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March 18 | Daily Current Affairs 2021
Table of Contents
1. Ordnance Factory Day is observed on which date?
A) March 12
B) March 18
C) March 13
D) March 15
E) March 16
Answer: B) March 18
Ordnance Factory Day:
- Ordnance Factory Day is observed every year on March 18 to commemorate the foundation of the first Ordnance Factory in colonial India at Cossipore near Kolkata in 1801.
- The Indian Ordnance Factories, which operate under the Ministry of Defence (MoD, celebrate the day as an event that gives the unique opportunity to exhibit the research, development, production, marketing logistics of the vast array of arms and ammunition by the ordnance factories in the country.
- The history and development of ordnance factories is linked to the British era in India.
- The East India Company of England, to increase their economic interest and political hold, considered manufacturing military hardware as a vital element.
- The British authorities in 1775 established a Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata, which marks the official beginning of the Army Ordnance in India.
- They further set up a gun powder factory in 1787 at Ishapore, which started production in 1791.
- In 1801, the British established a Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata and production started on March 18, 1802.
- This heralded the first industrial establishment of Ordnance Factories in India and they continue to operate till date.
Global Recycling Day:
- Global Recycling Day is observed every year on March 18 to create awareness among the masses about the rapid pace at which our natural resources are being used.
The day promotes the concept and practice of recycling.
- Every year, events are organised by environmentalist and activists to promote the cause.
History And Significance:
- Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize, and celebrate, the importance of recycling in preserving the Earth’s natural resources.
- The main mission of Global Recycling Day, as set out by the Global Recycling Foundation, is to ask people not to waste natural resources and to tell leaders of the world about the importance of recycling.
- The Global Recycling Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations, work unitedly towards these awareness programmes.
Theme Of Global recycling Day 2021:
- Every year, the day is observed with a particular theme. In 2021, the theme of Global Recycling Day is “Recycling Heroes”.
- Its main aim is to recognise the people, places and activities that showcase the importance of recycling in preserving natural resources.
- Recycling has helped in reducing carbon emissions by over 700 million tonnes every year.
- Notably, over 1.6 million people are employed around the world in the recycling industry.
- In this decade, the yearly contribution of recycling will increase up to $400 billion.
2. Who became the second Indian to complete 9000 runs in T20 cricket after skipper Virat Kohli?
A) R Ashwin
B) KL Ragul
C) Suresh Raina
D) M S Dhoni
E) Rohit Sharma
Answer: E) Rohit Sharma
- Senior opener Rohit Sharma became the second Indian to complete 9000 runs in T20 cricket after skipper Virat Kohli.
- Rohit achieved the feat when he drove spinner Adil Rashid for a single during the fourth T20 International against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
- In T20 Internationals, Rohit has so far accumulated 2800 runs from 110 matches at an average of 32.41 and with a strike rate of 138.36.
- Across T20s, he has amassed 9001 runs from 342 matches with a strike rate of 133.36.
- He has to his credit six centuries and 63 fifties in the game’s shortest format. Rohit also has over 500 runs ti his name in the IPL.
- Last January, Rohit became the third fastest player in the world to reach 9000 runs in One-day Internationals
Rohit Sharma – Complete 9000 runs in T20I, 2nd Indian after Virat Kohli.
3. John Magufuli has passed away. He served as President of which country?
Answer: C) Tanzania
- Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has passed away at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.
- He was 61.
- According to the African country’s constitution, Ms Hassan will be sworn in as the new president.
Currency: Tanzanian shilling
John Magufuli – Tanzanian President.
4. Skariah Thomas passed away. He was related to which party?
Answer: D) Congress
- Veteran Kerala Congress leader and former Lok Sabha member Skariah Thomas died at a private hospital in Kochi due to post-Covid complications.
- Thomas was the chairman of Kerala Congress (Skariah Thomas), which is part of Kerala’s ruling CPI(M)-led LDF.
- He was the chairman of the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd under the state Industries department.
- Thomas was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kottayam constituency in the elections held in 1977 and 1980.
Skariah Thomas – Veteran Kerala Congress leader.
5. What is the rank of India in the Global House Price Index Q4 2020 by Knight Frank?
Answer: B) 56
- Total countries – 56.
BANKING AND FINANCE
6. The World Bank has approved how much amount to help Bangladesh to provide support and services to the low-income urban youths impacted by COVID 19 pandemic and the migrants who had to return involuntarily?
A) USD 500 million
B) USD 400 million
C) USD 200 million
D) USD 100 million
E) USD 300 million
Answer: C) USD 200 million
- The World Bank has approved USD 200 million to help Bangladesh to provide support and services to the low-income urban youths impacted by COVID 19 pandemic and the migrants who had to return involuntarily.
- The Recovery and Advancement of Informal Sector Employment (RAISE) project of World Bank is aimed to benefit about 1.75 lakh poor urban youth through training, apprenticeship programme, counselling, micro and self-employment support.
- It will also help about 2 lakh migrants who were forced to return to Bangladesh to reintegrate in the domestic labour migrate or prepare for re-migration.
- The funding will provide them cash grants and counselling services based on their needs and aspirations.
- The USD 200 million financing is from the World Banks’ International Development Association (IDA) which provides concessional lending over a 30 year term including a grace period of 5 years.
Members: 189 countries (IBRD), 173 countries (IDA)
Hq: Washington D.C, US
Head: David Malpass
Currency: Bangladeshi Taka
President: Mohammad Abdul Hamid
Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
World Bank – Provide USD 200 million to Bangladesh to support COVID 19 affected youth, returnee migrants.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS
7. “Saving Us” is authored by whom?
A) Sanjay Hayhoe
B) Katharine Hayhoe
C) Varun Hayhoe
D) Sathish Hayhoe
E) Sudhan Hayhoe
Answer: B) Katharine Hayhoe
- The new chief scientist at the Nature Conservancy, Katharine Hayhoe, has written a book about climate change.
- One Signal Publishers announced that Hayhoe’s Saving Us will be released
- Hayhoe will combine research and personal stories as she attempts to unite readers, including those who deny the overwhelming evidence of climate change, and motivate them toward action.
Saving Us – Katharine Hayhoe (Author) – One Signal Publishers (Publisher).
8. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) secretary has been granted a two-month extension till May 31, 2021. What is the name of TRAI Secretary?
A) Sunil Gupta
B) Sathish Gupta
C) Sandeep Gupta
D) Varun Gupta
E) Prabhu Gupta
Answer: A) Sunil Gupta
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) secretary Sunil Gupta has been granted a two-month extension till May 31, 2021.
- Gupta had taken over as TRAI secretary in September 2017 shortly after his predecessor Sudhir Gupta retired in July that year. Before his current role, he was principal advisor (broadcasting & cable services) at TRAI.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India:
Founded: 20 February 1997
Headquarters: New Delhi
Agency executive: Ram Sewak Sharma (Chairperson), Sunil K. Gupta (Secretary)
TRAI secretary Sunil Gupta – Get two-month extension till May-end.
9. Which organization has been conferred the prestigious ‘Role Model’ Award at the 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21?
E) Indian Oil Corporation
Answer: D) NTPC
- NTPC Ltd, a Public Sector Undertaking under Ministry of Power has been conferred the prestigious ‘Role Model’ Award at the 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21.
The award was presented in the virtual conference “Learn from the Achievers” held.
- This award is the highest level of recognition in the field of Human Resources by Confederation of Indian Industry.
- Since the institutionalization of CII National HR Excellence Award, this is only the second time when the award of Role Model has been conferred to any organization.
- NTPC is the only PSU to have received this prestigious award.
Abbreviation: National Thermal Power Corporation Limited
Headquarters: New Delhi, Delhi
Chairman: Shri Gurdeep Singh
NTPC – ‘Role Model’ award at 11th CII National HR Excellence Award 2020-21.
10. USAID and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have announced a how much amount-loan guarantee program to finance investment in renewable energy solutions by Indian SMEs.?
A) USD 21 million
B) USD 11 million
C) USD 31 million
D) USD 41 million
E) USD 51 million
Answer: D) USD 41 million
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have announced a USD 41 million-loan guarantee program to finance investment in renewable energy solutions by Indian SMEs.
- Encourage Capital has invested USD 15 million in EFL, which will use the USAID-DFC loan portfolio guarantee to stimulate the rooftop solar market – representing a USD 9 billion market opportunity – for SMEs.
UN, partners launch $3.85 billion humanitarian plan for war-torn Yemen:
- The UN and its partners have launched the 2021 humanitarian response plan for Yemen that seeks $3.85 billion for urgent, life-saving aid for more than half of the country’s war-torn population
Abbreviation: United States Agency for International Development
Founder: John F. Kennedy
Founded: 3 November 1961
Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation:
Agency executive: Dev Jagadesan, Acting Chief Executive Officer
Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
Founded: 20 December 2019
USAID + DFC – Announce $41 million financing for renewable energy in India.
11. Which organization has launched ‘Sahi Disha’ campaign to celebrate women’s livelihoods and entrepreneurship in rural India?
Answer: D) UNDP
- The UNDP has launched ‘Sahi Disha’ campaign to celebrate women’s livelihoods and entrepreneurship in rural India.
- The campaign highlights issues and hurdles that impact the opportunities for women in rural India to access jobs and livelihoods and establish enterprises that can help them become more self-reliant.
- The Disha initiative, a five-year collaboration between UNDP and the IKEA Foundation, enabled one million women through skilling and counselling services to access job and livelihood opportunities across five states – Delhi NCR, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana.
- The initiative also provided psycho-social support to mentor and empower women in starting their own enterprises and in challenging gender stereotypes at home and in the community.
The United Nations Development Programme:
Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
Founded: 22 November 1965, United States
Head: Achim Steiner
UNDP – ‘Sahi Disha’ campaign to celebrate women’s livelihoods in rural India.
12. Which country recently joined International Solar Alliance (ISA)?
Answer: C) Italy
- Italy joined International Solar Alliance (ISA) upgrading its partnership with India in a year that coincided with G-20 Presidency and co-presidency of COP26 under Italy.
- The ISA, whose Secretariat is based in Delhi, was launched in Paris in 2015 by Prime Minister Modi on the occasion of the UN Climate Change Conference COP21 with the aim of creating a forum for the development of solar energy production technologies and to enhance sustainable development and strengthen energy security, as well as provide greater access to energy for developing countries.
- The accession of Italy takes place in the year of the Italian presidency of G20 and co-presidency of COP26.
Italy – Join International Solar Alliance.
13. Which company entered into a collaboration with ‘Phinergy’, an Israeli start-up company specialising in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems?
E) Indian Oil Corporation
Answer: E) Indian Oil Corporation
- Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) entered into a collaboration with ‘Phinergy’, an Israeli start-up company specialising in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems, to form IOC Phinergy Private Limited.
- The joint venture will manufacture Aluminum-Air systems in India to boost India’s flagship programme – “Make in India” and recycle used Aluminum to strengthen India’s energy security.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited:
Chairperson: Shrikant Madhav Vaidya
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 30 June 1959
Indian Oil Corporation + Israeli firm Phinergy – Hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems.
14. Which state became the first state in the country to have its own ethanol policy, called Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021?
A) Tamil Nadu
B) Andhra Pradesh
C) Uttar Pradesh
Answer: E) Bihar
- Bihar became the first state in the country to have its own ethanol policy, called Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, which has been approved by the Cabinet.
- The new policy would permit ethanol production in Bihar from all feed stocks permitted by National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, and subsequently by National Biofuel Co-ordination Committee.
- To provide investors additional capital subsidy at 15% of cost of Plant and machinery up to a maximum of ₹5 crore.
- The capital subsidy will be in addition to existing incentives under Bihar Industrial Investment Promotion Policy, 2016.
- Additional subsidy for SCs, STs, EBCs, women, differently abled, war widows, acid attack victims and third gender entrepreneurs.
CM: Nitish Kumar
Governor: Phagu Chauhan
Bihar – First state to come up with new ethanol policy.
15. Which state chief Minister launched RBK channel in virtual mode?
D) Arunachal Pradesh
E) Andhra Pradesh
Answer: E) Andhra Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBK) channel in virtual mode at the camp office and held a review meeting on procurement of Rabi crop produce of 2020-21 and preparations for Kharif 2021–22.
Capital: Visakhapatnam (executive), Amaravati (legislative), Kurnool (judicial)
CM: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
Governor: Biswa Bhushan Harichandan
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy – RBK channel in virtual mode.
16. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant inaugurates which Edition of Science Film Festival?
Answer: A) 6
- Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant inaugurated the 6th edition of Science Film Festival in the city.
|Subhash Phal Desai||Vice Chairman, Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG)|
|Levinson Martins||Director, Department of Science, Technology and Waste Management|
|Nimish Kapoor||Convener ISW Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi|
|Professor Harilal Menon||Goa University|
|Dr Eaknath Chakurkar||Director, Central Coastal Agricultural Institute|
|Jayant Sahasrabuddhe||National Organizing Secretary|
|Vijnana Bharati, Shekhar Sardesai||Patron of SCI-FFI|
|Dr Sunil Kumar Singh||Director, CSIR-NIO|
|Suhas Godse||President Vidnyan Parishad, Goa|
CM: Pramod Sawant
Governor : Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Pramod Sawant – Inaugurate the 6th edition of Science Film Festival in the city.
17. Who announced the Vehicle Scrapping Policy in Lok Sabha?
A) Nitin Gadkari
B) Raj Kumar Singh
C) Narendra Modi
D) Amit Shah
E) Nirmala Sitharaman
Answer: A) Nitin Gadkari
- Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari announced the Vehicle Scrapping Policy in Lok Sabha. Making a Suo Motu statement in the Lok Sabha, the Minister said that “Older vehicles pollute the environment 10 to 12 times more than fit vehicles and pose a risk to road safety”.
- He said that “in the interest of a clean environment and rider and pedestrian safety, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is introducing the Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Program (VVMP) or “Vehicle Scrapping Policy” which is aimed at creating an Eco-System for phasing out of Unfit and Polluting Vehicles”.
- The objectives of the policy are to reduce population of old and defective vehicles, achieve reduction in vehicular air pollutants to fulfil India’s climate commitments, improve road and vehicular safety, achieve better fuel efficiency, formalize the currently informal vehicle scrapping industry and boost availability of low-cost raw materials for automotive, steel and electronics industry.
- The criteria for a vehicle to be scrapped is primarily based on the fitness of vehicles through Automated Fitness Centres in case of commercial vehicles and Non-Renewal of Registration in case of private vehicles.
- The criteria is adapted from international best practices after a comparative study of standards from various countries like Germany, UK, USA and Japan.
- The Policy proposes the following—
1. It is proposed that commercial vehicles be de-registered after 15 years in case of failure to get the fitness certificate. As a disincentive measure, increased fees for fitness certificate and fitness test may be applicable for commercial vehicles 15 year onwards from the date of initial registration.
2. It is proposed that Private Vehicles be de-registered after 20 years if found unfit or in case of a failure to renew registration certificate. As a disincentive measure, increased re-registration fees will be applicable for private vehicles 15 year onwards from the date of initial registration.
3. It is being proposed that all vehicles of the Central Government, State Government, Municipal Corporation, Panchayats, State Transport Undertakings, Public Sector Undertakings and autonomous bodies with the Union and State Governments may be de-registered and scrapped after 15 years from the date of registration.
4. The scheme shall provide strong incentives to owners of old vehicles to scrap old and unfit vehicles through registered scrapping centres, which shall provide the owners with a scrapping certificate.
- Some of these incentives include:
(A) Scrap Value for the old vehicle given by the scrapping centre, which is approximately 4-6% of ex-showroom price of a new vehicle.
(B) The state governments may be advised to offer a road- tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles
(C) The vehicle manufacturers are also advised for providing a discount of 5% on purchase of new vehicle against the scrapping certificate.
(D) In addition, the registration fees may also be waived for purchase of new vehicle against the scrapping certificate.
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will promote setting up of Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF) across India and will encourage public and private participation for opening up of such centres.
- Tentative timeline for application of Proposed Scrapping Policy is as follows:
1. Rules for Fitness Tests and Scrapping Centres: 01st October 2021
2. Scrapping of Government and PSU vehicles above 15 years of age: 01st April 2022
3. Mandatory Fitness Testing for Heavy Comm. Vehicles: 01st April 2023
4. Mandatory Fitness-Testing (Phased manner for other categories): 01st June 2024
Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Minister: Nitin Gadkari
Constituency: Nagpur, Maharashtra
Shri Nitin Gadkari – Announce Vehicle Scrapping Policy.