Current Affairs – March 25, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for March 25, 2021

India

Parliament passes bill giving over-riding powers to LG over elected govt. in Delhi

The contentious Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that gives some overriding powers to the Lieutenant Governor over elected state government was passed in Rajya Sabha on March 24, 2021. The Bill, which has already got the nod from Lok Sabha, was passed by voice vote.

National Commission for Allied & Healthcare Professions Bill passed by Parliament

Parliament has passed National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2021. Bill seeks to set up a National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions to regulate and standardize education and practice of allied and healthcare professionals. Functions of proposed National Commission include framing of standards for education and practice, creating and maintaining an online Central Register of all registered professionals, providing basic standards of education, and providing for a uniform entrance and exit examination.

Lok Sabha passes Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill

Lok Sabha on March 24, 2021 gave its nod to a bill which seeks to strengthen the provisions relating to protection and adoption of children. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, which seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, proposes to increase role of district magistrates and additional district magistrates with issues concerning child care and adoption.

SC expresses concern over likely misuse of money raised through electoral bonds

Supreme Court on March 24, 2021 expressed concern over possible misuse of money generated by political parties through electoral bonds to spread violence and anarchy and demanded to know if the government had safeguards to check such a possibility. “This money could be used to carry out all sorts of illegal activity, spread violence and terrorism,” a three-judge bench led by CJI SA Bobde observed while hearing a plea for stay on issue of another round of bonds in April ahead of assembly polls.

Indian Air Force has shortage of 405 pilots: Govt. tells Lok Sabha

The Indian Air Force has a shortage of 405 pilots against authorised strength, government told Lok Sabha on March 24, 2021. Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said the number of pilots in the Indian Air Force at present is 3,834 as against the sanctioned strength of 4,239. He said 260 aircraft are being used for training of pilots in the force. The trainer aircraft in the IAF included Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II, Kiran MkI/IA and Hawk Mk-132 advanced jet trainer.

CJI S. A. Bobde recommends Justice NV Ramana as his successor

Chief Justice of India S. A. Bobde, who is scheduled to retire on April 23, recommended Justice NV Ramana as his successor on March 24, 2021. Presently, Justice Ramana is the senior-most Supreme Court judge after CJI. Bobde has written to Union Law Ministry clearing the way for Justice Ramana to be appointed as the 48th Chief Justice of India.

Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Vajra’ commissioned at Chennai Port Trust

Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Vajra’, the sixth offshore patrol vessel to enhance coastal security, was formally commissioned into service at the Chennai Port Trust on March 24, 2021. The ship was indigenously designed and built by Larsen and Toubro Ship building Ltd.

US govt. to resume Homeland Security Dialogue with India discontinued by Trump

The Joe Biden administration has announced the re-establishment of Homeland Security Dialogue with India that was discontinued by previous Donald Trump dispensation. This comes a day after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke with India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu on March 22, 2021 and expressed his desire to further strengthen the partnership between India and his department.

Economy & Corporate

Parliament passes Finance Bill

Parliament has passed the Finance Bill, 2021 with the Rajya Sabha returning it to Lok Sabha on March 24, 2021. With this, Parliament has completed all the budgetary exercise. Government has raised the limit for tax exemption on interest earned on provident fund contributions by employees to 5 lakh per annum in specified cases as against 2.5 lakh rupees proposed in the Budget. This exemption, however, is subject to condition that up to Rs 5 lakh contribution does not include employer’s contribution beyond statutory limit of up to 12 per cent of basic pay.

India ranks 40 on the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index of US Govt.

India ranked 40 among 53 global economies on the latest annual edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index released on March 23, 2021. Released annually by US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC), the Index evaluates Intellectual Property rights in 53 global economies from patent and copyright policies to commercialisation of IP assets and ratification of international treaties.

Competition Commission probe into the new privacy policy of WhatsApp

The Competition Commission of India on March 24, 2021 ordered a probe into new privacy policy of WhatsApp. In a Suo-Motu order on the Updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for WhatsApp Users, Anti-trust Watchdog said that WhatsApp has prima facie contravened the Competition Act, 2000. The order says that WhatsApp through its exploitative and exclusionary conduct, in the garb of policy update violated the provisions of Section 4 of the act.

NHAI to develop world class ‘Wayside Amenities’ at more than 600 locations

In a major move to improve commuters’ experience on National Highways for both passengers and truckers, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will develop world class ‘Wayside Amenities’ at more than 600 locations across 22 states in the next five years. Out of these, 130 are targeted for development in 2021-22. The amenities will include numerous facilities for passengers such as Fuel Station, Electric Charging Facilities, Food Court, Retail Shops, ATM, Toilets with shower facility, Children Playing Area, Clinic, Village Haat for local handicrafts etc.

World

Cargo ship ‘Ever Given’ runs aground in the Suez Canal in Egypt, blocks traffic

A giant container ship named ‘Ever Given’ ran aground in Suez Canal in Egypt, blocking off one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes that’s vital for movement of everything from oil to consumer goods. The hull of Ever Given, one of the biggest container ships in operation, became wedged lengthways across the canal, leaving at least 100 vessels gridlocked as they attempted to transit between the Red Sea and Mediterranean.

World Tuberculosis Day observed on March 24

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was observed on March 24, 2021. The day is observed on March 24 every year to raise public awareness about devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end global TB epidemic. The date marks a day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB.

International Day for the Right to the Truth observed on March 24

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims was observed on March 24, 2021. This annual observance pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980. Monsignor Romero was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador.

Senate confirms Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General

Indian-American physician Vivek Murthy has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Joe Biden’s surgeon general. Dr. Murthy, 43, would occupy the position of America’s Surgeon General for the second time. In 2011, President Barack Obama tapped him to serve on the advisory group on prevention, health promotion, and integrative and public health.

Navies of India and Madagascar conduct first joint patrolling of Madagascar’s EEZ

The navies of India and Madagascar undertook joint patrolling of Madagascar’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX). “The first-ever joint patrol between navies reflects growing defence ties between two Indian Ocean neighbours aimed at common objective of ensuring maritime security in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Pakistan Day celebrated on March 23

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the occasion of Pakistan Day which was celebrated on March 23, 2021. Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940 when the All-India Muslim League demanded a separate nation for the Muslims of India.

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