Current Affairs 9th March 2021

Table of Contents

1. Andhra Pradesh: 1st with Gender Budget concept

Andhra Pradesh will be the first in the country to come up with the Gender Budget concept. Expenditure for women’s welfare through various schemes would be listed out in this budget. CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inaugurated Women Help Desks in all the police stations across the state and launched the SWECHHA program to create awareness on menstrual hygiene, on 8 March 2021.

2. Vaccination centres only for women

The Maharashtra government on 8 March 2021 set up five Covid-19 vaccination centres in each district of the state exclusively for inoculating women. These centres will remain operational only for the day. Out of 189 such centres in the state, 19 such centres were established in the Thane district due to higher demand there.

3. States to set up women help desks

Rs. 200 cr has been sanctioned to states and UTs to set up women help desks in police stations and to strengthen anti-human trafficking units in all districts of the country. To enhance safety and security of women in the country, the Home Ministry has also taken several initiatives which are funded by the Nirbhaya Fund. A separate women safety division has also been set up in the Ministry.

4. All Women Passport Seva Kendras

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has unveiled two of the Passport Seva Kendras, PSKs to be transformed as All Women PSKs. Out of two PSKs, one PSK is at RK Puram, Bhikaji Cama Place in New Delhi and another at Tripunithura in Cochin, Kerala. As a part of an initiative to empower women, a total of 1670 women employees are deployed in the ‘Passport Seva Programme!

5. ‘Akshya Patra’: All-Women’s Art Exhibition

Minister of Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the All-Women’s Art Exhibition titled ‘Akshya Patra’ on 8 March 2021 at Rabindra Bhavan Galleries in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The exhibition will continue till the 20th of March 2021 and showcase more than 250 artworks from over 12 countries.

6. UP govt launches 2nd phase of Mission Shakti

Uttar Pradesh government launched the 2nd phase of Mission Shakti on the occasion of International women’s day on 8 March 2021. Under this Mission, CM Yogi Aditynath inaugurated women’s special Police stations in 18 districts along with pink booths and pink toilets. The ‘First Adarsh Mahila Barrack’ in Mahila Thana, Muzaffarnagar was also inaugurated.

7. WCD Ministry sign agreement with Invest India

Union Ministry of Women and Child Development signed an MoU with Invest India in New Delhi on 8 March 21. The aim of the MoU is to enhance co-operation in the thematic areas of nutrition, child protection and development, women empowerment and convergent capacity building in mission mode. It was signed by Joint Secretary in the Ministry Aditi Das Raut and VP of Invest India, Hindol Sengupta.

8. Zolgensma: The world’s most expensive drug

Zolgensma which has a reported list price of £1.79 mn(Rs. 18 cr) per dose is labeled the most expensive drug in the world. It was approved by the National Health Service England on 8 March 2021 to treat babies with a rare fatal genetic disorder. It is a gene therapy indicated for the treatment of pediatric patients less than 2 years of age with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

9. Chingari inks deal with BandEdge

Short video app Chingari has announced a partnership with BandEdge, a music, and talent agency, to promote budding singers, backstage music bands, dancers, among others. BandEdge artistes work and perform across multiple Indian languages. Chingari has also partnered with Bengali streaming service Hoichoi for short-video clips and dialogue from shows and movies on the platform.

10. NRCP covers 34 rivers across 16 states

The National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) has covered 34 rivers in 77 towns across 16 states. With a sanctioned cost of Rs. 5965.90 crores, NRCP has also helped set up a sewage treatment capacity of 2522.03 million litres per day (mld). According to a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) September 2018 report, 351 polluted river stretches have been identified on 323 rivers in the country.

11. LeapFrog in a partnership with Temasek

Global impact investor LeapFrog Investments has signed a strategic partnership with Singapore’s state investor Temasek. Temasek will commit $500 million as an anchor investor across multiple funds of LeapFrog. Temasek will also take a minority stake in LeapFrog and provide growth capital to support the expansion of the LeapFrog team and investment capabilities across Asia and Africa.

12. Arcil appoints Pallav Mohapatra as MD and CEO

Asset reconstruction company Arcil has appointed Pallav Mohapatra as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Prior to this, Mahapatra was the MD and CEO of the Central Bank of India. He has also served as the Deputy Managing Director in charge of the stressed assets management group at the State Bank of India.

13. Delhi government presents Rs. 69,000 cr budget

The Delhi government presented a Rs. 69,000-crore budget themed on patriotism for the financial year 2021-22 on 9 March 2021. The government has proposed to allocate Rs. 45 crores to install high masts to hoist the national flag at 500 places in the national capital. An amount of Rs. 10 crores will be allocated for programs on Bhagat Singh’s life during the 75-week Deshbhakti celebrations.

14. BEL pays interim dividend of 140 %

Bharat Electronics Limited, BEL paid an interim dividend of 140 percent on its paid-up capital to the Government for the financial year 2020-21, on 8 March 2021. CMD of BEL M V Gowtama presented the Interim Dividend cheque of Rs 174,43,63,569 to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. It had paid a total dividend of 280 percent on its paid-up capital for the financial year 2019-20.

15. Karnataka CM presents state budget

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa presented the state budget in the Legislative Assembly on 8 March 2021. He informed that due to the pandemic the State GDP has contracted by 2.6% in comparison with that of 2019-20. The women-oriented programs got a grant of Rs. 37188 cr. The budget has set a target of earning 12,655 crore rupees revenue from the stamps and registration tax.

16. Odisha govt constitutes high-level task force

The Odisha govt has constituted a high-level task force to manage forest fires with more focus. The task force headed by a former Principal Chief Conservator of Forest will review the ongoing fire incidents, causes, and containment, etc. The state forest department has engaged about 1200 persons along with around 300 fire extinguishers and 40 fire fighting vehicles to control the fire.

17. Rs 10,000 each for ASHA, Anganwadi volunteers

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat announced Rs 10,000 each for ASHA and Anganwadi volunteers, on the occasion of International Women Day on 8 March 2021. He announced Rs.15000 for each of the Mahila Mangal Dal and women self-help groups. Minister of State for Higher Education Dhan Singh Rawat also distributed interest-free loans of Rs. 5.27 crore to 156 self-help groups.

18. Kiren Rijiju flags off Fit India Walkathon

To commemorate International Women’s Day, the Fit India Movement in association with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) organized an All Women Fit India Walkathon at Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. The 2km event, was flagged off by the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju. Similar walkathons were organized in 1000 venues across India.

19. Chinese version of e-health certificates

China will launch its version of electronic health certificate for international travelers. The Chinese version of the health certificate will be rolled out for outbound Chinese travelers. The certificate will be available in two formats, digital and in paper, with the certificate holder’s NAT and IgG antibody test results and vaccination status on record.

20. Bangladesh-India held a meeting in Dhaka

Bangladesh and India held the Commerce Secretary level meeting in Dhaka on 8 March 2021. Both sides held extensive discussions on a wide range of issues of mutual interest such as streamlining Certificate of Origin procedures. Both sides decided to expeditiously move forward on the feasibility study on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

21. Temporary legal residency to Venezuelans

The US has announced to offer temporary legal residency to Venezuelans who fled their country due to economic collapse. The US will also review US sanctions intended to isolate the South American nation. This will allow an estimated 3,20,000 people to legally live and work in the country for 18 months. Citizens of 10 countries are in the US now with temporary protected status.

22. Biswajit Daimary takes oath as Rajya Sabha MP

BJP’s Biswajit Daimary on 8 march 2021, took oath as the Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha. Earlier, in February 2021, Daimary was elected unopposed to the upper house of Parliament. Dineshchandra Jemalbhai and Rambhai Mokariya from Gujarat also took oath as Rajya Sabha MPs. Chairman M.Venkaiah Naidu administered the oath to the new members.

23. Defence sector receives FDI worth Rs. 4191 cr

Defence and Aerospace sectors have received foreign direct investment (FDI) worth Rs. 4,191 crore till January 2021. This was stated by Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik. Out of 304 contracts, 190 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment for armed forces in the past five years.

24. 122 NACs identified under NCAP

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry has informed that a total of 122 non-attainment cities, NACs have been identified under the National Clean Air Programme. More than Rs. 2,200 crore have been released in the financial year 2020-21 to tackle the problem of air pollution. An amount of Rs. 2,217 crore have been allocated for 42 urban centres for the improvement of air quality.

25. 81% accounts under a scheme belong to women

Government has informed that more than 81% of accounts under the Stand Up India Scheme and about 68% of loan accounts under the MUDRA scheme belong to women entrepreneurs. Out of the total of over 41 crore accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, over 23 crore accounts belong to women. The three schemes were launched in the years 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively.

26. Sanjay Dhotre inaugurates MEMP 2021

Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Sanjay Dhotre inaugurated the International Conference on Multifunctional Electronic Materials and Processing (MEMP 2021). It was inaugurated on the occasion of the 30th Foundation Day of the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology. He informed that India’s share in global electronics manufacturing has grown to 3.6%.

27. All helpline numbers of Railways merged

Indian Railway has integrated all railway helplines into a single number 139 which is Rail Madad Helpline for quick grievance redressal and enquiry during the journey. It will be easy for the passengers to remember this number and connect with Railways for all their needs during the travel. Helpline number 182 would also be discontinued from the 1st of April 2021 and will be merged into 139.

28. Philippines Vaccine Head to visit India

Chief Implementer of the Philippines’ National Policy Against COVID, Carlito Galvez Jr will visit India to finalize agreements with several vaccine manufacturers. He will visit India from March 9 to 12, 2021 to sign supply agreements and negotiate earlier deliveries of vaccines. The Philippines is among the last countries in Southeast Asia to start its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

29. Fully vaccinated people can gather in USA

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC has recommended that fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing. This guidance is a “1st step” toward restoring normalcy in how people come together. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

30. Jamaica, Tajikistan & Belize receive vaccines

Jamaica, Tajikistan and Belize received the Made in India Covid-19 Vaccines on 9 March 2021. The vaccines were dispatched under the Vaccine Maitri initiative of the Government of India. Mozambique and Nicaragua had received the Made in India Covid-19 Vaccines on 8th of March 2021.

31. Poet NS Lakshminarayana Bhatta passes away

Renowned Kannada poet, eminent academic, and critic Prof N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta passed away on 6 March 2021 in Bengaluru. He was also known as ‘NSL’ in the literary circles and Kannada music world. Prof Bhatta was a Sahitya Akademi winner and had translated 50 of William Shakespeare sonnets into Kannada,

32. Venezuela to introduce 1-million-bolivar bill

The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) has announced the introduction of three new banknotes: 200,000, 500,000 and one million bolivars. The highest denominated bill has a value of just $0.52 cents (€0.44 cents). These new notes will circulate alongside the 10,000-, 20,000-, and 50,000-bolivar bills currently in use. The new bills began to be circulated from 8 March 2021.

33. Switzerland to ban wearing of burqa and niqab

Voters in Switzerland have backed a proposal to ban full-face coverings like burqa and niqab in public places, except sites of worship. The Swiss People’s Party had put across the proposal. Switzerland’s direct democracy system allows the people to vote on any topic as long as it collects 1 lakh signatures.

34. Ultra Millionaire tax in the US

To help reduce the wealth inequality in the US, the country has proposed the ‘Ultra Millionaire Tax Act’. The annual tax would be a 2% levy on Americans with a wealth of more than $50 mn and 3% on a wealth of over $1 bn. Based on the proposed tax, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos would owe $5.7 billion while Tesla’s Elon Musk would owe $4.6 billion in taxes for 2020.

35. Arunachal govt to invest in education sector

The Arunachal Pradesh government will launch “Mission Shiksha”, an initiative to improve the standard of education in the State in the next two years. Improvements will be made in six focus areas including infrastructure development of schools, digital initiatives, etc. The government will invest Rs. 1,000 crore in the education sector and the CM has declared 2021 as the “Year of Education

36. Uttar Pradesh to get 16 new ITIS

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued directives to set up 16 new Industrial Training Institutes (ITIS) based on a PPP model, across the state. The move is a part of the initiative to make the youth efficient and skilled and to provide them with decent job opportunities. At present, over 1.72 lakh students are undergoing skill training at 305 ITIS in Uttar Pradesh

37. HDFC Bank launches ‘SmartUp Unnati

To support women entrepreneurs, HDFC Bank has announced the launch of a mentoring programme ‘SmartUp Unnati’. Under this, senior women leaders from HDFC Bank with expertise spanning domains will mentor women entrepreneurs in helping them achieve their goals over the next one year. It will initially target more than 3,000 women entrepreneurs associated with the bank’s SmartUp programme.

38. Gairsain: 3rd Commissionerate of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat has declared Gairsain as a new administrative division of the state, a third commissionerate after Kumaon and Garhwal. Gairsain was declared as the summer capital of Uttarakhand in 2020. Gairsain division would be comprised of four hill districts, including Almora and Bageshwar and Rudrapyarag and Chamoli. A commissioner and a DIG will be deployed here.

39. MP Assembly passes anti-conversion bill

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly has passed a bill that checks religious conversions through marriage or by any other fraudulent means. On 1 March 2021, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra presented the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 in the House. Governor Anandiben Patel on January 9, 2021, had also given assent to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

40. India’s first forest healing centre in Uttarakhand

First Forest Healing centre of the country was inaugurated on 7 Mar 2021 at Ranikhet in Kalika, Uttarakhand. The forest healing centre has been developed by the Research Wing of Uttarakhand Forest Department after research on the healing properties of the forests and its revitalizing impact on overall health and well being. It involves many activities like forest walking, tree-hugging, etc

41. Indian Bank to divest stake in ASREC India

Indian Bank will divest stake in joint venture entity ASREC (India) Ltd as part of asset monetisation exercise. The bank holds a 38.26 per cent stake in ASREC (India) Ltd. ASREC is an asset reconstruction company in which Bank of India, Union Bank of India, LIC and Deutsche Bank are the shareholders. The company was granted a certificate of registration by the RBI in October 2004.

42. Night safaris launched in Madhya Pradesh

Night safari has been started at three national parks in Madhya Pradesh. These include Bandhavgarh National Park, home to the highest density of Royal Bengal tigers and spotted deers in the world, where the safari starts from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Kanha National Park where the safari starts at 7:30 pm and ends at 10:30 pm. Pench National Park, where the safari is from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm

43. Joan wins Barcelona Presidential Election

Joan Laporta has become Barcelona’s new President. Laporta earlier held the post from 2003 to 2010. An exit poll conducted by Catalan television station TV3 projected Laporta to succeed with 58.3 percent of the vote over Victor Font (31.3) and Antoni Freixa (9.3). In total, there were 51,983 valid votes.

44. Glenmark signs Rohit Sharma as ambassador

Glenmark Pharma has signed cricketer Rohit Sharma as brand ambassador for its product Candid Powder. Sharma has officially signed on to represent Glenmark’s Candid Powder, a legacy brand of the company’s consumer care division. Glenmark’s Candid Dusting Powder is used to treat four key skin problems of redness, irritation, sweat rash, and fungal infections.

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