Current Affairs 7th March 2021

1. Space hurricane detected over the North Pole

For the first time, scientists have discovered a “space hurricane” that swirled over the North Pole, in Earth’s upper atmosphere, for eight hours. These hurricanes, which “rained” electrons, are known to occur in Earth’s lower atmosphere. The space hurricane was detected on August 20, 2014. The findings were published in Nature Communications in February 2021.

2. IndiGrid InvIT to acquire a project

India Grid Trust, an infrastructure investment trust has inked an agreement to acquire a power transmission project in the northeast for Rs. 4,625 cr from Sterlite Power. The investment manager of IndiGrid, sponsored by Sterlite Power Grid Ventures Ltd, is majority-owned by KKR. The 830 circuit-km long NER-II Transmission Ltd project is spread across Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura.

3. Wildfire ravages Similipal

A wildfire raging for over 10 days has destroyed nearly a third of the Similipal biosphere reserve in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district. The Similipal National Park and Tiger Reserve is spread out over 2750 sq km and is known for its tiger and elephant population. The government declared Simlipal as a biosphere reserve in 1994 and UNESCO added it to its list of biosphere reserves in 2009.

4. World’s first space hotel to open in 2027

Space construction company Orbital Assembly Corporation has unveiled new details about its ambitious project of building a hotel above Earth’s atmosphere. The company is planning to start building the hotel, Voyager Station, in the low Earth orbit in 2025, to be operational as early as 2027. With over 11,600 square meters of habitable space, the commercial station will have many features.

5. Delhi to have its own school education board

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has announced that like other states, the national capital will also have its own school, education board. In the academic session 2021-22, around 20-25 schools will be included in the education board. This means that the CBSE affiliation of the schools will be scrapped after which the schools will be affiliated to the Delhi board of school education.

6. 40 scholars recommended for award of ISRF 2021

Forty scholars from six countries have been recommended for the award of India Science and Research Fellowship 2021. The government had launched India Science and Research Fellowship Programme for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand researchers. It has been implemented since 2015. No award was given in 2020 due to the pandemic.

7. Naureen Hassan: 1st VP, COO of New York Fed

Indian-American Naureen Hassan has been named as the first Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She has been appointed by the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, effective from 15 March 2021. She was, most recently, the Chief Digital Officer for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM).

8. 69th Senior National Volleyball Championship

The 69th Senior National Volleyball Championship 2020-21 was inaugurated at the Biju Patnaik Indoor Stadium, KIIT Deemed to be University on March 5, 2021. For the first time in the history of Indian volleyball, Odisha as a state hosted the senior national championship for the second time. Also for the first time, all the matches would be played in Indoor courts with live streaming.

9. Kotak: Ashok Gulati as additional Director

Kotak Mahindra Bank has appointed agricultural economist Ashok Gulati as an additional independent Director on its board. The term of Gulati, who has also been appointed by the Supreme Court to a four-member panel, is for five years starting from 6 March 2021. He is currently the Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

10. UP CM inaugurates 27 power substations

UP CM Yogi Adityanath on 6 March 2021 inaugurated 27 power substations developed at a cost of Rs. 1,920 cr by UP Power Transmission Corporation Limited (UPPTCL). He informed that electricity is being provided to farmers of the state and it has helped reduce the cost of farming and improve productivity. Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma were also present.

11. India’s first World Skill Centre inaugurated

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurated India’s first World Skill Centre (WSC) at Mancheswar Industrial Area of Bhubaneswar on 5 March 2021. The World Skill Centre, an 18 storey building is aimed to make Odisha the global capital of trained manpower and is dedicated to different skills and trades. The project has been developed in partnership with ITEES Singapore and Asian Development Bank.

12. Uttarakhand CM launches a scheme

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on 6 March 2021 launched ‘Gharoki Paachan, Chelik Naam’ (daughter’s name is a home’s identity) program and development schemes worth Rs. 42 crore in Nainital. This scheme has been launched in Nainital and will be extended to the entire Uttarakhand in the coming weeks.

13. Kotak Mahindra Bank signs MoU with Indian Army

Kotak Mahindra Bank will handle the salary account of the Indian Army personnel. The bank has signed an MoU with the Indian Army for the salary account. The MoU enables Kotak to offer its salary account proposition, combined with exclusive benefits for the Indian Army, to all army personnel – both active and retired.

14. NPCI ties up with SBI Payments

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has tied up with SBI Payments to launch ‘RuPay SoftPoS’ for millions of Indian merchants. Through the move, NCPI is aiming to provide innovative solutions to transform NFC-enabled smartphones into merchant Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for the retailers. By using this, the merchant would be able to accept contactless payments of up to Rs. 5,000.

15. A national seminar organized in Jabalpur

To commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA) under the Ministry of Culture, organized a day-long National seminar at Jabalpur, MP. It was held on 5 March 2021 on the subject “Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: Rashtravaad Aur Yuva Sarokaar”. Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel presided over the function.

16. Dr. Harsh Vardhan addresses at Techbharat 2021

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the inaugural session of TechBharat 2021 on 6 March 2021. The 2nd edition of the conclave was organized by Laghu Udyog Bharati and IMS Foundation. The motive of the conclave was to bring together stakeholders from the HealthTech and Edutech sector on a virtual platform.

17. Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates ‘Desikan Bhawan’

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the new research building Desikan Bhawan’ on 6 March 2021 at ICMR-NJIL and OMD, Agra. The building is dedicated to research facilities like animal experimentation, COVID-19 diagnosis, whole-genome sequencing, etc. The capacity of the COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory is around 1200 samples per day.

18. 76th Annual Conference of API held

Union Minister of State Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Dr. Jitendra Singh addressed the 76th Annual Conference of Association of Physicians of India (API) on 6 March 2021. The theme of the 2021’s API conference is “Engaging Minds: Empowering Medicine”. The conference is being held virtually for 2021 in the wake of the pandemic.

19. Scientists develop a high-resolution platform

Scientists from the Raman Research Institute have developed a platform to detect the effect of prolonged alcohol exposure on red blood cells through high-resolution measurements of their size. The high-resolution platform that shows the reduction in the size of RBCs on alcohol exposure can be tuned for a point-of-care screening of multiple conditions that alter the count of RBCs in the blood.

20. GI Mahotsav inaugurated in Mussoorie

Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated the Tribes India GI Mahotsav at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration Mussoorie on 5 March 2021. It is an exhibition of GI tagged products and more than 40 GI registered proprietors and Gl authorized users and tribal artisans are participating. He also inaugurated the 130th Tribes India Showroom and Café of Tribes India.

21. Bangladesh’s first transgender newsreader

A private news channel has appointed Bangladesh’s first transgender news presenter. ‘Tashnuva Anan Shishir’ will start presenting news for Boishakhi TV from International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021. The TV channel has appointed another transgender ‘Nusrat Mau’ as one of the main characters for the regular drama section of the TV channel’s entertainment wing.

22. J&K to host 1st White Water Rafting Festival

The first-ever White Water Rafting Festival was organized by Bhaderwah Development Authority and JK Adventure Group in the river Chenab at Premnagar Shibnote on 5 March 2021. The event was organized to promote adventure tourism in the Union Territory of J&K. Over 1500 people from across the district attended the festival on day 1. The two-day festival culminated on 6 March 2021.

23. Odisha to set up a new department to boost SHGS

Odisha government has set up a new department, namely the Dept of Mission Shakti for self-help groups (SHGS) in the state. A proposal to this effect has received the nod in the state cabinet on 6 March 2021. The new department will work towards strengthening the ‘SHG’ initiatives already taken by departments & agencies by bringing them all under one platform to ensure greater focus & synergy

24. Axis Securities launches ‘YIELD’ platform

Axis Securities announced the launch of the ‘YIELD’ platform on 3 March 2021. YIELD is an online platform to buy & sell bonds as well as debentures in the secondary market. It is the first-of-its-kind initiative that allows retail investors direct access to the debt instruments. YIELD is the answer to the investors seeking new alternative investment avenues for safe & relatively higher returns.

25. Tripura government launches ‘Jagrut Tripura’

The Tripura government has come up with a digital platform ‘Jagrut Tripura’ to help people get benefits from various schemes of the Centre and the state government. At least 102 schemes of various departments of both governments are available on the platform. The project was developed by EasyGov, a Jio Group company, and it will be available to all the residents of Tripura.

26. The Hindu: Champion Publisher of the Year 2020

The Hindu Group won two golds and two silvers at WAN IFRA’s South Asian Digital Media Awards, culminating in being named ‘Champion Publisher of the Year 2020’. Sportstar’s website of The Hindu Group won a gold in ‘Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services’. The Hindu’s website (thehindu.com) won silver in ‘Best Paid Content Strategy’.

27. SBI MF Launches First Overseas Fund

The State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Funds launched its first overseas offering on 1 March 2021. It is an open-ended fund investing in a mutual fund scheme that invests in US markets, which are domiciled overseas. The scheme invests 95-100 percent of its net assets generally in Amundi Funds, US Pioneer Fund, which invest predominantly in the US markets.

28. Kieron Pollard: 3rd to hit 6 sixes in an over

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has become just the third batsman in international cricket to hit 6 sixes in an over. Kieron Pollard hit 6 sixes in an over against Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya in Antigua T201 on 4 March 2021. Pollard is the only 2nd batsman after Yuvraj Singh to achieve the feat in T20ls.

29. Samsung, Mastercard ink an MoU

Samsung Electronics and Mastercard signed an Mou on 6 March 2021 to launch payment cards with built-in fingerprint sensors. This system will eliminate the need for users to enter PINs while making payments using their payment cards. With this move, the two companies aim to provide faster and more secure payment experiences while reducing physical contact with the payments terminal.

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