Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st March 2021) Part - 1 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

Weekly Current Affairs

Current Affairs : Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st March 2021) Part - 1 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

The document Weekly Current Affairs (15th to 21st March 2021) Part - 1 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev is a part of the Current Affairs Course Weekly Current Affairs.
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Banking & Financial Awareness

1. As per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data, what is India’s position in terms of Foreign exchange (Forex) reserves holder ______ 4th.
➢ India’s foreign currency holdings fell by $4.3 billion to $580.3 billion and Russia’s forex holdings were $580.1 billion.
➢ As of March 2021, International Monetary Fund (IMF)table, China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan, Switzerland, India, and Russia.
➢ Foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank(RBI) in foreign currencies, which can include foreign currencies, bonds, treasury bills, and other government securities.

2. The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on which bank for contravention of norms, including specific directions to the lender on remuneration to its employees in the form of commission ______ State Bank of India.

➢ The penalty has been imposed for contravention of certain sections of Banking Regulation Act and its specific directions of RBI issued to the bank on payment of remuneration to employees in the form of commission.

3. Which telecom equipment maker has partnered with Microsoft, Amazon web services and Google to develop new cloudbased 5G radio solutions with its radio access network (RNA) technology ______ Nokia.

➢ The goal of the partnerships is to develop new business cases, the company.
➢ RAN is the part of a mobile telecommunication system.
➢ This system implements a radio access technology.

4. The Reserve Bank of India has asked all the banks in India to implement the image-based Cheque Truncation System (CTS) under respective grids in all its branches by ______ September 30, 2021.
➢ About 18,000 bank branches are still outside any formal clearing arrangement hence, it is proposed to bring all such branches under the CTS image-based clearing mechanism by September 2021.
➢ On February 5, 2021, RBI had announced Pan-India coverage of CTS by bringing all branches of banks in the country under an image-based CTS clearing mechanism.

5. Which becomes the India’s second renewable energy company has been named the Global Lighthouse Company by World Economic Forum(WEF) ______ ReNew Power.

➢ WEF Global Lighthouse Network recognizes companies using new technologies to achieve environmentally sustainable, community-supportive, profitable growth.
➢ ReNew’s Hubli facility was specifically nominated as a Global Lighthouse for its ground-breaking work in the development and deployment of advanced analytics and machine learning solutions to increase the yield of ReNew’s wind and solar assets.

6. Which public sector bank has incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary which will deal with the banks' non-financial support services related to its credit card business ______  Punjab National Bank.

➢ The authorised capital of the company is Rs 25 crore, which is divided into 25 million shares of Rs 10 each, and the paid-up capital is Rs 15 crore.
➢ It is important to note that among public sector banks, State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, has a separate arm for its card business -- SBI Cards and Payment Services.

7. Which state-owned oil company and Israeli battery developer Phinergy formalised a joint venture to manufacture ultralightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs)  ______ Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

➢ The equal joint venture will replace lithium with aluminum to make batteries that will charge faster and give a longer run.
➢ This will "help overcome most of the challenges facing EVs including range anxiety.

8. Which bank and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has signed first Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) linked External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) deal with by replacing the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) ______ State Bank of India.

➢ The SOFR linked ECB deal is for about $100 million with a maturity of 5 years.
➢ This deal made by SBI & IOCL is the first SOFR linked ECB deal in India. It will facilitate other firms in India to take this as a reference to make a transition from Libor to Alternate Reference Rates (ARR) linked ECB.

9. Which company has signed an initial pact with the National Productivity Council (NPC) to explore the business opportunities in consultancy services ______ Power Trading Corporation of India Limited.

➢ Under this pact, both NPC and PTC have agreed to jointly explore and develop business opportunities for consultancy/project management services in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, productivity enhancements, quality assurances, optimization of technology, and others within India and overseas.

10. Which IT company announced to acquire a 70 % stake in Ireland-based Perigord Asset Holdings Ltd for around Rs 182 crore and plans to buy the remaining 30% shareholding over a period of 4 years ______ Tech Mahindra.

➢ It is intended to help in augmenting its expertise in the domains of global pharmaceutical, and HLS (Healthcare and Lifesciences).
➢ It is a part of Tech Mahindra’s long-term growth plan which is to make a presence across key markets in Ireland, Germany, the USA, and India with enhanced global delivery.

11. Government's think tank NITI Aayog has kept how many public sector banks including state bank of India out of the privatization plan ______ six.

➢ The other five PSBs are Punjab National Bank, Union Bank, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda.
➢ The government will soon take a call on the two banks and one general insurer that will be taken up for privatization in the next fiscal year.
➢ The NITI Aayog’s recommendation to exclude these is in line with the thinking within the finance ministry that is keen on expeditious integration of systems at these banks, the publication mentioned.

12. Which of the following organisation launched ‘UPI-Help’ ______ NPCI.

➢ The ‘UPI-Help’ will help in the grievance redressal mechanism for BHIM app users.
➢ With this application, users will be able to check the status of the pending transactions, raise complaints against transactions that are not processed if the money has not reached the other end and raise complaints against merchant transactions.

13. Which bank and Continuum Energy Levanter Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Continuum Green Energy (Continuum) has executed the world’s first green hedging transaction, with a second party opinion based on a specially designed green hedge framework ______ Deutsche Bank.

➢ Both the firms are working together to develop a green hedge framework to support the implementation of Continuum’s green bond framework.
➢ External reviewer, Cicero Green, has issued the second party opinion on the green bond and the green hedge frameworks.

14. International Air Transport Association (IATA) has partnered with which bank for providing ‘EasyPay’ services 'pay as you go’ to travel agents in India which will replace the traditional billing and settlement system ______ Standard Chartered Bank.
➢ The new system is aimed at increasing the digitisation of payments that will result in improving cash flows for the aviation industry and for the travel agents.
➢ In the earlier system, the agents would receive credit for tickets.
➢ As one of IATA’s EasyPay service providers in India, Stanchart said it will provide greater payment flexibility to travel agents.

15. Which intergovernmental bank has raised over USD 307 Million from the first Panda bond issue in more than a decade ______ Asian Development Bank.

➢ It is the first borrowing of ADB from a CNY10 billion program approved by regulator National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors in June 2020.
➢ It will support ADB for its development project in china during its 5-year country partnership strategy.

16. Which bank has partnered with SMC Global Securities to provide online trading services to the bank’s customers ______ Union bank of India.

➢ Customers can trade using the portal www.smctradeonline.com apart from desktop and mobile applications.
➢ SMC has a presence in more than 550 cities which can service the lender's 9,500 branches.

17. According to UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Indian economy is estimated to contract by what percent in FY 2020-21 ______ 6.9%.

➢ However, it forecasted to record a "stronger recovery" in 2021 and grow by 5 per cent in FY 2021-22.
➢ The September 2020 report by UNCTAD had said that India’s economy was forecast to contract by 5.9 per cent in 2020 and recover to 3.9 per cent in 2021.

18. Which banking institutions has released a publication titled “Handbook on Ethics for Insolvency Professionals: Ethical and Regulatory Framework”, a practical guide for insolvency professionals (IPs) for discharging their duties ethically in association with British High Commission ______ Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).

➢ Dr. Navrang Saini, Whole Time Member, IBBI released the handbook in the presence of Ms. Natalie Toms, Chief Economist and Counsellor, British High Commission.
➢ The launch was followed by the webinar on “Pre-Pack Insolvency Resolution Process: Report of the Sub-Committee of the ILC”.
➢ It is based on inputs on the best practices followed by insolvency practitioners in the UK.

19. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of what per cent of the equity share capital of North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (NESCO Utility) by The Tata Power Company Limited (TPCL) ______ 51%.

➢ The proposed acquisition is in accordance with the competitive bidding process initiated by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (“OERC”) under Section 20 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
➢ TPCL which is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra was incorporated on 18th September 1919, a public listed company that is primarily engaged in the business of power generation, transmission, and distribution. It is a part of the Tata group.

20. The Power Grid Corporation of India has signed an agreement with Jaiprakash Power Ventures (JPVL) for the acquisition of what percent stake of JPVL in Jaypee PowerGrid (JPL) ______ 74%.
➢ Powergrid has already owned a 26% stake in JPVL and now through this acquisition, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Grid.
➢ JPL has developed a 214-kilometer-long EHV power transmission project to evacuate power from the KarchamWangtoo project in Himachal Pradesh.


1. Padma Bhushan recipient and veteran artist Laxman Pai passed away recently, he belongs to which state ______ Goa.

➢ The renowned painter was born in Goa in 1926, he is well known for his contemporary paintings he is also the former principal of the Goa College of Art. He received the third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan award in 2018.
2. Padma Shri Chemacheri Kunhiraman Nari passed away recently, he was a performer of which classical dance form ______ Kathakali.

➢ He founded the Bharatiya Natyyakalayalam, the first school of dance in North Kerala in 1945 and in 1983 he established Cheliya Kathakali Vidyalayam in Kozhikode.
➢ He has won several honours for his contribution to the art form of Kathakali, which includes, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Award in 1979, Kerala Kalamandalam award in 2001, Kala Ratna award in 2009, Mayilpeeli award and Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore award.

3. Renowned personality GV Ramakrishna passed away recently, he was former chairman/head of which institution ______ SEBI.

➢ Born in 1930 in Bengaluru, he started his career as a biochemist and then opted for civil services in 1952.
➢ Known for his stellar administrative performance, Ramakrishna was appointed as the chairman Sebi in 1990 when it lacked legal status. Among his many works, he was known for strongly advocating to ban the badla stock trading system in 1994.

➢ He headed SEBI till that year and then became the first chairman of the Disinvestment Commission in 1996.

Important Days

1. Ministry of Women and Child Development has celebrated Poshan Pakhwada from  ______ 16th to 31st March, 2021.
➢ Addressing nutritional challenges through Food Forestry and organizing Poshan Panchayats are the key focus areas for Poshan Pakhwada 2021.
➢ To address nutritional challenges, distribution of 4 saplings of nutrition rich plants per Anganwadi Centre (AWC) in the Aspirational Districts will be done under the supervision of local panchayat and DM/DC by National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH.

2. The National Vaccination Day, also known as National Immunization Day is observed every year on which date ______ 16th March.

➢ The National Vaccination day 2020 aims to eradicate both polio and the COVID-19.
➢ The day was first observed on 16th March 1995, the day on which the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme became operational.

3. International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is annually observed across the globe on  ______ 14th March.

➢ The day is observed to celebrate the beauty and importance of mathematics and its essential role in everyone’s life. The day also marks the birth anniversary of renowned mathematician and physicist Albert Einstein and death anniversary of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
➢ The theme of the International Day of Mathematics 2021 is “Mathematics for a Better World”.

4. The International Day of Action for Rivers is annually observed across the globe on  ______ 14th March.
➢ 14th March 2021 marks the 24th edition of the International Day of Action for Rivers.
➢ The theme of International Day of Action for Rivers 2021 is “Rights of Rivers”.

5. World Consumer Rights Day is annually celebrated across the globe on ______ 15th March.

➢ The world Consumer Rights day is coordinated by Consumers International, the membership organisation for consumer groups across the globe.
➢ The theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2021 is “Tackling Plastic Pollution”.

6. The World Sleep Day is observed annually on which date ______ 19th March.

➢ The world Sleep day is annually organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society.
➢ The World Sleep Day 2021 is co-chaired by Lourdes DelRosso, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Sleep Medicine Fellowship Director at University of Washington and Professor Fang Han, MD of The Sleep Center, Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing, China.

7. United Nations International Happiness Day is celebrated every year on ______ 20th March.

➢ It is a global event designated by the United Nations.
➢ The theme of the 2021 International Day of Happiness campaign is ‘Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind’.
➢ First International Day of Happiness was celebrated on 20th March 2013.
➢ International Day of Happiness is a day to value our happiness and make people happy.

8. World Sparrow Day is observed every year on which date ______ 20th March.

➢ World Sparrow Day is annually observed across the world on 20th March to create awareness and to bring attention to the significance and importance of conservation and protection of the sparrows and other such birds.
➢ The first world sparrow day was observed on 20th March 2010.
➢ The theme of World Sparrow Day is “I Love Sparrows”.

9. World Oral Health Day is celebrated every year on which date ______ 20th March.

➢ The day is observed across the globe on 20th March to promote the importance of oral health and to reduce the problems of oral diseases that affect the individuals, health system and economy.
➢ The theme of World Oral Health Day 2021 is “Be Proud of your Mouth” and this theme will be followed in 2022 and 2023.

10. International Day of Forest is celebrated every year on which date ______ 21st March.

➢ The United Nations observes March 21 as the International Day of Forests, commemorating the green cover around the world and reiterating its importance.
➢ The theme of the International Day of Forests for 2021 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.

New Appointments

1. Who has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) ______ Kuldiep Singh.

➢ Mr. Singh is currently Special DG of CRPF where the post of DG is vacant following superannuation of A.P. Maheshwari on February 28th.
➢ Mr Singh is a 1986 batch officer of West Bengal cadre.

2. Who has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of National Security Guard (NSG) ______ M.A. Ganapathy.

➢ His appointment is up to February 29, 2024.
➢ The post of DG, NSG has been vacant since last October when the then DG A.K. Singh retired.

3. Who has been appointed as the Chairman of the international body Stop TB Partnership Board ______ Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
➢ He was appointed in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis from India by 2025.
➢ Dr Harsh Vardhan will serve a three-year term, commencing from July this year.
➢ The Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB.

4. Who has been appointed as the chairman of the committee constituted by the Government of India (GoI) which will be responsible for the overall execution and monitoring of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme ______ H K Mittal.

➢ The committee will evaluate and select incubators for allotment of funds under the scheme, monitor progress and take all necessary measures for efficient utilisation of funds towards fulfilment of objectives of the scheme.
➢ The committee, it said, would be chaired by H K Mittal from the Department of Science and Technology.

5. Name the cricketer who has been appointed as the brand ambassador of NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd ______ Ajinkya Rahane.
➢ Rahane will feature in a campaign slated to be released in the first week of April, which will talk about the ease of procuring loans through NeoGrowth for small businesses. The campaign "Keeping it simple" will show the day-today struggles of small businesses while scaling up and how NeoGrowth can help them overcome it.

6. Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as first female president of which country ______Tanzania.
➢ She took the oath of the office after the sudden death of John Magufuli from an illness shrouded in mystery.
➢ The 61-year-old took the oath of office in Dar es Salaam before inspecting troops at a military parade and receiving a cannon salute.

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