Current Affairs 4th March 2021

Table of Contents

1. National Safety Day: 4 March

National Safety Day is observed on March 4 every year to commemorate the foundation of the National Safety Council (NSC). NSC aims to raise awareness about safety measures that need to be undertaken to prevent accidents and mishaps. National Safety Day was observed for the first time in 1972, on the foundation day of the National Safety Council.

2. Wipro joins World Economic Forum

Wipro has joined the ‘Partnering for Racial Justice in a Business initiative’ launched by the World Economic Forum. It will promote a culture of diversity, equity, and justice for people of all racial backgrounds in the workplace. The initiative is aimed towards driving action and accountability for companies to confront racism at a systemic level and set new standards for racial justice.

3. Delhi government sanctions Rs. 50 crore

Delhi government has approved Rs. 50 crore funds for the construction and development of the cultural complex Kala Kunj. In 2020, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had laid the foundation stone for the cultural complex Kala Kunj. It is a cultural space for the residents of Delhi who would be able to access digital records of historical archives and participate in cultural functions.

4. NSE joins hands with SIDBI

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has entered into a pact with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to explore the feasibility of a debt capital platform for the MSMEs. The entities signed an MoU for co-operation in various ongoing MSMEs-related initiatives of the two institutions. The co-operation will help increase the impact and reach of these programs.

5. World’s first platypus sanctuary in Australia

Australian conservationists have unveiled plans to build the world’s 1st refuge for the platypus, to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the mammal faces extinction due to climate change. The Taronga Conservation Society Australia and New South Wales State govt would build the facility, mostly ponds, and burrows for the semiaquatic creatures, by 2022. It could house up to 65 platypuses.

6. Odisha CM inaugurates hostels for ST students

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated hostels for the scheduled tribe (ST) and scheduled caste (SC) students in the state on 2 March 2021. The CM inaugurated three Akankhya hostels located at Berhampur, Sambalpur, and Rourkela. Patnaik also launched the Sanhati Programme which will enable around 1.5 lakh students to avail primary education in their mother tongue.

7. Mary Kom: Chairperson of AIBA’s committee

Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom has been picked as the chairperson of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) champions and veterans committee. The panel was created in 2020 by the world body as part of its reforms. Mary Kom has qualified for her second and final Olympics the Tokyo Games to be held in July-August 2021.

8. International Yoga Festival begins

The seven-day International Yoga Festival was inaugurated by Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal, in Rishikesh on 1 March 2021. The festival is being jointly organized by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). Nearly 350 people were registered on the first day of the event.

9. Varun, Malvika win Uganda International titles

Indian shuttlers Varun Kapur and Malvika Bansod registered wins to clinch the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the 2021 Uganda International in Kampala. Varun defeated Sankar Muthusamy 21-18 16-21 21-17 in the men’s singles final, while Malvika won 17-21 25-23 21-10 over Anupama Upadhyaya in the women singles summit clash.

10. NHRC issues notice to Chief Secretaries

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. It is over the action taken to alleviate the sufferings of people displaced by the construction of the Hirakud dam over the Mahanadi river about six decades ago. 26,561 families were displaced for the construction of the Hirakud dam project and due compensation was not paid.

11. 10 nations have full equal rights for women

There are only ten countries in the world that offer full legal protections to women, according to the report Women, Business and the Law 2021. It was recently published by the World Bank. Belgium, France, Denmark, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden, Canada, Iceland, Portugal, and Ireland were the only ones offering full equal rights for men and women, at least from a legal perspective.

12. Communicable disease control drive in UP

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched the communicable disease control drive and Dastak Abhiyan in Varanasi. The communicable disease control drive will run from March 1-31, 2021. The CM also informed that there has been a 75 percent drop in the Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases and a 95 percent fall in the number of JE deaths since 2017.

13. Canada recommends 4 months between COVID doses

A national panel of vaccine experts in Canada has recommended the provinces extend the interval between the two doses of a COVID-19 shot to four months to quickly inoculate more people amid a shortage of doses in Canada. The current protocol is an interval of three to four weeks between doses for the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

14. India Rating expects NBFCs to grow by 9.5%

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has maintained a stable outlook on retail non-banking finance company (NBFC) and housing finance company sectors for FY22. The rating agency expects non-bank lenders to grow by 9.5% year on year in the fiscal year 2022, whereas growth for housing finance companies would be around 10% year on year, for the fiscal year 2021.

15. Godrej Interio bags three contracts

Godrej Interio has recently bagged giant contracts for the metro projects located in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kochi worth Rs. 250 crores. With the announcements, Godrej Interio is now part of four metro rail projects across the country, including Kolkata. The scope of work for the metro projects includes carrying out the civil finishes, cladding, block works, facade glazing, metal ceiling, etc.

16. Razorpay announces ESOP buyback

Razorpay has announced its third employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) Buyback program worth $10 million (about Rs. 73 crores) that will benefit 750 employees. All current, as well as the former employees of the company who hold vested stocks, will be eligible to sell up to 33 percent of their vested ESOP shares. Sequoia Capital India and GIC will be the buyers involved in this process.

17. Project Development Cell for Biotechnology

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has announced Project Development Cell for Biotechnology. He made this announcement in Global Bio-India 2021 conclave, a three-day event that focused on different aspects of biotechnology. He has also released Indian Bio-economy Report and Biotech Investment Potential for Indian States Report.

18. Bihar Govt approves proposal to allow DBT

Bihar Govt has approved a proposal to allow Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for disbursement of funds for the students of all government schemes to purchase uniforms and bicycles for the current financial year without the rider of a minimum 75 percent attendance. It also approved a proposal to sanction funds to the tune of 112 cr rupees for the procurement of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMS).

19. Karnataka’s Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi resigns

In Karnataka, the Major and Medium Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has resigned after he was allegedly caught up in a sex scandal CD released on 2 March 2021. The CD was released by a social activist Dinesh Kallahalli and a complaint was filed with the Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant. He has sent his resignation letter to the Chief Minister on moral grounds.

20. Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel presents budget

In Gujarat, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel presented the budget for the year 2021-22 in the State Assembly at Gandhinagar on 3 March 2021. The budget has a total outlay of 2,27,029 crore rupees. This is the biggest outlay of the State Budget in Gujarat till now. Mr. Patel also announced the record allocation of 11,323 crore rupees for health and family welfare.

21. Arunachal Pradesh Dy CM presents state budget

Arunachal Pradesh Deputy CM Chowna Mein, who is also the in-charge Minister for Finance, presented the state budget 2021-22 on 3 March 2021. The state has decreased the fiscal deficit from 2.28 percent in the previous financial year to 2.19 percent this time. The govt will initiate a major project to develop three Model Villages on a pilot basis in the Indo-Tibet China border areas.

22. Jharkhand FM presents state budget for 2021-22

In Jharkhand, Finance Minister Dr. Rameshwar Oraon presented the budget for the year 2021-22 in the State Assembly at Ranchi on 3 March 2021. The budget has a total outlay of 91,277 crore rupees, with an increase of over 7100 crore rupees in comparison to 2020’s budget. The breakup of the budget includes a revenue expenditure of Rs. 75755.01 cr and capital expenditure of Rs. 15521.99 crores.

23. Aam Aadmi Party wins four wards

Aam Aadmi Party has won four wards while Congress bagged the remaining one in the Delhi Municipal Corporation by-polls. The AAP registered victory in Kalyanpuri, Shalimar Bagh North, Trilokpuri, and Rohini-C wards. The Congress won Chauhan Banger’s seat in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The election for five wards was held on 28 February 2021.

24. CSMT: First to get IGBC Gold Certification

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Railway Station of Central Railway is the first railway station in Maharashtra to be awarded Gold certification as per Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) ratings. Central Railway has implemented various green initiatives across its zone. The rating system gives impetus to national priorities like energy efficiency, water conservation, etc.

25. Bangladesh to get 10.9 mn COVID vaccine doses

The COVAX facility of WHO has announced its first list of allocations for the distribution of the COVID 19 vaccines. In its first round of allocation, 237 mn doses of the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will be distributed among 142 facility partners. Bangladesh has a share of 10.9 million doses in the allocation list.

26. Rail network to be fully electrified by 2023

The entire rail network in the country will be fully electrified by 2023 while all rail networks will run on renewable energy by 2030. This was stated by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal while addressing the Maritime India Summit-2021. He also informed that the capacity of India’s major ports has almost doubled in the six years.

27. Railways Minister flags off a special train

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal flagged off Kotdwar-Delhi Junction-Kotdwar Siddhabali Jan Shatabdi Special train through video conferencing on 3 March 2021. Kotdwar-Delhi route electrification is almost complete. The train will connect Kotdwar with the National Capital. Pilgrims visiting the Siddhabali temple will be benefitted from improved connectivity.

28. Air Force Chief arrives in Colombo

Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria arrived in Colombo on 3 March 2021 on an invitation from Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana. The Sri Lanka Air Force celebrated its 70th anniversary on 2 March 2021. On 5 March 2021, there will be a presentation of the President’s Colours to two Units of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

29. Defence Min. receives interim dividend cheque

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has received an interim dividend cheque of Rs. 92.56 crore from Defence Public Sector Undertaking, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited MDL in New Delhi. CMD of MDL Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (Retd) handed over the cheque to him. With this, MDL has paid a total dividend of 138.73 crore rupees to the Government of India during Financial Year 2020-21.

30. Covaxin shows the efficacy of 81 percent

Indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has demonstrated interim clinical efficacy of 81 percent in its phase three trial. The trial involved 25,800 participants across 21 sites. The first interim analysis is based on 43 cases of which 36 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group. The vaccine is developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

31. Combined Commanders’ Conference begins

A three-day Combined Commanders’ Conference began on 4 March 2021 at Kevadia in Gujarat. Theaterisation of armed forces, self-reliance in the defense sector, and evolving threats in the region will be the focus areas during the three-day annual event. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the top commanders of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force on 5 March 2021.

32. EAM S.Jaishankar visits Bangladesh

External Affairs Minister Dr. S.Jaishankar is on an official visit to Dhaka on 4 March 2021. He was invited by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. AK Abdul Momen. During the visit, Dr. Jaishankar met the Bangladesh counterpart and also called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. His visit follows the Prime Minister level Virtual Summit held between two countries on 17th December 2020.

33. Service Centers for Communication Disorders

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health Family Welfare inaugurated 6 new Outreach Service Centers for Communication Disorders across the country by the All India Institute of Speech Hearing (AIISH) on 3 March 2021. World Hearing Day was also observed on 3 March. Outreach Service Centers will offer professionals and specialists to cater to the need of individuals existing with such disorders.

34. TEPC’s “India Telecom 2021”

Telecom Equipment Export Promotion Council (TEPC) organized India Telecom 2021, an Exclusive International Business Expo which was held virtually on March 3 and 4, 2021. The event was held under the Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) of the Department of Commerce, Government of India, and with the support of the Department of Telecommunications & Ministry of External Affairs.

35. Indian scientists design optical spectrograph

Indian scientists have designed and developed a low-cost optical spectrograph. This spectrograph can locate sources of faint light from distant quasars and galaxies. It is one of the largest astronomical spectrographs in the country. It has been successfully commissioned on the 3.6-Metre Devasthal Optical Telescope near Nainital, Uttarakhand.

36. UK to receive 10 mn vaccine doses from India

UK will receive 10 Million AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses from India. The vaccine doses are made by the Serum Institute of India (SII). SIl’s AstraZeneca vaccine demand has been growing from western countries. A slew of low-and middle-income countries ranging from Bangladesh to Brazil is dependent on SIl’s AstraZeneca vaccine.

37. India commemorates ‘Chabahar Day’ on March 4

India will commemorate Chabahar Day on the margins of the Maritime India Summit-2021 on the 4th of March. In the virtually held event, Ministers from Afghanistan, Armenia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan are participating. The Chabahar Port is a key pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific vision to connect Eurasia with the Indian Ocean Region.

38. 5 nations receive Covid Vaccines from India

Five nations received the Made in India Covid-19 Vaccines on 3 March 2021. Vaccines are dispatched under the Vaccine Maitri initiative of the Government of India. Planes carrying the consignments of vaccine doses have landed in Guatemala, Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Senegal.

39. China’s ‘Two Sessions’ begins on 4 March

China’s biggest annual political meetings known as the ‘Two Sessions’ or ‘lianghui’ will begin in Beijing on 4 Mar 21 at the Great Hall of the People. The top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) will begin its session on 4th March. The National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s legislature will begin its meeting on 5th March.

40. DDC Pulwama inaugurates artisan mela

The District Development Commissioner (DDC) Pulwama, Dr. Raghav Langer inaugurated an artisan Mela, organized by National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) on 3 March 21 at Govt Degree College in Pulwama, J&K. To boost this sector and take it to modern levels, the government has introduced many new artisan-friendly schemes, besides providing market facilities to the artisans.

41. Haryana Governor approves a bill

Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya has given assent to the bill providing 75 percent reservation in the private sector to job seekers from the state. The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 provides a quota for local people in private-sector jobs that offer a salary of less than Rs. 50,000 a month. The quota will initially apply for 10 years, according to the bill.

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