Current Affairs – March 1, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for March 1, 2021

India

ISRO launches 19 satellites including Brazil’s Amazonia 1 using PSLV-C51 rocket

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C51 (PSLV-C51) rocket loaded with 19 satellites from Brazil, USA and India lifted off at 10.24 AM on February 28, 2021 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota (AP). After four stages of separation, the rocket launched Brazil’s 637-kilogram Amazonia 1 satellite, its primary passenger. Later after a gap of more than an hour it launched the remaining 18 passenger satellites. Amazonia-1 is the optical earth observation satellite of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This satellite will provide remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.

National Science Day celebrated on Feb 28

The National Science Day was celebrated on February 28, 2021 with its theme as: ‘Future of STI (Science, Technology and Innovation): Impacts on Education, Skills, and Work’. The Day is celebrated to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman effect’ by Indian physicist Sir CV Raman on this day in 1928.

Registration for Covid vaccination on Co-Win 2.0 will open on March 1

The next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive for people above 60 years and those aged 45 and above with comorbidities will begin from March 1 and registration on the Co-WIN2.0 portal will open at 9 am on March 1, 2021. Citizens will be able to register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the Co-WIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Arogya Setu.

Cost of Covid-19 vaccine dose capped at ₹250 in private hospitals

Private hospitals functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) may recover a charge subject to a ceiling of ₹250 per person per dose. The Ministry released a list of 20 co-morbidities that enhance the risk of mortality from COVID-19, and now allow beneficiaries in the 45-59 years age bracket to avail of the vaccine.

India describes Sri Lanka as “Priority One” partner in the defence sphere

India on February 28, 2021 described Sri Lanka as “Priority One” partner in the defence sphere and said the participation of its military aircraft in the 70th anniversary celebration of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is indicative of the growing cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the two militaries. The SLAF is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on March 2.

Indian school students discover 18 new asteroids: International Astronomical Union

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), an organisation which assigns official names and designations to celestial bodies, has recently confirmed the discovery of 18 new asteroids by Indian students as part of a global science programme. The International Asteroid Discovery Project was conducted by STEM and Space along with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) as part of a NASA citizen science project.

Economy & Corporate

Tenure of Pramod Chandra Mody as CBDT Chairman extended for 3 months

The re-appointment of Pramod Chandra Mody as Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has been extended for a further period of three months with effect from March 1, 2021, to May 31, 2021. Mody is a 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, was appointed as the CBDT chief in February 2019.

World

Madagascar: Digital cobalt therapy machine donated by India inaugurated

India has donated an advanced telecobalt machine for cancer treatment, developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, to the island nation of Madagascar. The advanced digital cobalt therapy machine ‘Bhabhatron-II’ was inaugurated at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona Hospital (HJRA) in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar by President Andry Rajoelina in February 2021.

65% low, lower-middle income nations slashed education budgets after COVID-19

Education budgets were cut by 65% of low and lower-middle income countries after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic while only 33% of high and upper-middle income countries did so according to World Bank. The report, compiled in collaboration with UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, said the current levels of government spending in low and lower-middle income countries fall short of those required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

China restricting basic freedoms: UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet

United Nations Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet has said that China is restricting basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and COVID-19 measures. Bachelet told the Human Rights Council that activists, lawyers and human rights defenders as well as some foreign nationals face arbitrary criminal charges, detention or unfair trials in China.

US FDA approves single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has formally approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. This is the third vaccine to be authorised in the country. The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.

Israeli cargo ship named MV Helios Ray suffers an explosion in the Gulf of Oman

An Israeli cargo ship named MV Helios Ray suffered an explosion in the Gulf of Oman on February 26, 2021. On February 27, Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz said his “initial assessment” was that Iran was responsible for the explosion.

World

Vinesh Phogat wins gold in wrestling tournament in Kiev, Ukraine

India’s Vinesh Phogat on February 28, 2021 defeated V. Kaladzinskay of Belarus in the final to win gold in women’s 53 kg freestyle at the Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial tournament at Kiev, Ukraine.

Deepak Kumar wins silver at boxing tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria

Deepak Kumar’s fantastic run at the 72nd Strandja Memorial boxing tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria ended with a silver medal, after he lost the flyweight (52kg) final on a split verdict to Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov, on February 27, 2021. Deepak, an Asian silver-winner, was up against Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov, a two-time European championships gold-medallist.

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