Current Affairs 3rd March 2021

Table of Contents

1. World Hearing Day: 3 March

World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and to promote ear and hearing care across the world. The theme for World Hearing Day 2021 is “Hearing care for all!”. Also, in 2021, World Hearing Day will be marked by the launch of the first-ever World Report on Hearing.

2. HP makes ‘Laptops’ by recycling marine plastic

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has developed its first-ever consumer Laptops by recycling marine plastic. The company has manufactured a series of laptops mainly named Pavillion 13, Pavilion 14, and Pavilion 15 using ocean-bound plastics. The all-new laptops from the brand feature 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Xe graphics.

3. Vice Admiral A K Jain assumes office as CISC

Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain has taken over as Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC). Prior to his appointment as CISC, Jain has held various operational, staff, and command appointments in the course of his career spanning over 38 years. He has commanded four ships including the indigenously built destroyer INS Mysore.

4. Prashant Kishor: Punjab CM’s Principal Advisor

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has informed that Prashant Kishor had been appointed as his Principal Advisor. Kishor had also handled the Congress poll campaign in the 2017 Punjab Assembly election when the party had stormed to power by bagging 77 seats in the 117-member House. His term of appointment will be co-terminus with the tenure of the present Punjab Chief Minister.

5. Bharti Airtel buys radiowaves worth Rs. 18,699 cr

Bharti Airtel has picked up radiowaves worth Rs. 18,699 crore in an auction. The auction, which put on offer a total of 2308.80 MHz of spectrum worth Rs. 4 lakh crore in seven bands, concluded on 2 March 2021. Airtel has acquired radiowaves entailing 355.45 MHz spectrum across Sub GHz, mid-band, and 2300 MHz bands, arming it withthe¬† “most formidable” spectrum holding in the country.

6. Anindya Dutta comes up with a new book

A banker by profession, Anindya Dutta is coming up with his latest book, called Advantage India: The Story of Indian Tennis. The book is about pre-Independence tennis and its early players. The book has been published by Westland publications, It provides an extensive history of Indian tennis on both men’s and women’s side.

7. India ranks third in Hurun Global Rich List

India climbed up tothe  third spot in the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 with 209 billionaires, 40 more than 2020. Mukesh Ambani saw his wealth up by 24% to 83 bn dollars (about Rs 6 lakh crore). Gautam Adani saw his wealth almost double to 32 bn on the back of Adani Green Energy growing to a 20 billion valuation. Shiv Nadar family saw his wealth rise to 27 billion dollars, up 10 billion dollars.

8. IAF to take part in a multinational exercise

6 Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30-MKI fighters will take off for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 3 March 2021 to participate in the multinational exercise ‘Desert Flag’. 10 countries including the US, France and Saudi Arabia are scheduled to take part in the exercise. IAF’s two C-17s will join the Indian team for the exercise.

9. Hungama, Hindustan Talkies invest in IGL

Digital entertainment firm Hungama, along with Hindustan Talkies, a movie, and digital content production house, has made a strategic investment of $500,000 in esports platform Indian Gaming League (IGL). IGL was launched in 2016. IGL will utilize the funds to acquire new users and develop new features to increase engagement on the platform.

10. Adani Enterprises achieves Rs. 1-tn market cap

Adani Enterprises Ltd on 3 Mar 2021, joined an elite club of achieving Rs. 1 trillion market cap after its shares surged over 90% so far this year. The stock hit an all-time high of Rs. 915 a share with market cap of Rs. 1.01 trillion. This is the 3rd Adani Group company to have achieved this milestone. Earlier, Adani Green Energy and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone reached this landmark.

11. IIT-KGP researchers develop a technology

Researchers at IIT Kharagpur have developed a soil-mapping technology to bring efficiency in the use of fertilisers in farmland. The differential global positioning system-enabled technology will facilitate cultivators to use nitrogen, phosphorus and potash (NPK) efficiently for automated soil nutrition management. It would be able to reduce 30 percent of fertilisers used in manual methods.

12. Insurance Ombudsman Rules amended

The government on 2 March 2021, notified comprehensive amendments to the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017. This was done with a view to improve the working of the Insurance Ombudsman mechanism to facilitate the resolution of complaints. The Ombudsman mechanism was administered by the Executive Council of Insurers, which has been renamed as the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen.

13. India and Norway to work on a project

India and Norway have agreed to jointly work in the area of marine spatial planning in the oceanic space for the next five years. This is a part of the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in 2019. Lakshadweep and Puducherry have been identified as pilot sites for the project.

14. MoU approved between India and Fiji

The Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Fiji for cooperation in the field of agriculture. Under this, a Joint Working Group will be constituted to set down procedures and plan and recommend programs of cooperation. It will remain in force for a period of 5 years.

15. Cabinet approves MoU between India and France

The Cabinet has approved the MoU between India and France in the field of renewable energy cooperation It was signed in January 2021. Its objective is to establish the basis for the promotion of bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy on the basis of mutual benefit, equality, and reciprocity. It covers technologies relating to solar, wind, hydrogen, and biomass energy.

16. Sea injects $1 billion into new investment arm

Sea Ltd. is injecting $1 billion into a new unit that will manage bets on fledgling technology companies. It has hired former Hillhouse Capital partner David Ma to lead the newly formed Sea Capital and has acquired full ownership of Ma’s Hong Kong-based hedge fund firm Composite Capital Management (HK) Ltd.

17. Inflexor Ventures launches deep tech programme

Venture Capital firm Inflexor Ventures has launched a DeepTech Fellowship programme under which they will provide seed to series A funding to startups that are part of their $100 million funds. It has also joined hands with 100X.VC, a sector-agnostic fund that invests in early-stage startups. Inflexor’s team will hold specialised workshops, experience sharing, and one-on-one mentoring

18. Nagaland launches its first air cargo services

Nagaland launched its first air cargo services from Dimapur airport on 2 March 2021. CM Neiphiu Rio officially flagged off the service, which is a joint initiative of the Department of Horticulture, Nagaland, and Airport Authority of India (AAI) with Air India and Indigo as airline partners. AAl is planning to construct a new terminal building including a cargo service terminal at Dimapur.

19. J&K tops medals tally at Khelo India Games

Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has topped the medals tally in the second edition of the Khelo India Winter National Games. It won 11 gold, 18 silver, and 5 bronze medals. The five-day mega sports event which began on 26 February 2021, concluded in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on 2 March 2021. In the event, more than 1,000 athletes from 27 states and Union Territories took part.

20. Myanmar announces acting Ministers

The parliament members elected to the Myanmar parliament in the Nov 2020 elections have announced a list of acting ministers for the country. The Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) has announced names for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of President’s office, planning, investment, and economic relations and labor, immigration, and education.

21. New passenger train service b/w India-Dhaka

A new passenger train service between Dhaka, Bangladesh, and New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal is set to start on 26 March 2021 marking the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh. The direct train will run through the Chilahati-Haldibari cross-border rail route. There are two passenger trains currently running between Bangladesh and India which are Maitree Express and Bandhan Express.

22. Rajya Sabha TV and Lok Sabha TV merges

Rajya Sabha TV and Lok Sabha TV have been merged and now it will be known as Sansad TV. Retired IAS officer Ravi Capoor has been appointed as its Chief Executive Officer. Sansad TV will telecast live proceedings of both the Upper and Lower Houses. The decision has been taken jointly by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla.

23. Global Bio-India 2021 conclave concludes

The Global Bio-India 2021 conclave, the largest biotechnology conglomerate, concluded on 3 March 2021. It was a three-day event focussing on different aspects of biotechnology. Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the event on 1 March 2021. Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, was the special guest at the inaugural session.

24. World Wildlife Day: 3 March

World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3 to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s flora and fauna. On December 20, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as the UN World Wildlife Day. The theme for World Wildlife Day 2021 is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.

25. India to invest 82 bn USD in ports by 2035

The Government of India has identified more than 574 port projects at a cost of 82 billion USD or Rs. 6 lakh crore for implementation from 2015 to 2035. The Ministry of Port Shipping and Waterways has created a list of 400 projects with an investment potential of 31 billion dollars or Rs. 2.25 lakh crore. These projects include creating world-class maritime infrastructure through various reforms.

26. Researchers discover “giant luminous shark”

Scientists studying sharks off New Zealand have discovered the three deep-sea species which glows in the dark. This is the first time that bioluminescence sharks have been documented. One of them is now the largest-known luminous vertebrate. Bioluminescence is the production of visible light through a chemical reaction by living organisms which is a widespread phenomenon among marine life.

27. AIM, NITI Aayog partners with MathWorks

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has partnered with MathWorks to strengthen the Deep-tech startup ecosystem of India. MathWorks is the developer of mathematical computing software for scientists and engineers. Under this partnership, startups supported by AIM will get access to steps of the art MathWorks tools, engineering support, online training, and access to MATLAB community.

28. San Diego Comic-Con to be held in July 2021

The organizers of the San Diego Comic-Con announced that the event will be held virtually from 23-25 July 2021. San Diego Comic-Con is the largest fan convention in North America. San Diego Comic-Con was launched as a small comic-focused event in 1970 and grew into a massive gathering of comic fans, movie and TV stars, and movie studios.

29. 142 nations to get 237 mn vaccines from COVAX

The COVAX scheme will deliver 237 mn doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to 142 countries by the end of May 2021. COVAX initiative began its roll-out with the first deliveries of shots to Ghana and the Ivory Coast in the end of February 2021. COVAX is the World Health Organization-backed programme to provide vaccines for poor and middle-income countries.

30. Two-day national seminar on NEP concludes

A two-day national seminar on National Education Policy and its Implementation concluded on 2 March 2021 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The seminar was organised by Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication (Bhopal), NITI Aayog and Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal. Universities will execute NEP from the next academic session.

31. Education Min. releases study material of NIOS

Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank’ released the study material of Indian Knowledge Tradition courses of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) in Noida, on 2 March 2021. NIOS has started a programme named Bhartiya Jnana Parampara (Indian Knowledge Tradition) comprising 15 courses. The study materials are available to learners in . Sanskrit and Hindi language.

32. Nag River Pollution Abatement Project

Nag River Pollution Abatement Project has been approved by the central government in order to treat the sewage and industrial waste flowing into the river in Nagpur. The cost of the Nag River Pollution Abatement Project is about Rs. 2,117.54 crore. The project has been approved under the National River Conservation Plan, and will be implemented by the National River Conservation Directorate.

33. China leads in global patents filings

China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world in 2020 for the second consecutive year and extended its lead over No. 2 filer the United States. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which oversees a system for countries to share recognition of patents, informed that China filed 68,720 applications in 2020 while the US filed 59,230.

34. Noida airport signs agreement with UP govt

Noida International Airport (NIA) and the Government of UP have signed a state support agreement. The agreement lays down the state government’s support to establish and continuously improve surface access to the airport. In Oct 2020, UP govt had signed a concession agreement with Zurich Airport International (ZAIA) to commence the development of the Noida International Airport at Jewar.

35. LPAI celebrates its 9th Foundation Day

The Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) celebrated its 9th Foundation Day at its headquarters in New Delhi on 1 March 2021. The organization was formed in 2012. The event concluded with a virtual panel discussion on the subject “Facilitating Regional Trade and Connectivity through Land Route” which was attended by eminent scholars and persons from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

36. Karnataka govt launches Engineering R&D policy

The Karnataka government has launched the Engineering Research and Development (ER&D) policy-2021. It will create about 50,000 new jobs and also help the state to contribute about 45% to India’s Engineering R&D during the policy tenure. The sectors that have been prioritized in the policy include aerospace and defense, auto components and EV, biotechnology, pharma, and medical devices, etc.

37. Virat: 1st with 100 mn Instagram followers

Virat Kohli has become the first cricketer in the world to have 100 million followers on the social media platform Instagram. He is also the first person in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve the feat. Kohli is also the fourth most followed sportsperson on Instagram. The others in 100 million club are Hollywood actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Beyonce, etc.

38. Nasscom launches a program

Nasscom is launching an ‘Al Gamechangers’ program to promote artificial intelligence (AI)-led innovation in the country. Microsoft is the innovation partner for the program. The program seeks to recognize impactful and scalable Al-based innovation in the country. The program will also recognize innovators for their successful Al implementation at Nasscom’s Xperience Al Summit.

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