Daily Current Affairs | 20th March Current Affairs 2021

IIT Kharagpur launches PhD program

IIT Kharagpur and the University of Manchester have launched a dual award PhD program.

IIT Kharagpur has already established similar programs with universities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but this is the first time such a joint program has been established with a British university.

The program will be launched in July 2021.


Samiya Suluhu: First female president of Tanzania

Samiya Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the first female President of Tanzania on 19 March 2021, following the accidental death of John Magufuli Magui.

Hassan will serve Magufuli’s remaining five-year term, which will not expire until 2025.

She is the only other current female head of state in Africa with Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Jwede (whose role is predominantly formal).


India, US launch AI-centric forum

The Indo-US Science and Skill Forum’s US India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) inventiveness was launched on 17 March 2021.

The initiative focuses on AI cooperation in key areas that are the priorities of both countries.

This will provide opportunities for key stakeholder groups to share experiences, identify new research and development areas, and benefit from synergistic activities.


Moody’s boosts India’s GDP growth by 12%

Moody’s Analytics reported India’s gross domestic product (GDP) estimate to grow 12% in 2021 on 18 March 2021.

In earlier estimates in November 2020, it was estimated that India’s GDP would increase by 9% in this calendar year.

Near-term prospects for Asia’s third-largest economy have become more favorable, but the second wave of COVID-19 infections poses a significant risk of recovery.


Nippon India launches new SDL-focused ETF

Nippon India has announced the launch of its ETF (exchange-traded fund) Nifty SDL-2026.

The fund Nifty SDL will track a structure of the top 20 equal weight indices of April 2026 which constitutes the 20 SDL.

The risk in the plan is low as it will buy and hold securities till maturity.

The new fund offer for the fund closed on March 19, 2021.


Cuba Approves Second Indigenous COVID Vaccine

Cuba’s Drug Regulatory Authority has approved the last clinical trial of a second COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

In March 2021, Cuba began last-stage trials of its most advanced experimental vaccine, named Sobrana (Soveranti) 2.

The new vaccine Abdala, named after the poetry of 19th-century Cuban freedom fighter Jose Marti, targets the spike protein of novel coronaviruses.


Bengaluru: Second place on Retail Attraction Index

Bengaluru ranked second in the Carney Retail Index released on 18 March 2021.

It overhauled Mumbai in the 2021 version of the report.

Carney recorded Bengaluru’s per capita brand penetration higher than Mumbai, making it attractive to retailers.

More recently, Bengaluru was also named the most livable city in the country.


Government signs ₹ 1,188 crore deal with BDL

The Union Defense Ministry has signed a ₹ 1,188 crore agreement with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to supply 4,960 Milan-2T Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) to the Indian Army.

This is a ‘repeat order’ of the contract, which was signed on 8 March 2016 with BDL.

The missile is a pushbike missile ATGM with a range of 1,850 meters, which BDL has built under license from MBDA Missile Systems, France.


Vaccination capacity will be increased in Delhi

Vaccination capacity in Delhi will increase to 1.25 lakhs per day.

Currently, 30-40 thousand vaccine doses are being given per day.

Vaccination is being done at around 500 centers in Delhi which will be doubled.

Vaccination time will be extended from 9 am to 9 pm so that more people can be vaccinated.


‘Golden Victory Torch’ reaches Kolkata

The golden jubilee celebrations of the 1971 war continue across the country, with the flame of victory arriving at Akashvani Bhavan in Kolkata on 18 March 2021.

The celebration of the ‘Golden Victory Year’ was started on 1 March 2021 by launching the ‘Golden Victory Torch’ from the National War Memorial in Delhi.

This led to 4 other ‘Victory Torches’ being burnt and sent to different parts of the country.


Taiwan approves AstraZeneca vaccine

Taiwan has assumed regulatory endorsement to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and is expected to be vaccinated shortly before, 22 March 2021.

Taiwan is prioritizing health staff in the first wave of its vaccination program and around 60,000 people are queuing up to receive the first vaccination.


Amar Ekushi Book Fair in Dhaka

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Amar Ekushi Book Fair in Dhaka on 18 March 2021.

He also released the book ‘New China 1952’, which is an English translation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s book ‘Amar Dekha Naya China’.

The leitmotif of the book fair is the birth birthday of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Independence.


8.76 GW renewable energy added during 2019-20

A total of 8.76-GW renewable energy capacity has been added to the country during the year 2019-20.

The total installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources is 38.49 percent of the total installed power generation capacity in the country.

India committed to generate 40% of its total installed power generation capacity by 2030 from non-fossil fuel sources.


LIC will not be privatized: Government

The government has well-versed that the Life Insurance Corporation will not be denationalized and only the initial public offering, the IPO, will be issued.

LIC is an insurance and investment corporation owned by the Government of India.

It was documented on 1 September 1956 by the Parliament of India by fleeting the Indian Life Insurance Act, which nationalized the insurance industry in India.


VSP will create 3.7 crore jobs

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari informed that with the implementation of the vehicle scraping policy, more than 3.7 crore employment opportunities will be created in the country.

This step will generate additional GST revenue of 30 to 40 thousand crore rupees.

The aim of the policy is to create an ecosystem to prevent vehicles being disqualified and polluting.


Dutch election: Prime Minister Mark Rutte wins

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s party has gained the most seats in parliamentary elections.

The victory gave Mr. Rutte a command to form a new alliance government led by his center-right party, the VVD Party, from which he would take a fourth term as Prime Minister.

His latter government submissive in January 2021 over a child welfare fraud scandal.

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