Current Affairs – March 27, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for March 27, 2021

India

PMs of India and Bangladesh inaugurate “Bangabandhu-Bapu Museum” in Dhaka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on March 26, 2021 jointly inaugurated the “Bangabandhu-Bapu Museum” at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. The museum has a digital exhibition on India’s Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The exhibition is dedicated to the lives of Gandhi and ‘Bangabandhu’. The exhibition was inaugurated at a time when Bangladesh is celebrating the golden jubilee of the country’s independence and birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Swarna Jayanti scholarship for youths of Bangladesh announced by PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi on March 26, 2021 announced Swarna Jayanti scholarship for youths of Bangladesh. It is a research fellowship awarded annually by Department of Science and Technology of India and is given for notable and outstanding research by young scientists, applied or fundamental, in biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and physics. Modi also announced to invite 50 entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to visit India and join start-up initiative and meet Indian venture capitalists.

Indo-Korean friendship park inaugurated at Delhi cantonment

An Indo-Korean friendship park was jointly inaugurated on March 26, 2021 by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of South Korea Suh Wook at Delhi cantonment. The park has been built to commemorate the contribution of Indian peacekeeping force during the Korean war of 1950-53.

WCD Ministry to fund research projects on welfare/development of women, children

Ministry of Women and Child Development has invited research proposals for undertaking research projects focused on action-based research with aim to translate the research findings into action plans so as to improve the female participation in economic activities in the country. The projects will be in the fields of welfare and development of women and children including Food and Nutrition aspects.

Dr Harsh Vardhan launches ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ in pursuit of TB Mukt Bharat

Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on March 26, 2021 launched ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ in pursuit of TB Mukt Bharat. Speaking on the occasion, he said that government accords top priority to ensuring Universal Access to free treatment and care for TB across the country. He said, the government has already increased the Budget allocation for TB in India a four-fold in the last five years.

Noted journalist and author Anil Dharker dies in Mumbai

Noted journalist and author Anil Dharker, founder of Mumbai International Literature Festival and Literature Live! died in Mumbai on March 26, 2021. Dharker, who was in his mid-70s, was the editor of several publications including Mid-Day and The Independent and played a vital role in opening the Akashwani Auditorium in south Mumbai as an art movie theatre.

ITBP to utilise the services of its retired combat canines as ‘therapy dogs’

In a novel initiative, border guarding force ITBP has decided to utilise the services of its retired combat canines as ‘therapy dogs’ to help in early recuperation of personnel undergoing medical treatment and also for their specially-abled children. Dogs, at present, who retire from these central forces are usually handed over to animal NGOs or kept at a retirement home within the organisation for post-retirement care.

Economy & Corporate

Foreign exchange reserves rose to $582.271 billion in the week to March 19

According to Reserve Bank of India, country’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves rose $233 million to $582.271 billion in week to March 19. Foreign currency assets rose $157 million to $541.18 billion. Value of gold reserves increased for second consecutive week, and was up $80 million to $34.63 billion. Special drawing rights (SDRs) with International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $2 million to $1.5 billion. Country’s reserve position with the IMF also declined by $1 million to $4.96 billion.

Piyush Goyal discusses trade ties with US counterpart

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Railways and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal had a discussion with United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Katherine Tai, over a video call on March 25, 2021. They discussed a range of issues and agreed to strengthen the India–U.S. trade and investment relationship.

Aviation security fee payable by passengers hiked

Central government has increased aviation security fee payable by passengers to ₹200 from ₹160 for domestic passengers. The same for international passengers has been increased to US $12 from US $5.2, according to an order issued on March 19. The revised fee will come into effect from April 1,2021. The fee is used to pay for the deployment of CISF personnel at airports.

Govt extends validity of driving licence, vehicle documents till June 30

Central government on March 26, 2021 extended validity of motor vehicle documents like driving licence (DL), registration certificate (RC) and permits till June 30, 2021, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In an advisory to states, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said it is extending the validity of fitness, permit, driving licence, registration and other documents whose extension of validity could not be granted due to lockdown and which had expired since February 1, 2020, or would expire by March 31, 2021.

Govt mandates companies to disclose investments in cryptocurrencies

Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has made amendments to rules in the Companies Act, mandating firms to disclose their investments in cryptocurrencies, spend on corporate social responsibility (CSR), and benami property transactions, among others, in their financial statements from the next financial year.

Former RBI Deputy Governor K. C. Chakrabarty passes away at 69

Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty passed away on March 26, 2021 in Mumbai at the age of 69. Chakrabarty was the deputy governor of the central bank between June 15, 2009 and April 25, 2014 when he left office three months before to his term ended. Before that, he served as the Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab National Bank (2007-2009), and CMD of Indian Bank (2005-2007).

SC upholds decision of Tata Sons to remove Chairman Cyrus Mistry in 2016

The Supreme Court on March 26, 2021 upheld the decision of the Tata Sons board in October 2016 to remove its then chairman, Cyrus Mistry, from office and later the company’s board. In its 282-page judgment, the court set aside the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT’s) order of December 2019, which had re-instated Mistry on the Tata Sons board and had termed the appointment of the current chairman, N. Chandrasekaran, “illegal”. Mistry Group has agreed to sell its 18.4% stake to Tata Sons and its valuation and buyers are to be determined.

SAIL Chairperson Soma Mondal appointed Chairperson of SCOPE

Soma Mondal, chairperson of state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), was on March 26, 2021 elected the new chairperson of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE). Mondal will have a two-year term starting April; she took charge of SAIL on January 1, 2021. SCOPE is an apex professional organization representing the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). It promotes excellence in organisations where public investment is involved, in order to enable them to be globally competitive

BPCL sells its 61.5% stake in Numaligarh Refinery in Assam

Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on March 26, 2021 said it has sold its entire 61.5 per cent stake in Numaligarh Refinery in Assam to a consortium of Oil India Ltd and Engineers India and Government of Assam for Rs 9,876 crore. OIL bought a 54.16 per cent stake to raise its shareholding in the refinery to 80.16 per cent. Engineers India Ltd (EIL) bought a 4.4 per cent stake and the balance 3.2 per cent was acquired by Government of Assam. The sale of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) clears the way for privatisation of India’s second-largest fuel retailer.

U.S. adds India to list of countries affected by African swine fever

The United States has notified that India has been added to the list of countries that have been affected by African swine fever, imposing restrictions on the import of pork and pork products from the country. In a federal notification issued on March 25, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said India has been to the list of regions “we consider to be affected” with African Swine Fever (ASF).

World

Eritrea agrees to withdraw troops from Ethiopia’s Tigray region

Eritrea will pull its troops out of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on March 26, 2021, a potential breakthrough in a drawn-out conflict that has seen atrocities carried out against civilians. After a visit to Eritrea Abiy said that Ethiopian forces will take over guarding the border areas “effective immediately.” Abiy sent troops into Tigray on November 4 after accusing the region’s once-dominant ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacks on Army camps.

Children’s author Beverly Cleary dies in US at 104

Beverly Cleary, the celebrated children’s author whose memories of her Oregon childhood were shared with millions through the likes of Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins, died in US on March 25, 2021 at the age of 104. Trained as a librarian, Cleary didn’t start writing books until her early 30s when she wrote “Henry Huggins,” published in 1950.

Steven Spielberg to donate $1 million Genesis Prize received in Israel

Steven Spielberg said on March 25, 2021 that he will donate his $1 million Genesis Prize to 10 nonprofits that are working for racial and economic justice. The film director and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, will match those donations with $1 million of their own. In February, Spielberg received Israel’s prestigious 2021 Genesis Prize in recognition of his contribution to cinema, his philanthropic works and his efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

Sports

ISSF shooting World Cup: India win gold in 50m rifle 3 positions mixed team event

Sanjeev Rajput and Tejaswini Sawant won gold in the 50m rifle 3 positions mixed team event the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on March 26, 2021. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Sunidhi Chauhan won the bronze medal. Niraj Kumar, Swapnil Kusale and Chain Singh claimed gold in the 50m rifle 3 positions men’s team event. Vijayveer Sidhu settled for the silver medal behind Estonia’s Peeter Olesk in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol final.

England defeat India by six wickets in 2nd ODI at Pune

England defeated India by six wickets in the second ODI to level the three-match ODI series at Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune on March 26, 2021. India amassed 336 for six courtesy KL Rahul (108 off 114) and Rishabh Pant (77 off just 40) after England won the toss and opted to field again. England capitalised on a flying start provided by Bairstow (124 off 112) and Jason Roy (55 off 52) to gun down the target in just 43.3 overs with six wickets in hand.

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