Current affairs (21ST & 22ND march)
GOVT. OF INDIA LAUNCHED GRAM UJALA SCHEME
- The government of India has launched the “Gram Ujala Scheme” to provide the cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas.
- The scheme was launched by the Union power and new and renewable energy Minister, Raj Kumar Singh. In the first phase, the scheme was launched from Arrah district in Bihar.
- In this phase, around 15 million LED bulbs will be distributed in the villages of Arrah (Bihar), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and western Gujarat.
- The Gram Ujala Scheme is an ambitious scheme that offers the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas. This is the first such scheme in India.
- It provides the LED Bulbs in these areas at a mere ₹10. This scheme also furthers its climate change strategy and strengthens the self-reliance credentials. The scheme does not come with the government’s support or subsidy.
JHARKHAND GOVT. LAUNCHED SAAMAR CAMPAIGN
- The state government of Jharkhand has launched a campaign called SAAMAR to tackle malnutrition in the state. SAAMAR stands for Strategic Action for Alleviation of Malnutrition and Anemia Reduction.
- The campaign has been launched with a 1000 days target, where annual surveys will be conducted to track the progress.
- The campaign will bring together various departments to identify anaemic women and malnourished children to effectively deal with the problem in a state where malnutrition has been a major problem.
- Most importantly, the campaign, as per the note, also tries to target Primarily Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
- Stating that there is no research-based information available on their food and nutritional habits, it encourages research and proposes fellowships on the nutritional behaviour of these groups for effective implementation.
INDIA RANKED 139TH POSITION IN HAPPINESS REPORT
- India has been placed at 139th position out of 149 countries in the UN World Happiness Report 2021 In 2019, India was ranked 140th.
- The World Happiness Report 2021 has been topped by Finland, for the fourth consecutive year. The 2021 report is the ninth World Happiness Report and focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared.
Top 5 Countries
- The Netherlands
Bottom 5 Countries
- Afghanistan (149)
- Zimbabwe (148)
- Rwanda (147)
- Botswana (146)
- Lesotho (145)
- The World Happiness Report is issued by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, to rank countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.
- The countries of the world are ranked on the basis of questions from the Gallup World Poll. The results are then correlated with other factors, like gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy and the opinions of residents.
PASSEX EXERCISE CONDUCTED B/W INDIA & BAHRAIN
- Indian Navy on 18th March undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Bahrain Naval Force Corvette Al Muharraq in the Persian Gulf under Operation Sankalp.
- PASSEXs are conducted regularly by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea.
- The exercises are aimed at fostering interoperability and reflecting the commitments of both, India and Bahrain, to build cooperative partnerships in meeting emergent maritime challenges.
- King of Bahrain: Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
- Bahrain Capital: Manama.
- Bahrain Currency: Bahraini dinar.
DEFENCE MINISTRY DEAL TO ACQUIRE 4,960 ATGM
- The Defence Ministry has sealed a deal with the public sector undertaking Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to acquire 4,960 MILAN-2T anti-tank guided missiles at a cost of ₹ 1,188 crores for the Indian Army.
- The missiles, having a range of 1,850 metres, are being produced by BDL under license from French defence major MBDA Missile Systems.
- These missiles can be fired from the ground as well as vehicle-based launchers and can be deployed in the anti-tank role for both offensive and defensive tasks and will further enhance the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces.
- Minister of Defence: Raj Nath Singh.
- Bharat Dynamics Limited Founded: 1970, Hyderabad.
- Bharat Dynamics Limited Chairman & MD: Siddharth Mishra.
INT. DAY FOR ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
- The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March to remind people about the negative consequences of racial discrimination.
- This year theme is “Youth standing up against racism”. It engages the public through #FightRacism, which aims to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination and calls on each and every one of us to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes.
- The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.
- In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination.
- On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.
WORLD ORAL HEALTH DAY: 20TH MARCH
- World Oral Health Day is observed every year on 20th March. It focuses on highlighting the benefits of good oral health, spreads awareness about oral diseases and promotes maintenance of oral hygiene.
- The theme for the next three years, 2021-2023 is: Be Proud of Your Mouth. The day is an initiative of FDI World Dental Federation; an organization that brings together the world of dentistry with the aim of achieving optimal oral health for everyone.
- Oral health is as important as general health. It helps you maintain a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.
- It also helps to improve your appearance. Poor oral health can not only lead to oral diseases but also major health problems like heart disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke, respiratory problems and premature births in pregnant women.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS: MARCH 21ST
- The International Day of Forests (also known as World Forestry Day) is celebrated every year on March 21.
- The day is to celebrate to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations as well as to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth.
- The theme for International Day of Forests 2020 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.
- This year’s theme fits into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a call for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world.
- The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
- Countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.
WORLD WATER DAY OBSERVED ON 22ND MARCH
- World Water Day is observed globally on 22nd March every year. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.
- It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
- The theme of World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing water”.
- The value of water is much more than its economic value – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.
- The idea for this international day goes back to 1992, the year in which the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro took place.
- That same year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993.
UN FRENCH LANGUAGE DAY: 20TH MARCH
- The UN French Language Day is observed annually on 20 March.
- The day was established by the UN’s Department of Public Information in 2010, to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization.
- March 20 was chosen as the date for the French language since it coincides with the 40th anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie, representing countries and regions where French is a customary language.
- The date of French Language Day was chosen symbolically in reference to March 20, 1970, which marks the creation of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT), which became the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).