Current Affairs 1st March 2021

1. Vinesh Phogat bags gold in Ukraine wrestling

Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has won the gold medal in the women’s 53-kg category at XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine. Vinesh Phogat defeated world number seven Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus in the finals on 28 February 2021. As of February 2021, Vinesh is the only Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics for the 53kg category,

2. Inflection Point Ventures to invest $20 mn

Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) aims to double its investment to USD 20 million (about Rs. 155 crores) in start-ups in 2021. IPV, which comprises about 4,000 investors, is also looking at expanding its network to 5,000 members by the end of 2021. Till date, IPV has announced 55 deals and these include names like Milkbasket, Blusmart, Otipy by Crofarm, Truly Madly, Samosa Party, and Multibhashi.

3. Reliance arm raises stake in SkyTran

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has more than doubled its stake in US-based SkyTran Inc. RIL raised its holding in SkyTran to 54.46% from 26.3% on a fully diluted basis for $26.76 million. The stake is held by RIL’s unit Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd. SkyTran is a venture-funded developer of pod car transport systems.

4. Paytm processes 1 billion transactions

Paytm has exceeded 1 bn in monthly transactions across its UPI, wallet, cards, and net-banking payment methods, for the second successive month in February 2021. Paytm witnessed 15% growth in month-on-month transactions. It claimed to have close to 17 million merchants subscribing to its services. It offers products such as All-in-One QR, Paytm All-in-One Android POS, etc.

5. Biocon Biologics, Viatris Inc. get CHMP nod

Biocon Biologics Ltd. has announced that the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended approval of its biosimilar Bevacizumab. LIt is co-developed with Viatris and will be marketed as Abevmy (injection bevacizumab 100mg and 400mg). Abevmy is a biosimilar to Roche’s Avastin, prescribed for indications including metastatic breast cancer.

6. Mumbai Indians partners with DHL Express

IPL team franchise Mumbai Indians has inked a partnership with DHL Express. DHL has come on board as a principal sponsor and official logistics partner of the team. This partnership marks DHL Express’s first-ever cricket sponsorship, globally. DHL Express is the fourth international brand to join Mumbai Indians’ current partner list, which has Samsung, Marriott International, and Mondelez.

7. SBI donates Rs. 11 crore to ‘PM-CARES’ fund

State Bank of India (SBI) donated Rs. 11 crores on 1 March 2021 to the Prime Minister’s relief fund. The employees of the SBI had also earlier donated Rs. 100 crores to ‘PM-CARES’ to fight the pandemic. SBI also announced that its around 2,56,000 employees have decided to contribute two days’ salary to the ‘PM-CARES’ Fund.

8. 78th edition of Golden Globe Awards- II

Nomadland won the Best Motion Picture (Drama). Andra Day won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama). Sacha Baron Cohen won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) category. Rosamund Pike won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). Schitt’s Creek won the Best Television Series (Musical or Comedy).

9. RBI projects growth rate of 10.5%

RBI has projected the country’s growth forecast of 10.5 percent for 2022. The liquidity will continue to be sufficient and the central bank will make available liquidity at the appropriate times. Meanwhile, global rating agency Moody’s has increased India’s growth projection for the financial year 2021-22 to 13.7 percent from 10.8 percent estimated earlier.

10. Healthcare projects inaugurated in Imphal

The Union Minister of Health Dr Harsh Vardhan arrived in Manipur on 27 Feb 2021. He inaugurated major healthcare projects taken up at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Imphal on 28 Feb 2021. These projects include a new 3 Tesla MRI Machine in the newly constructed MRI Block, a 100 bedded capacity PG ladies Hostel, a new Neuro-Surgery ICU and a new block of College of Nursing

11. Maharashtra’s Forest Minister resigns

Maharashtra’s Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod has submitted his resignation to CM Uddhav Thackeray. He submitted his resignation after the opposition BJP had linked him to a 23-year-old woman’s alleged death by suicide in Pune. He is a Shiv Sena politician from Yavatmal district, Maharashtra. He was appointed as Minister of Forest, Disaster Management, Relief, and Rehabilitation in 2019.

12. J&K: 22,000 treatments provided under PMJAY

In J&K, more than 22,000 free and cashless treatments have been provided to eligible beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (ABPMJAY) SEHAT scheme in the first two months. Since the launch of the scheme, more than 30 lakh residents of the UT have already registered. The scheme aims to provide Universal Health Insurance Coverage of Rs. 5 lakh per family.

13. 6th Technology Exhibition inuagurated

In J&K, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha who is also the Chancellor of the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology Kashmir inaugurated a 2-day long 6th Technology Exhibition cum Seed Sale Mela on 28 Feb 2021. It was held on the theme “Shaping the Future Farming for Better Returns” in Srinagar. He inspected around 200 stalls showcasing a variety of products and technologies.

14. Bihar govt to bear cost of Covid vaccination

Bihar government has decided to bear the cost of Covid-19 vaccination at private hospitals in the state. This decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Registration for the new phase of vaccination began on 1 March 2021. It could be done in three ways – self online registration, on-the-spot registration, and cohort registration.

15. First academic session of MBBS at GMC, Doda

Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the first academic session of MBBS students at Govt Medical College, Doda in Jammu division for the 2020-21 batch, on 27 Feb 2021. Udhampur-Doda is the only Parliamentary constituency in India that has three Government Medical Colleges. He also released the first magazine of the college titled ‘The Chinab!

16. Bir Chilarai Divas: 27 February

Bir Chilarai Divas is observed all over Assam on February 27 every year to honor the courageous and heroic deeds of the Great General of Assam Bir Chilarai. Bir Chilarai (1510-1571 AD) was a great general of the Koch Royal Dynasty of Assam. From the year 2005, the government of Assam has been conferring Bir Chilarai Award, the highest honor for bravery to individuals.

17. KVICS e-portal registers over 1 crore turnover

Khadi and Village Industry Commission’s e-Market Portal has registered a gross turnover of over 1 crore 10 lakh rupees in just 8 months of its launch. Online orders have been received from all 31 states and Union Territories. Khadi’s online sale that started with just Khadi face masks during the lockdown has evolved into a full-fledged e-market platform with nearly 800 products.

18. Govt to form Centre of Excellence in gaming

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with IIT Bombay has decided to form a Centre of Excellence in gaming and other related areas. This was announced by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar while addressing the virtual exhibition and prize announcement of “Khel Khel Mein”, a Pan Maharashtra toy/game project design competition, on 28 Feb 2021.

19. PM Modi takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

PM Narendra Modi took the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS in New Delhi on 1 March 2021. He has thus become the 1st beneficiary in the 2nd phase of nationwide vaccination against the coronavirus. He was given a dose of the home-grown Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Sister P Niveda, from Puducherry, administered COVAXIN to him.

20. ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ to be held in March 2021

The 4th edition of the Prime Minister’s interaction Programme Pariksha Pe Charcha will be held in March 2021. Through this programme, PM Narendra Modi will hold a brainstorming session with school students, teachers, and parents in connection with the upcoming examinations. The registration process for the programme is underway on MyGov platform and it will remain open till 14 March 2021.

21. DU, Singapore Fine Arts Society sign an MoU

The Delhi University’s Faculty of Music and Fine Arts and the Singapore Fine Arts Society have signed an MoU for “cultural, academic and research collaboration agreement in Indian music”. The MoU was signed at a two-day international webinar, “Traditional Music in Different Cultures: Opportunities and Challenges in the Changing Global Scenario”, hosted by DU on 25 and 26 February 2021.

22. DRDO deploys satellite ‘Sindhu Netra’

ISRO launched the ‘Sindhu Netra’ satellite using PSLV-C51 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 28 February 2021. The Sindhu Netra satellite has been developed by the young scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is capable of automatically identifying the warships and merchant ships operating in the Indian Ocean region.

23. Australia receives 1st batch of AstraZeneca

The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines (300,000 doses) developed by UK drugmaker AstraZeneca arrived in Australia on 28 February 2021. Australia will receive over 53 million AstraZeneca vaccines in total. In addition to AstraZeneca’s jabs, Australia also has greenlighted the use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, and expects the arrival of 20 million doses soon.

24. Russia launches space satellite Arktika-M

Russia launched its space satellite Arktika-M on 28 Feb 2021 to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic region. The Soyuz spacecraft with the Arktika-M satellite was launched from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average over the last 3 decades and Russia is seeking to develop the energy-rich region

25. Arun Kumar Singh: Bihar’s new Chief Secretary

IAS officer Arun Kumar Singh was appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Bihar on 28 February 2021. He replaces incumbent Deepak Kumar who retired a year ago and completed his year-long extension on 28 February 2021. Whereas, Deepak Kumar will take over as the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Singh was earlier posted as the state’s Development Commissioner.

26. FDA set to approve J&J’s Covid vaccine

The US drugs regulator, Food and Drug Administration is set to grant emergency use authorisation to Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine. The authorisation of J&J’s Covid vaccine will add a third vaccine to the US fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s are the other two vaccines, which have been in use since December 2020.

27. R Hari Kumar: Chief of Western Naval Command

Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Western Naval Command on 28 Feb 2021 at Mumbai. He succeeded Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, who retired after forty years of service. Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar was Vice Chief of Defence Staff at Headquarters Integrated Defense Staff (HQIDS) prior to taking over as FOC-in-C of Western Naval Command.

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