Current Affairs – March 11, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for March 11, 2021

India

Indian Navy inducts third Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarine ‘INS Karanj’

The Indian Navy on march 10, 2021 inducted the third Scorpene-class conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Karanj, into service. Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project-75 by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, under technology transfer from Naval Group of France, as part of a $3.75 billion deal signed in October 2005.

Parliament passes bill to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi

Parliament has passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi. Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha that the Bill would give protection to unauthorised colonies from sealing till December 31, 2023.

Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana wins trust vote 55-32

The no-confidence motion brought by the Congress against the NDA government led by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana on March 10, 2021 got defeated after six hours of debate in the state assembly. There were 55 votes against the motion while 32 votes were in favour of the motion. In Haryana assembly, the BJP has 40 MLAs and its ally JJP has 10 MLAs.

UP: CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurates Rasin Dam and Chillimal Dam in Chitrakoot

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated Rasin Dam and Chillimal Dam in Chitrakoot on March 10, 2021. This initiative of government will bring relief to the people from the problem of water shortage. Later in the day, CM also inaugurated various development projects in Chitrakoot.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur appointed as Captain in the Territorial Army

Union Minister Anurag Thakur on March 10, 2021 became the first serving MP to be appointed as Captain in the Territorial Army. He is the BJP Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.  The Territorial Army that is the second line of defence in the hierarchy, comprises volunteers who are imparted military training for about a month in a year.

NHA signs MoU with UTIITSL to issue new PVC Ayushman Bharat cards

The National Health Authority (NHA) has entered into an agreement with UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited (UTIITSL) to issue free PVC Ayushman cards to beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in 11 states and Union Territories. UTIITSL is the second agency after Common Service Centre (CSC SPV) which has been empanelled by the NHA to provide free PVC Ayushman cards to the beneficiaries.

Labour Ministry converges ESI Scheme with Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY

Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar on March 10, 2021 launched the convergence of ESI (Employees’ State Insurance) Scheme with Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) in 113 districts of Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The convergence will ensure that 1.35 crore ESI beneficiaries in such districts avail cashless medical services through empanelled hospitals of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY without any need of referral.

Tirath Singh Rawat sworn-in as new chief minister of Uttarakhand

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn-in as the chief minister of Uttarakhand on March 10, 2021, a day after his predecessor, Trivendra Singh Rawat, tendered his resignation. Tirath Singh Rawat, Lok Sabha MP from Pauri Garhwal and a former state BJP chief, was administered oath of office by Governor Baby Rani Maurya at the Raj Bhavan in Dehradun.

Govt. appoints G P Samanta as the new Chief Statistician of India

The government has appointed G P Samanta as the new Chief Statistician of India, under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme, for a period of two years. Samanta was till now an adviser in the RBI’s Department of Statistics and Information Management.

Economy & Corporate

Parliament passes Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Parliament on march 10, 2021 approved a Bill to amend the arbitration law that would ensure all stakeholders get a chance to seek an unconditional stay on enforcement of arbitral awards where an agreement is “induced by fraud or corruption”. The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was passed by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on February 12.

Govt approves creation of PM Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi as non-lapsable fund

The Union Cabinet has approved the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN) as a single non-lapsable reserve fund for share of health from the proceeds of health and education cess levied under Finance Act, 2007. Proceeds of share of health in the health and education cess will be credited into PMSSN. The accruals into the PMSSN will be utilised for the flagship schemes of the health ministry such as Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).

Unemployment in urban areas rose to 20.9% in the April-June 2020: Labour Ministry

Unemployment in urban areas rose to 20.9% in the April-June 2020 from 9.1% in January-March 2020, the period following the strict nationwide lockdown imposed in March to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in the quarterly bulletin of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).

India to levy 40% customs tax on imports of solar modules from April 1, 2022

India will levy a 40 per cent customs tax on imports of solar modules from April 1, 2022 to cut dependence on foreign supplies and boost domestic manufacturing of the equipment. The finance ministry has approved the proposal, which also includes a 25 per cent customs duty on imports of solar cells. It didn’t mention for how long the taxes will apply.

Telecom companies allowed to install only govt approved equipment from Jun 15

The government on March 10, 2021 amended telecom licence norms that will enable it to control the installation of network equipment from non-trusted sources. With effect from June 15, telecom operators will be required to take permission from the National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) for up-gradation of existing networks, utilising the telecom equipment not designated as trusted products.

RBI takes IDBI Bank out of PCA (prompt corrective action) framework

Private lender IDBI Bank is out of prompt corrective action (PCA) after improving its finances and credit profile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on March 10, 2021. This eases the rules for the lender to expand business. IDBI Bank had been under the PCA framework since 2017. The PCA regime places curbs on big-ticket lending and expenditure and calls for a plan for turnaround.

World

France launches first military exercises in space codenamed “AsterX”

France launched its first military exercise on March 8 to evaluate its ability to defend its satellites and other defense equipment from an attack. Michel Friedling, the head of France’s newly created Space Command said the exercises are a “stress-test of their systems. The exercise, codenamed “AsterX” in memory of the first French satellite from 1965, will be based on 18 simulated events in an operations room.

Russia slows down Twitter’s speed for failing to remove banned content

Russia’s state communications watchdog said it was restricting the use of Twitter by slowing down its speed, accusing the social media platform of repeatedly failing to remove banned content from its site. Roskomnadzor threatened to block the service completely and said there were more than 3,000 posts containing illegal content on it as of March 10, 2021

China launches virus passport which shows a user’s vaccination status

China has launched a health certificate programme for Chinese international travellers, leading the world in plans for so-called virus passports. The digital certificate, which shows a user’s vaccination status and virus test results, is available for Chinese citizens via a programme on Chinese social media platform WeChat that was launched on March 8.

China and Russia agree to explore Moon together

China and Russia have agreed to jointly build a research station on or around the moon. The joint announcement was made by the two countries on March 9, 2021. In December 2020, China’s Chang’e-5 mission brought back samples from the moon’s surface. That made China only the third nation, after the United States and the Soviet Union, to accomplish the feat.  The United States has its own plans to revisit the moon by 2024 through an international program called Artemis.

Sri Lanka receives 10 state-of-the-art railway passenger coaches from India

Sri Lanka has received ten state-of-the-art railway passenger coaches from India as part of the supply of 160 coaches to Sri Lankan Railways by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES). This supply of coaches to Sri Lankan Railways by RITES is being financed through an Indian Line of Credit.

Sports

Thomas Bach re-elected as IOC president until 2025

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach was on March 10, 2021 re-elected for an additional four-year term. While giving the opening address on the opening day of the 137th IOC Session, Bach said: “There is no reason to doubt the Olympics opening ceremony will take place on July 23. The question is not whether the Olympics will take place, the question is how.

Chinese smartphone company Vivo back as IPL title sponsor

Chinese smartphone company Vivo is back as the title sponsor of the Indian Premium League cricket tournament, almost a year after the sponsorship deal with the BCCI was suspended amid the India-China border standoff. Dream11 had been the IPL title sponsors for the 2020 edition.

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