Monthly Current Affairs March And April 2021 With Video Lecture [Download PDF]

SECTION A – PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2021

  • Amended Sections 21, 24, 33 and 44 of GNCTD Act of 1991.
  • States that the “government” in the National Capital Territory of Delhi meant the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.
  • It seeks to ensure that the L-G is “necessarily granted an opportunity” to give her or his opinion before any decision taken by the Council of Ministers (or the Delhi Cabinet) is implemented.
  • It bars the Assembly or its committees from making rules to take up matters concerning day-to-day administration, or to conduct inquiries in relation to administrative decisions.

69TH AMENDMENT ACT, 1992 (Added Articles 239AA and 239AB)

  • Article 239AA provides that:
  • Union Territory of Delhi be called the National Capital Territory of Delhi and its administrator shall be known as Lt. Governor.
  • It also creates a legislative assembly for Delhi which can make laws on subjects under the State List and Concurrent List except on these matters: public order, land, and police.
  • It also provides for a Council of Ministers for Delhi consisting of not more than 10% of the total number of members in the assembly.
  • Article 239AB provides that the President may by order suspend the operation of any provision of Article 239AA or of all or any of the provisions of any law made in pursuance of that article. This provision resembles Article 356 (President’s Rule).

Supreme Court Judgments in Government of NCT of Delhi vs Union of India case and another case in 2018:

  • The government was not under obligation to seek the concurrence of the L-G on its decisions and
  • That any differences between them should be resolved keeping in view the constitutional primacy of representative government and cooperative federalism.
  • Essentially, the SC judgment made it extremely difficult for the L-G to refer such matters to the President.

Copyright Amendment Rules 2021

  • To reinforce transparency in working of copyright societies a new rule has been introduced, whereby the copyright societies will be required to draw up and make public an Annual Transparency Report for each financial year.
  • The amendments have harmonized the Copyright Rules with the provisions of Finance Act, 2017 whereby the Copyright Board has been merged with Appellate Board.

Amendments:

  • The time limit afforded to the Registrar of Copyrights to accept or reject the application for registration of a copyright society has been extended from 60 days to 180 days.
  • The Chairman and other members of the Governing Council of a copyright society are eligible for re-election after completion of their 2-year terms.
  • Copyright societies are required to publish their tariff schemes once framed.
  • Copyright societies are required to create a system for payment of royalties through electronic modes and implement a system through which such payments are traceable.
  • If the royalty cannot be distributed within a quarter due to the authors / owners not being identified or located, the copyright societies are required to maintain record of unpaid royalties separately in their accounts.
  • If royalty remains unpaid at the end of 3 years from end of financial year in which the collection of royalty occurred, the same shall be transferred to the welfare fund of the copyright societies.
  • Copyright societies are required to take all measures to identify and locate authors / owners and is required to publish certain information on its website quarterly.
  • The annual transparency report for each financial year is required to be drawn up and made public by copyright societies within 6 months following the end of that financial year. The report must contain information on activities of the copyright societies, number of refusals to grant licence, information on total royalties collected etc.
  • Copyright societies shall have further obligations to make available on their respective websites: (i) a facility to search from database of works; (ii) copy of the annual transparency report; and (iii) details of undistributed royalties in relation to authors / owners who cannot be identified or located

Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code Ordinance 2021

  • The amendments aims to provide an efficient alternative insolvency resolution framework for corporate persons classified as MSMEs under the Code, for ensuring quicker, cost-effective and value maximizing outcomes for all the stakeholders, in a manner which is least disruptive to the continuity of MSMEs businesses, and which preserves jobs.

Drugs and Cosmetics Act 2021

  • This will come into effect from 1st April 2021 (as per S.O. 775(E) dated 08th February 2019 under Medical Devices Rules 2017):
  • All Implantable Medical Devices.
  • CT scan equipment.
  • MRI equipment.
  • Defibrillators.
  • PET Equipment.
  • Dialysis Machine.
  • X-Ray Machine; and
  • Bone marrow cell separator.
  • According to the new order, the manufacturers and importers are required to take manufacturing license from Central/ State Licensing Authority.

Tribunal Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021

  • It dissolves certain existing appellate bodies and transfers their functions (such as adjudication of appeals) to other existing judicial bodies. It has made amendments to:
  • Trademarks Act
  • GI of Goods (registration and protection) Act,
  • Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act
  • Control of National Highways (land and traffic) Act
  • Finance Act. 
  • Cinematograph Act
  • Copyright Act
  • Customs Act
  • Patents Act
  • Airports Authority of India Act
  • The Finance Act, 2017 empowered the central government to notify rules on:
  • qualifications of members of tribunals
  • terms and conditions of their service, and
  • composition of search-cum-selection committees for 19 tribunals (such as the Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunals). 
  • The Ordinance amends the 2017 Act to include provisions related to the composition of search-cum-selection committees and term of office of tribunal members in the Act itself.
  • The Ordinance abolishes various tribunals under various statutes including the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) and effects consequential amendments in intellectual property laws, viz. those relating to trade marks, copyright, patents and geographical indications. Whilst broadly amendments have been effected in all intellectual property statutes to replace a reference to the IPAB with a reference to the High Court, we have focused on the changes introduced to the Copyright Act, 1957 (Act) which make a reference to a High Court or a Commercial Court:
  • The references to the “Appellate Board” in the Act, i.e. the IPAB have been omitted and substituted with “Commercial Court” or “High Courts”, as applicable. A wide definition of “Commercial Court” has been included by drawing reference to the ‘commercial courts’ as designated under section 3 and 4 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 i.e those designated at the District Court level as well as the commercial division of the High Court.
  • A “Commercial Court” shall be the applicable authority to approach in case of (i) any dispute related to copyright assignments; (ii) grant and/or termination of various licenses / compulsory licenses in respect of copyrighted works and royalty fixation in respect thereof; and (iii) any appeal in relation to the tariff scheme published by a copyright society.
  • Rectification of the Register of Copyrights shall be initiated before the High Courts. Further, the decisions of the Registrar of Copyrights shall also be amenable to an appeal before a Single Judge of the High Court within a period of 3 months and a further appeal to ERGO COPYRIGHT (AMENDMENT) RULES 2021 COME INTO FORCE AND AN ORDINANCE ABOLISHES THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY APPELLATE BOARD 3 a bench of the High Court within 3 months of the order of the Single Judge.
  • The appeals, applications or proceedings pending under any law before the IPAB shall be transferred to the Court before which it would have been filed had the Ordinance been in force at the time of filing of the same. Additionally, the Court is empowered to deal with such matters as it deems fit, either from the stage it stood before such transfer or from any earlier stage or de novo.

SECTION B – INTERNATIONAL SUMMITS & AGREEMENTS

6th India – Brazil – South Africa Women’s Forum

  • Led by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, the event witnessed participation of Ministers and officials responsible for Women Affairs of IBSA Countries.
  • The Forum has resolve to carry forth its vision to ensure improving the status and condition of women by addressing structural and institutional barriers as well as strengthening gender mainstreaming.

Maritime India Summit 2021

  • In his welcome address, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Maritime India Summit is one of the biggest virtual summits in the world, with the participation of more than 1.7 lakh registered participants from more than 100 nations. In this three-day summit, we will have ministers from 8 nations, more than 50 global CEOs and more than 160 speakers which includes 115 international speakers from 24 nations.
  • Prime Minister released e-book of ‘ Maritime India Vision-2030’.
  • Prime Minister also unveiled the e-plaque of ‘Sagar-Manthan’: Mercantile Maritime Domain Awareness Centre(MM-DAC). It is an information system for enhancing maritime safety, search and rescue capabilities, security and marine environment protection.

Global Bio-India Summit 2021

  • It is a mega international congregation of Biotechnology, with stakeholders including international bodies, regulatory bodies, Central and State Ministries, SMEs, large industries, bioclusters, research institutes, investors, and the startup ecosystem. Dates: March 01 to 03.
  • India was ranked 48th in the Global Innovation Index Report 2020.

US – India Artificial Intelligence Initiative

  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and the U.S. Department of State are respective nodal departments for IUSSTF.
  • The USIAI will focus on AI cooperation in critical areas that are priorities for both countries like healthcare, smart cities, materials, agriculture, energy, and manufacturing.

Sars-CoV2 Genomics Consortium

  • The overall aim of the proposed Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium is to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network.
  • This vital research consortium will also assist in developing potential vaccines in the future.

India – Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation

  • India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement will enter into force on 1st April 2021. India and Mauritius signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) on 22 February 2021. The CECPA is the first trade Agreement signed by India with a country in Africa.

Leaders’ Summit on Climate 2021

  • On April 22 and 23, US President Joe Biden brought together 40 world leaders in a virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate to rally the world in tackling the climate crisis.
  • The US announced that it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the end of decade, while other countries also announced more ambitious climate targets.

Raisina Dialogue 2021

  • The 6th Edition of this prestigious Dialogue, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation, will be held virtually from 13-16 April 2021. The theme for the 2021 Edition is “Viral World: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.
  • It is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
  • The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.

103rd Development Meeting of World Bank & IMF

  • In her intervention at this session, the Finance Minister stated that we are all engaged in steering our economies and people safely out of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Smt. Sitharaman shared that the Government has announced Aatma Nirbhar Packages of Rs 27.1 trillion, amounting to more than 13% of the GDP. These packages were meant not only to provide social protection to poor and vulnerable but also to push forward the economic reforms.

2nd G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors’ Meeting

  • This met on Wednesday, 7 April, for their second official meeting under the Italian G20 Presidency.  The meeting, as for the previous G20 FMCBG February meeting, was held in virtual mode.
  • G20 Ministers and Governors had a very productive exchange of views and agreed on a series of commitments, detailed in the official Communiqué, issued at the end of the meeting.

India – Germany Agreement on Cities Combating Plastic Entering Marine Environment

  • The project, aimed at enhancing practices to prevent plastic entering the marine environment, will be undertaken at the national level (at MoHUA), select States (Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and in the cities of Kanpur, Kochi and Port Blair for a period of three and a half years.

Net Zero Producer Forum

  • Saudi Arabia recently announced that it is to join Canada, US, Qatar and Norway in forming the forum. The forum has been formed for the oil and gas producers to discuss how to support the implementation of Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It aims to develop pragmatic net zero emission strategies.

BRICS Seminar on Misuse of Internet by Terrorists

  • National Investigation Agency (NIA) organised a two-day Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa (BRICS) Seminar through virtual mode on “Misuse of Internet for Terrorist Purposes and Role of Digital Forensics in Terrorist Investigations” on 13-14 April 2021.
  • BRICS member states in the 3rd Counter-Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) at White River, South Africa had agreed to establish five sub-working groups dedicated to enhancing debates over specific challenges on the counter-terrorism front. Thereafter, in the 4th CTWG meeting at Brasilia, India was given the Presidency of the sub-working group on “Misuse of Internet for Terrorist Purposes” for one year.

SECTION C – INDIAN SCHEMES & PROGRAMMES

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

  • It is a centrally sponsored maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 1st January 2017 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Beneficiaries receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three installments and receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6,000.
  • A total sum of Rs. 5,931.95 crore was paid to 1.75 crore eligible beneficiaries between financial year 2018 and 2020.

Target Beneficiary:

  • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
  • All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family.

Integrated Child Protection Services Scheme 2021

  • ICPS is a centrally sponsored scheme, implemented by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, This is to institutionalize essential services and strengthen structures for emergency outreach, institutional care, family and community-based care, counselling and support services at the national, regional, state and district levels
  • Globally 7 per cent more boys die under the age of 5 compared to girls but in India, 11 per cent more girls die under the age of 5.
  • India ranks fourth (after Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan) among the eight South Asian countries in terms of child marriage prevalence.
  • 74% of the children (0-6 years) live in rural areas whereas the rural population constitutes 69% of the total population of India.
  • As per Sample Registration System (SRS) – 2016, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)at all India levels is 34 to 1000 live births.

Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojana

  • This is for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.
  • Manipur has emerged as the Champion state where the Van Dhan programme has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribals.
  • TRIFED has been implementing several programmes and initiatives.
  • The focus of these initiatives is to make India self-reliant under the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan, with the motto, Go Vocal for Local Go Tribal – Mera Van Mera Dhan Mera Udyam.
  • 1500 SHGs and 30,000 tribal entrepreneurs, who are involved in collection, processing, value adding, packaging and marketing of value-added products from Minor Forest produce.

Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) and Incredible India Tourist Guide (IITG) Certificates

  • It is a digital initiative of Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for the citizens of India to become a part of the booming Tourism Industry. It is an online programme where one can learn about tourism at their own time, space, path and pace.
  • The successful completion of this programme would enable the learner to become a Certified Tourist Facilitator/Guide of Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.

Stand Up India Scheme

  • This scheme was launched on 5 April 2016 to promote entrepreneurship at the grass-root level of economic empowerment and job creation for SCs, STs and Women Entrepreneurs.
  • This scheme will facilitate bank loans between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs.1 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a Greenfield enterprise.
  • The offices of SIDBI and NABARD shall be designated Stand-Up Connect Centres (SUCC). Banks have sanctioned more than ₹25,000 crore to over 1.14 lakh accounts.

One District One Product Scheme

  • ODOP is basically a Japanese business development concept, which gained prominence in 1979. It is aimed at promoting a competitive and staple product from a specific area to push sales and improve the standard of living of the local population. Over time, it has been replicated in other Asian countries as well.
  • With the aim to boost export of agriculture products, the Centre has identified several products under 15 broad categories, allotting one product for each of the country’s 728 districts so that there is convergence of resources under different schemes of various ministries, and it helps increase farmers’ income.
  • Inputs were taken from the states, Union Territories and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • The government has already set a target to achieve $60 billion agri exports by FY22.

Ladakh Ignited Minds Project

  • Fire and Fury Corps of Indian Army with the support of HPCL and execution agency NIEDO will provide a holistic training for Ladakhi youth.
  • In the first batch, comprising 20 girls, 45 students from Leh and Kargil districts, would get training for JEE and NEET entrance examinations.

SECTION D – GENERAL INDIAN PANORAMA

Women Safety Initiatives Under Nirbhaya Fund

  • The Government has set up a dedicated fund Nirbhaya Fund, which can be utilized for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of women.
  • Under Nirbhaya Fund, schemes/ projects worth Rs. 9288.45 Cr. have been appraised till date. An amount of Rs.5712.85 crore has been allocated and an amount of Rs.3544.06 crore has been disbursed/ released by the concerned Ministries/ Departments.

Tribes India GI Mahotsav

  • In keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision towards  “Vocal for Local” and building an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”,  Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation Ltd (TRIFED), Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India organized “GI Mahotsav” in collaboration with Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie and Ministry of Culture, Government of India on 4th and 5th March 2021.
  • More than 40 authorized sellers of identified GI products and tribal artisans participated.

“1000 Bar Dekho – North-East Dekho” Campaign

  • India Tourism, Guwahati (field office of Ministry of Tourism) organised an event “1000 BAR DEKHO – NORTHEAST DEKHO” under the tag line of “DEKHO APNA DESH” and “FIT INDIA” which was launched on 7th March 2021 and concluded on 18th March 2021.
  • As part of this activity, Shri Sanjay Bahadur, a solo cyclist, covered 1000 kms by cycling across the Assam state.

Khelo India Youth Games 2021

  • The fourth edition of KYIG, the annual national-level grassroots event will be held in Panchkula, Ambala, Shahabad, Chandigarh – in Haryana – and capital New Delhi from November 21 to December 5 this year.
  • This is set to organise 25 different sports, including traditional sports like Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-ta, Mallakhamba and Yogasana, which will involve almost 8,500 participants under the age of 18.

Sugamya Bharat App

  • Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot virtually launched “Sugamya Bharat App”, a crowd-sourcing mobile application, and a handbook entitled “Access – The Photo Digest” to enhance accessibility.
  • The app will enable people with disabilities and the elderly to register accessibility-related problems in buildings, in modes of transport or any infrastructure by uploading pictures on it.
  • This mobile app will also address coronavirus-related issues faced by the differently abled.

Dr. Sonu Gandhi bags SERB Women Excellence Award

  • Being a scientist at the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad, she has recently developed a smart nanodevice for the detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), and Japanese Encephalitis (JE). She has thus been awarded the prestigious SERB Women Excellence Award.

67th National Film Awards

  • These were announced in New Delhi, with the honours for films from the year of 2019. It was organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • The best acting honours went to Manoj Bajapayee for Bhonsle, Dhanush for Tamil film Asuran, and Kangana for two of her films: Panga and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.
Award Film Language Awardee(s)
Best Feature Film Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea Malayalam Producer: Antony Perumbavoor
Director: Priyadarshan
Best Direction Bahattar Hoorain Hindi Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan
Best Debut Film of a Director Helen Malayalam Producer: Vineeth Sreenivasan
Director: Mathukutty Xavier
Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Maharshi Telugu Producer: Sri Venkateswara Creations Vyjayanthi Movies PVP Cinema Director: Vamshi Paidipally
Best Children’s Film Kastoori Hindi Producer: Insight Films
Director: Vinod Uttreshwar Kamble
Award Film
Best Feature Film in Assamese Ronuwa – Who Never Surrender
Best Feature Film in Bengali Gumnaami
Best Feature Film in Hindi Chhichhore
Best Feature Film in Kannada Akshi
Best Feature Film in Konkani Kaajro
Best Feature Film in Malayalam Kalla Nottam
Best Feature Film in Manipuri Eigi Kona
Best Feature Film in Odia Sala Budhar Badla
Kalira Atita
Best Feature Film in Marathi Bardo
Best Feature Film in Punjabi Rabb Da Radio 2
Best Feature Film in Tamil Asuran
Best Feature Film in Telugu Jersey

Rajnikanth gets 51st Dada Saheb Phalke Award

  • The prestigious 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award was honoured to superstar Rajinikanth, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced.
  • “Happy to announce Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic,” Javadekar tweeted.

New Chief Election Commissioner of India

  • The pre-incumbent Election Commissioner (EC) Sushil Chandra was named to become the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He assumed charge with effect from April 13, 2021. He replaced former CEC, Sunil Arora, who retired on April 12, 2021.

New Chief Justice of India

  • Justice NV Ramana took the oath as the 48th Chief Justice of India (CJI) on April 24, 2021. He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind in a brief ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He succeeds CJI SA Bobde, who retired on April 23rd.
  • Justice NV Ramana was the senior-most Supreme Court Justice at the time of the CJI’s retirement. He will serve as the CJI till his retirement on August 26, 2022.

Gandhi Peace Prize 2021

  • On 22nd March 2021, the Government of India announced, it conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Father of Nation in Bangladesh). 
  • The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019 has been given to Qaboos bin Said Al Said (Late Sultan of Oman).

Drone Use Permission to Telangana Government for Supply of Vaccines

  • Telangana is the first state in India to use drones to deliver Covid-19 vaccines in interior places where normal transportation facilities are not available.
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption for drone deployment to the government of Telangana to conduct experimental delivery of Covid-19 vaccines within visual line of sight range using drones.

IIT Bombay Converts Nitrogen Generator to Oxygen Generator

  • Professor Milind Atrey, Dean (R&D), who also specialises in cryogenic Engineering along with Tata Consulting Engineers Limited (TCE), took up a pilot project to evaluate the conversion of PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) Nitrogen Unit to PSA oxygen unit by fine-tuning the existing Nitrogen Plant setup and changing the molecular sieves from Carbon to Zeolite.

Aditya L1 Support Centre

  • It is India’s first scientific expedition to study the Sun. It will be ISRO’s second space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat, which was launched in 2015.
  • ISRO categorizes Aditya L1 as a 400 kg-class satellite that will be launched using the PSLV-XL.
  • It will be inserted in a halo orbit around the L1 (Lagrangian point 1), which is 1.5 million km from the Earth.
  • ARIES facility (Aryabhata Research Institute for Observational Sciences) will host the support centre for Aditya-L1 mission, which is due to be launched next year (2022).
  • The main aim of this centre is to let every researcher in India perform analysis over scientific data obtained from Aditya-L1. It will expand the visibility of Aditya-L1 beyond India at the international level.
  • Aditya L1 will have some moving components which increases the risks of collision. Due to the risks involved, payloads in earlier ISRO missions have largely remained stationary in space.
  • Other issues are the super-hot temperatures and radiation in the solar atmosphere.
  • However, Aditya L1 will stay much farther away, and the heat is not expected to be a major concern for the instruments on board.

Lilavati Awards 2020

  • It is AICTE’s (All India Council for Technical Education) Innovative education program to empower women.
  • Theme: Women Empowerment
  • Objective: To create awareness about issues like sanitation, hygiene, health, nutrition, literacy, employment, technology, credit, marketing, innovation, skill development, natural resources and rights among women.
  • These were announced on 11 April 2021.
  • Prize: In each sub-category, the top three winners will be awarded with certificates as well as prize money. The first prize winner will get Rs 1 lakh, the second winner will get Rs 75,000 and the third winner will get Rs 50,000.
  • The award has been named after the 12th century book called “Lilavati”, which was written by the mathematician Bhaskara II. Lilavati was Bhaskara-II’s daughter.

SECTION E – GENERAL WORLD PANORAMA

Supply Chain Resilience Initiative

  • The Trade Ministers of India, Japan and Australia have formally launched SCRI. It aims to create a virtuous cycle of enhancing supply chain resilience with a view to eventually attaining strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • First proposed by Japan, SCRI aims to reduce dependence on China amid a likelihood of rechurning of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ingenuity Helicopter of NASA for Mars Mission

  • Main Job: A technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars. The helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover.
  • Launch: July 30, 2020, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
  • Landed: February 18, 2021, Jezero Crater, Mars
  • Length of Mission: Technology demonstration complete; transitioning to new operations demo phase.
  • For the first flight on April 19, 2021, Ingenuity took off, climbed to about 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground, hovered in the air briefly, completed a turn, and then landed.
  • It was a major milestone: the very first powered, controlled flight in the extremely thin atmosphere of Mars, and, in fact, the first such flight in any world beyond Earth.

Japan’s Order of Rising Sun to Bengaluru Teacher

  • Shyamala is a Japanese teacher at the Septuagenarian institution and also at the Ohara School of Ikebana in RT Nagar, Bengaluru. She has tutored more than hundreds of students since its inception 38 years ago. Ikebana is Japanese art of flower arrangement.
  • Shyamala along with her husband Ganesh started a Japanese language school in 1983 in Bengaluru.

Order of the Rising Sun

  • Created in 1875, this is the 3rd highest award presented by the Emperor of Japan.
  • The award is presented to those (living or posthumous) who have made distinguished achievements in promotion of Japanese culture and achievements in international relations.
  • Non-Japanese recipients are being awarded since 1981.
  • Women are presented with the award since 2003.

China Launches Tianhe Space Station Core Module

  • A Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket lifted off from the coastal Wenchang spaceport at 11:23 p.m. EST on 29 April. The Tianhe space station core module separated from the first stage after 490 seconds of flight.
  • Tianhe, or “harmony of the heavens,” is now expected to raise its orbit to around 370 kilometers above the Earth. The uncrewed Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft is slated to rendezvous and dock with Tianhe in mid-late May, ahead of the visit of three astronauts aboard Shenzhou-12 in June.

Zhao – 1st Asian Woman to Win Best Director Oscar

  • Chloe Zhao made history as the first Asian woman and second woman ever to win best director at the Academy Awards, but her big moment was blacked out from live television in her native China.
  • She cemented her reputation as one of the most acclaimed directors in film with “Nomadland,” the story of financially stretched van dwellers that also won best picture and captured a best actress Oscar for Frances McDormand.

Gambia Eliminates Trachoma

  • The Gambia has eliminated trachoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, the government has announced, after almost four decades of work to counter the disease. It has become the second African state to achieve this feat, after Ghana did in 2018.

What is Trachoma?

  • It is a bacterial eye infection that damages the eye lids. It causes the eye lashes to turn inwards. Trachoma is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases. It leads to irreversible vision losses and blindness if not corrected with surgery.
  • Trachoma is caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
  • The World Health Organisation launched a roadmap of Global Targets to tackle twenty Neglected Tropical Diseases including Trachoma. The roadmap aims to eliminate all the twenty diseases by 2030.
  • India became free from Trachoma in 2017.
  • Trachoma is caused due to poor environmental and personal hygiene. This mainly occurs when the person faces inadequate access to water and sanitation.

Statehood Movement in Columbia

  • The House of Representatives in the US recently passed a bill to make Washington DC, the fifty first US state. The Washington DC Admission bill is being passed for the second time in a year. The bill will create the state of “Washington, Douglas Commonwealth”. It has been named after Frederick Douglass.
  • The Washington DC is formally known as Columbia. It is the capital of United States. It is located on the Potomac river. It borders Maryland and Virginia.
  • If the District of Columbia were to become a state, it would rank 49th by population as of 2020, 1st in population density as of 2020 (at 11,685 people/square mile); 51st by area; 34th by GDP as of 2020; 1st by GDP per capita as of 2019; 1st in educational attainment in 2018 (with 59.7% of residents having a bachelor’s degree and 34.0% having an advanced degree); and 6th in terms of Human Development Index as of 2018.

India Women Win 7 Gold in AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship

  • Championships were held and awards given in Kielce, Poland on 23rd April 2021.
  • Gitika (48kg), Naorem Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg), Poonam (57kg), Vinka (60kg), Arundhati Choudhary (69kg), T Sanamacha Chanu (75kg) and Alfiya Pathan (+81kg) have returned home as champions.
  • The Indian women boxers thus finished as the No. 1 team in the ongoing championship.

India Elected to Three Bodies of ECOSOC

  • These bodies are the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), Executive Board of UN Women, Executive Board of the World Food Programme.
  • CCPCJ, based in Vienna, acts as the principal policy-making body of the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
  • UN Women is about gender issues. Executive Board of UN Women consists of 41 members. Indian diplomat Lakshmi Puri has been in the past Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.
  • The Executive Board is World Food Program or WFP’s supreme governing body. Comprising 36 states members of the United Nations or Member Nations of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the board provides intergovernmental support, policy direction and supervision of the activities of WFP.

Australia – India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative

  • This was proposed by PM Narendra Modi at the East-Asia Summit in November 2019 and Australia is co-leading New Delhi in the marine ecology pillar of the initiative.
  • Barry O’Farrell, the Australian High Commissioner to India, while launching the grant said, “This AUD 1.4 million (INR 8.12 crore) grant program is a practical initiative to advance Australia and India’s shared vision for the Indo-Pacific.”

UAE Names First Female Astronaut

  • The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the autocratically ruled country’s Vice-President and Prime Minister, announced the names of the two astronauts on Twitter.
  • Al-Maktoum identified Noura al-Matroushi as the first female astronaut of UAE with her male counterpart, Mohammed al-Mulla. The two will be undergoing training at Johnson Space center of NASA in Houston, Texas.

SECTION F – ECONOMIC INDICES & REPORTS

No. Name of Index / Report Provided by Findings
1. Global Electric Vehicle Outlook Report 2021 International Energy Agency 30% of new vehicle sales in 2030 will be Electric in India
2. All India Consumer Price Index Reserve Bank of India CPI is to reduce to 2.7% in Q2 and 2.4% in Q4
3. Global Forest Goals Report 2021 United Nations 1.6 billion people rely on forests
4. Chandler Good Governance Index 2021 Chandler Institute of Governance, Singapore India ranked 49th out of 104 countries.
5. Global Energy Review Report 2021 International Energy Agency India has pledged to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 33% to 35% under Paris Agreement.
6. Global Energy Transition Index 2021 World Economic Forum and Accenture India ranks 74th. Sweden tops list, followed by Norway and Denmark.
7. Trends in World Military Expenditure Report 2021 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 62 per cent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom.
8. Global Review of Death Penalty Report 2021 International Energy Agency 30% of new vehicle sales in 2030 will be Electric in India
9. State of Global Climate Report 2021 World Meteorological Organisation 2011-2020 was the warmest decade. Aim to get Net Zero emissions by 2050 year.
10. World Press Freedom Index 2021 Reporters Without Borders India ranks 142 out of 180. Norway topped the index followed by Finland & Denmark.
11. National Climate Vulnerability Report 2021 Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) 94 representatives from 24 states and 2 Union Territories
12. Rural Health Statistics Report 2021 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Overall shortfall of 76.1% specialist doctors
13. Global Energy Review Report 2021 International Energy Agency China alone is likely to account for almost half the global increase in renewable electricity generation
14. Inclusive Internet Index 2021 Economist Intelligence Unit and Facebook India is at the 49th spot. Sweden ranked first in the ranking followed by US and Spain.

SECTION G – FLORA & FAUNA DISCOVERIES

New Soya Bean Variety – MACS 1407

  • The new variety was developed by the Agharkar Research Institute of Pune along with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
  • It is a high yielding variety that gives 39 quintals per hectare. It takes 104 days to mature and 43 days for 50% flowering. The variety is best suited for the rain fed regions of Northeast India.
  • It is to be made available to farmers in 2022 Kharif season.

Godzilla Shark Discovered in New Mexico gets a new name

  • The fossils of the 6.7-foot-long shark that lived 300 million years ago were unearthed during a dig at the Manzano Mountains, about 50km from Albuquerque in New Mexico, by a graduate student, John-Paul Hodnett. It was nicknamed ‘Godzilla Shark’.
  • A few days ago, Hodnett and other researchers published their findings in a New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) bulletin where they identified the shark as a separate species.
  • This shark has been named ‘Dracopristis Hoffmanorum’, or ‘Hoffman’s Dragon Shark’, by researchers.
  • This naming was in recognition to its Godzilla-like traits (big jaws and large spines), and to honour the Hoffman family that owns the land where the fossil was unearthed.

SECTION H – IMPORTANT DAYS

No. Date Day Observed Theme
1. 01 – 07 Mar Jan Aushadhi Week Seva bhi, Rozgar bhi
2. 08 March International Women’s Day Choose To Challenge
3. 10 March National Gestational Diabetes Awareness Day Create nationwide awareness on GDM
4. 24 March World Tuberculosis Day The Clock is Ticking
5. 01 April Utkal Diwas
6. 10 April World Homeopathy Day Homeopathy – Roadmap for Integrative Medicine
7. 15 April Himachal Day
8. 17 April World Haemophilia Day Adapting to Change, sustaining care in a new world
9. 18 April World Heritage Day Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures
10. 21 April National Civil Services Day
11. 22 April Earth Day Restore Our Earth
12. 24 – 30 Apr World Immunization Week Vaccines bring us closer
13. 24 April Panchayati Raj Day
14. 25 April World Malaria Day Reaching the zero-malaria target
15. 26 April World Intellectual Property Day Taking your ideas to the market
16. 30 April Ayushman Bharat Diwas Seva bhi, Rozgar bhi

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. GNCTD (Amendment) Act 2021 states that the “government” in the National Capital Territory of Delhi meant the ____ of Delhi.
  2. Chief Minister
  3. Lieutenant Governor
  4. Chief Secretary
  5. Secretary to the LG

ANSWER: B

  • Which Article’s provision resembles Article 356 (President’s Rule)?
  • Article 239AA
  • Article 239AB
  • Article 270
  • Article 176

ANSWER: B

  • India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement will enter into force on:
  • 1st April 2021
  • 1st May 2021
  • 1st June 2021
  • 1st July 2021

ANSWER: A

  • Tribunal Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021 amends which former law?
  • Finance Act 2017
  • Finance Act 1997
  • Finance Act 2015
  • Finance Act 2003

ANSWER: A

  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana is for
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women
  • Teenage girls
  • Both A and B

ANSWER: D

  • 67th National Film Awards’ Best Feature Film
  • Helen
  • Maharshi
  • Kastoori
  • Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea

ANSWER: D

  • Justice NV Ramana took the oath as the ___ Chief Justice of India (CJI) on April 24, 2021.
  • 48th
  • 47th
  • 56th
  • 78th

ANSWER: A

  • _____ is the first state in India to use drones to deliver Covid-19 vaccines in interior places where normal transportation facilities are not available.
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Kerala
  • Telangana

ANSWER: D

  • Who was awarded 51st Dada Saheb Phalke Award?
  • Rajnikanth
  • Amitabh Bachchan
  • Chiranjeevi
  • Mammootty

ANSWER: A

  1. On 22nd March 2021, the Government of India announced that it conferred which Prize for the year 2020 on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Father of Nation in Bangladesh)?
  2. Gandhi Peace Prize
  3. Bharat Ratna
  4. Padma Vibhushan
  5. Padma Bhushan

ANSWER: A

  1. Name of the satellite being designed as India’s first scientific expedition to study the Sun
  2. Aruna
  3. Bhaskara
  4. Aditya
  5. Surya

ANSWER: C

  1. Name of the Helicopter of NASA for Mars Mission
  2. Ingenuity
  3. Perseverance
  4. Star Banner
  5. America

ANSWER: A

  1. Supply Chain Resilience Initiative does not consist of
  2. India
  3. Japan
  4. Australia
  5. United States

ANSWER: D

  1. 3rd highest award presented by the Emperor of Japan
  2. Order of Chrysanthemum
  3. Order of the Precious Crown
  4. Order of the Rising Sun
  5. Order of the Sacred Treasure

ANSWER: C

  1. Trachoma is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. It is a
  2. Virus
  3. Paramecium
  4. Amoeba
  5. Bacteria

ANSWER: D

  1. To which among these bodies is India not elected?
  2. The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ).
  3. Executive Board of UN Women.
  4. Executive Board of the World Food Programme.
  5. Executive Board of the UNICEF

ANSWER: D

  1. Noura al-Matroushi has been named as the first female astronaut of
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. United Arab Emirates
  4. Qatar
  5. Bahrain

ANSWER: B

  1. Global Electric Vehicle Outlook Report 2021 was published by:
  2. International Energy Agency
  3. International Solar Energy Society
  4. World Bioenergy Association
  5. Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation

ANSWER: A

  1. According to Trends in World Military Expenditure Report 2021, how much percent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom?
  2. 87%
  3. 62%
  4. 51%
  5. 38%

ANSWER: B

  • Rank of India in World Press Freedom Index 2021
  • 141
  • 142
  • 143
  • 144

ANSWER: B

  • Dracopristis Hoffmanorum’, or ‘Hoffman’s Dragon Shark’ was discovered in:
  • New South Wales
  • Albania
  • West Bengal Sunderbans
  • New Mexico

ANSWER: D

  • International Women’s Day theme for 2021
  • Choose to challenge
  • Choose to fight
  • Choose for equal representation
  • Choose maternal livelihood

ANSWER: A

  • Ayushman Bharat Diwas theme for 2021
  • Seva bhi, Rozgar bhi
  • Aadarsh Jeevan mantra
  • Ayushman Bhava
  • Desh Jaage Raho

ANSWER: A

  • Panchayati Raj Day
  • 24 March
  • 26 March
  • 26 April
  • 24 April

ANSWER: D

  • World Intellectual Property Day
  • 26 April
  • 29 March
  • 13 March
  • 16 April

ANSWER: A

  • National Gestational Diabetes Awareness Day
  • 10 April
  • 10 March
  • 15 April
  • 15 March

ANSWER: B

Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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