Current Affairs – March 16, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for March 16, 2021

India

Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) President Duarte Pacheco visits India

Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) President Mr. Duarte Pacheco on March 15, 2021 called on Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in New Delhi and witnessed the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha. He is on a week-long visit to India on the invitation of Indian Parliament. Formed in 1889, IPU is one of the oldest and largest international Parliamentary body consisting of more than 179 Members. IPU espouses for the cause of promoting democracy across the world and take up issues of international importance, such as, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Climate Change, Gender Equality, etc.

UK’s MoS for Foreign Commonwealth & Development Affairs visits India

Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla on March 15, 2021 had a comprehensive discussion with UK Minister of State for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs Tariq Ahmed in New Delhi on issues of bilateral and multilateral India UK cooperation. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar received Ahmed and discussed the India-UK bilateral ties and global cooperation. Ahmed also met Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy.

Centre approves aid of Rs 5 lakh each in death cases of journalists due to COVID

The Government on March 15, 2021 said that it has approved financial assistance of 5 lakh rupees each in respect of death cases of journalists due to Covid-19. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar said that his ministry has carried out a special drive for financial assistance under the Journalist Welfare Scheme.

Rajya Sabha passes Bill to declare 2 food tech institutes as national ones

The Rajya Sabha on March 15, 2021 approved a Bill which declares two food technology institutes at Kundli in Haryana and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu as national institutes. The Rajya Sabha passed The National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The Bill declares National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Kundli, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur as National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management.

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research Bill introduced in LS

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021. Chemical and Fertilizer Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda introduced the Bill which amends the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act 1998. The legislation seeks to grant status of institutes of national importance to existing six National Pharmaceutical Institutes located in Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raebareli. The Bill also aims to empower the Central government to establish a Council for these institutes and rationalise their Board of Governors for better administration.

Bill to define certain role and powers of LG of Delhi introduced in Lok Sabha

Government on March 15, 2021 introduced a bill in Lok Sabha that seeks to define certain role and powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy introduced the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Bill was introduced to give effect to the interpretation made by the Supreme Court which had ruled that the city government need not obtain the Lieutenant Governor’s “concurrence” of every issue of day-to-day governance.

Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

A Bill to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which seeks to increase the role of district magistrates and additional district magistrates, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021. According to The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, in every district, the district magistrate and the additional district magistrate will get the power to monitor functions of agencies responsible for the implementation of the Act.

Delhi court awards death penalty to accused in 2008 Batla House encounter case

A Delhi court has awarded a death penalty to convict Ariz Khan, who was allegedly associated with Indian Mujahideen, for the murder of inspector Mohan Chand Sharma in the 2008 Batla House encounter case. Ariz Khan, who had fled from the spot during the 2008 Batla House encounter in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi, was arrested by the Delhi Police in 2018.

Renowned painter Laxman Pai dies in Goa

Renowned painter and Padma Bhushan awardee Laxman Pai died in Goa on March 14, 2021 at the age of 95. Other awards won by him included Padma Shri, Nehru Award and Lalit Kala Akademi Award.

Kathakali exponent Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair dies in Kerala

Veteran Kathakali exponent Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair died in Kozhikode, Kerala on March 15, 2021 at the age of 105. He had been honoured with the Padma Shri in 2017 in recognition of his glorious contribution to the art form.

President addresses Jagran Forum on issues of Ganga, Environment and Culture

The preservation and promotion of “Ganga, Environment and Culture” is the foundation for development of our country, said President Ram Nath Kovind. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the Jagran Forum on issues of Ganga, Environment and Culture in Varanasi on March 15, 2021 organised by Dainik Jagran.

Economy & Corporate

Wholesale price index-based inflation (WPI) rises to 4.17% in February

The wholesale price index-based inflation (WPI) rose for the second consecutive month in February to 4.17 per cent, as food, fuel and power prices spiked. The WPI inflation was 2.03 per cent in January and 2.26 per cent in February 2020.

FM introduces Bill to raise FDI limit in insurance from 49% to 74%

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 15, 2021 introduced a Bill in Rajya Sabha that seek to amend the Insurance Act to pave the way for 74 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector. The Bill seeks to amend the Insurance Act, 1938. Currently, the permissible FDI limit in the life and general insurance stands at 49 per cent with ownership and management control with Indian.

Bill to amend Mines and Mineral Development Act introduced in Lok Sabha

Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi on March 15, 2021 introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The amendments proposed in the Bill are aimed at bringing mega reforms in the mines sector with resolution of legacy issues, and making a large number of mines available for auctions. It will help strengthen the auction-only regime and boost transparency in the system.

Ajay Mathur assumes office as the Director General of International Solar Alliance

Ajay Mathur on March 15, 2021 assumed office as the Director General of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). On February 15, the Special Assembly of the ISA elected Mathur as the Director General. The appointment is for four years which can be renewed for an additional term.

India’s import of arms decreases by 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20: SIPRI

India’s import of arms decreased by 33 per cent between 2011-15 and 2016-20 and Russia was the most affected supplier, according to a report released on March 15, 2021 by Stockholm-based defence think-tank SIPRI. It said the drop in Indian arms imports seemed to have been the result of the country’s complex procurement processes combined with an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms.

World

63rd annual Grammy Awards presented in Los Angeles

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion won the Best New Artist award at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, which were handed out on March 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. Other winners — Album of the Year: Taylor Swift, ‘folklore’; Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song: Billie Eilish, ‘Everything I Wanted’; Song of the Year, for songwriting: H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas, ‘I Can’t Breathe’; Best Music Video: Beyonce, ‘Brown Skin Girl’; Best Rock Album: The Strokes, ‘The New Abnormal’.

Netherlands suspends use of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

The Netherlands has suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over concerns about possible side effects. Ireland has also made a similar decision over reports of blood clotting in adults in Norway. Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland and Thailand have already halted their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The European Medicines Agency is carrying out a review into incidents of blood clots. AstraZeneca, on the other hand has stated that there is no evidence of an increased risk of clotting due to the vaccine.

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