces an Ordinance with the same provisions promulgated on 4th November 2020.

27. HAL pays 2nd interim dividend to government

Defence Public Sector Undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) paid the second interim dividend of Rs. 376.93 crore for the financial year 2020-21 to the government. The dividend cheque was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh by Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R Madhavan and Director (Finance) C B Ananthakrishnan in New Delhi on 10 March 2021.

28. Internet facility provided at 5957 stations

Wi-Fi based internet facility has been provided at 5957 railway stations in the country till now. RailTel has submitted a proposal to the Department of Telecommunications for leveraging its network in rural India. Implementation time will be based on acceptance of the proposal and its terms & conditions by the Department of Telecommunications.

29. Centre releases Revenue Deficit Grant

The centre released a Revenue Deficit Grant of over Rs. 6,194 crore to 14 states on 10 March 2021. With the release of this installment, a total amount of Rs. 74,340 crore has been released to eligible states as Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant in the current financial year. 100 percent of the amount recommended by the Finance Commission for this Grant has been released.

30. US Defence Secretary General to visit India

US Defence Secretary General Lloyd J Austin will be on a three-day visit to India from 19 March 2021. He will meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Both sides will discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation and exchange views on regional security challenges and common interests in maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

31. Centre implements Dr. Ambedkar Scholarship

For educational upliftment of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs), the government is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Dr Ambedkar Pre and Post Matric Scholarship. The scheme is helpful in spreading education among DNT children especially the girl child. Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities was constituted on 21 Feb 2019.

32. 5,519 Gram Panchayats to get internet

The Department of Telecommunication has targeted to provide internet connectivity to 5,519 Gram Panchayats by November 2021. 4,112 Gram Panchayats will be connected with broadband network limited and 1,407 will be connected with Satellite Media under the BharatNet project till November 2021. Till 1 March 2021, 2,432 Gram Panchayats have been connected with Bharat Broadband Network Limited.

33. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib centenary

Bangladesh will celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the liberation of the country between March 17-26, 2021. Sheikh Mujibur is called the “Father of the Nation” in Bangladesh. He served as the first President of Bangladesh and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 17 April 1971 until his assassination on 15 August 1975.

34. Australia unveils tourism support package

The Australian govt unveiled a 928 million US dollar tourism support package on 11 March 2021. It will boost local travel while international routes remain closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The government will subsidize 8 lakh tickets on domestic flights to 13 destinations around the country that mostly rely on international tourists, and offer cheap loans to small tourism operators.

35. PM of Ivory Coast Hamed Bakayoko passes away

Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Hamed Bakayoko, passed away in March 2021. He was appointed Prime Minister in July 2020, following the sudden death of his predecessor Amadou Gon Coulibaly. A former media executive who turned to politics, he played a prominent mediation role in Ivory Coast’s civil war during the first decade of the century.

36. 77th Board of Directors meeting of JKSPDCL

In Jammu and Kashmir, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan chaired the 77th Board of Directors meeting of Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Limited (JKSPDCL) at Civil Secretariat in Srinagar on 10 March 2021. Implementation of 850 MW Rattle HEP through a Joint Venture Company between JKSPDC and NHPC Limited and Development of Solar Power plant was discussed.

37. SJVN to buy PTC’s wind assets for Rs. 2,000 cr

Hydropower generator SJVN Ltd has outbid NTPC Ltd to emerge as the preferred bidder for PTC India Ltd’s 288-megawatts (MW) wind power assets spread across Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. SJVN Ltd has received the letter of intent (Lol) for the deal that has an enterprise value of around Rs. 2,000 crores. This is part of PTC India’s strategy to exit its wind power business.

38. West Bengal has highest number of beggars

India has over 4 lakh beggars, with the highest 81,244 beggars in West Bengal, while Lakshadweep merely has two of them, according to the 2011 census. This was informed by Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. West Bengal is followed by 65,835 beggars in Uttar Pradesh, 30,218 in Andhra Pradesh, 29,723 in Bihar, 28,695 in Madhya Pradesh, and 25,853 in Rajasthan.

39. Dr Jitendra Singh addresses a Summit

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh delivered the keynote address at the “National Gestational Diabetes Awareness Day” Summit on 10 March 2021. It was virtually hosted by Bengaluru. On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh also released the Guidelines for “Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy” prepared by Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group of India (DIPSI).

40. Mahindra to reduce stake in SsangYong Motor

Mahindra and Mahindra has received clearance from the Reserve Bank of India to reduce its ownership in Korean automaker SsangYong Motor. The UV maker has got approval to reduce its stake of 75 per cent in SsangYong Motor to 25 per cent through capital reduction. Mahindra had paid Rs. 2,100 crore, or $463 million, for the purchase of SsangYong a decade ago.

41. Cognizant to cover cost of vaccination

Cognizant will cover the cost of vaccination of over 600,000 people in India, including its 200,000 full-time employees and their dependents. This also includes around 50,000 people, comprising contingent staff such as contract, support and security personnel, and their families. Accenture and Infosys would also cover the cost of vaccinating employees in India as well as their families.

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