Current affairs (26TH & 27th march)
WATER CRISIS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
- The State Water Minister of the Himachal Pradesh has repeatedly warned the legislative assembly that the state may face severe water shortages.
- Insufficient rain and snow: This winter, there is less snow and rain in Himachal Pradesh. After winter, the melted water from glaciers and snow will regularly supply groundwater and other downhill water sources (such as springs, wells, rivers, etc.).
- However, due to insufficient snowfall, water sources have begun to dry up this year. 69% less than normal precipitation: According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the state received only 59 mm of precipitation this winter (January 1 to February 28), 69% less than normal.
- Increasing demand: In the past few decades, due to the population growth of the state, the demand for water has been increasing. People now rely more on tap water supply schemes than traditional water sources such as spring water and bawries water.
- Climate change: Rainfall patterns have also become unstable. During dry periods, water sources in certain areas are rapidly depleted, especially in Shiwaliks hilly areas where soil water holding capacity is low.
INDIA'S 1ST EVER JOINT PATROL IN MADAGASCAR EEZ
- In a first, 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 the navies reflects the growing defence ties between the two Indian Ocean neighbours aimed at the common objective of ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- Indian Naval Ship INS Shardul made a port call at Antsiranana, Madagascar as part of the First Training Squadron’s (1TS) Overseas Deployment.
- INS Shardul and Malagasy Navy ship MNS Trozona carried out a Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
- The Joint exercise bears testimony to the growing bonds between the maritime forces of both the nations and aimed at common objectives of ensuring maritime security by India and Madagascar and interoperability between the two navies.
'ICGS VAJRA' COMMISSIONED INTO INDIAN COAST GUARD
- L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vajra was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, at Chennai.
- ICGS Vajra is the sixth vessel in the series of seven OPVs being built by L&T under a Ministry of Defence contract signed in the year 2015. Like the five OPVs in the series, ICGS Vajra was also delivered ahead of the contractual schedule.
- OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation
- Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles. It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots.
- The entire design and construction process has been certified by the American Bureau of Shipping as well as the Indian Registrar of Shipping and overseen by the ICG’s resident team at Kattupalli.
- Director-General of Indian Coast Guard: Krishnaswamy Natarajan.
- Indian Coast Guard Headquarters: New Delhi.
IIT KHARAGPUR WINS CORENET GLOBAL CHALLENGE
- A team of four undergraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur emerged as winners at the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0, sponsored by Cushman and Wakefield, KI and IA: Interior Architects.
- The team comprised Siddhant Samarth, Pratim Majumdar, Rishita Raj and Utkarsh Agrawal and were guided by Prof. Jenia Mukherjee (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences).
- The team from IIT Kharagpur was one of the four teams to progress into the final round out of 1300 teams all over the world and was pitted against the University of Washington, New York University and the University of Denver in the final round hosted online on 18th March 2021.
- This is the first time that a squad from India has emerged as winners in the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge since the inception of the competition in 2015.
- CoreNet Global is a non-profit association, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia (US), representing more than 11,000 executives in 50 countries with strategic responsibility for the real estate assets of large corporations.
- The organization’s mission is to advance the practice of corporate real estate through professional development opportunities, publications, research, conferences, designations and networking in 46 local chapters and networking groups globally.
SAURABH GARG APPOINTED AS CEO OF UIDAI
- Senior bureaucrat, Saurabh Garg has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre.
- Mr Garg is at present serving in his cadre state Odisha. He is a 1991 batch IAS officer.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Garg as the CEO, UIDAI in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.
KHELO INDIA SCHEME EXTENDED TILL 2025-26
- Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has decided to extend the Khelo India scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- The Ministry has furnished an Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) memorandum to the Ministry of Finance for extension/continuation of the Khelo India Scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- An amount of Rs 8750 crore has been estimated as the financial implication of the new Khelo India Scheme (2021-22 to 2025-26) in the EFC memorandum furnished to the Ministry of Finance.
- An amount of Rs 657.71 crore has been allocated in the Budget Estimate (B.E.) for the year 2021-22 under the Khelo India Scheme.
YOGASANA INCLUDED IN KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES
- Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has included Yogasana in Khelo India Youth Games 2021 in a bid to develop it as a competitive sport.
- Yogasana sport for both male and female categories have been included in Khelo India Youth Games, 2021.
- Rijiju has written a reply in the Lok Sabha that the government has also given recognition to the National Yogasana Sports Federation (NYSF) for the promotion and development of Yogasana in the country.
- An International Yogasana Sports Federation was formed under the presidentship of yoga guru Baba Ramdev with HR Nagendra as secretary-general in November 2019.
ASHA BHOSLE HONOURED WITH 'MAHARASHTRA BHUSHAN'
- Legendary singer Asha Bhosle will be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan Award for the year 2020.
- A committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to select Ms Bhosle for the award for the year 2020.
- Ms Bhosle, whose sister Lata Mangeshkar won the award for 1997, said she got to know from Mr Thackeray that she has been selected for the award for 2020. Ms Bhosle received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000.
- The award, instituted in 1996 by the State government to recognise distinguished work and achievements of eminent persons from the State, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a citation.
- The first Maharashtra Bhushan awardee was Marathi writer P.L. Deshpande and the last winner of this award was historian Babasaheb Purandare who got it for the year 2015.
INAUGURATION OF KURNOOL AIRPORT IN AP
- Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri has inaugurated the Kurnool Airport, in Andhra Pradesh
- The flight operations at Kurnool airport will begin on 28 March 2021. This airport has been developed under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).
- Kurnool airport will bring the region closer to major hubs in South India by providing direct flight operations to Bangalore, Visakhapatnam and Chennai.
- Kurnool is the 6th airport in Andhra Pradesh to become functional after Kadapa, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Rajahmundry & Vijayawada.
- Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
- Governor: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.
WORLD THEATRE DAY OBSERVED ON 27TH MARCH
- World Theatre Day is observed globally on 27th March every year. World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), France.
- It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centers and the international theatre community.
- This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”, and acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognised its value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realised its potential for economic growth.
- Every year the Executive Council of ITI chooses an outstanding theatre personality to write the message for World Theatre Day.
- The author of the Message of World Theatre Day 2021 is Helen MIRREN, United Kingdom. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.
- To promote theatre in all its forms across the world.
- To make people aware of the value of theatre in all its forms.
- To enable theatre communities to promote their work on a broad scale so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it.
- To enjoy theatre in all its forms for its own sake.
- To share the joy of theatre with others.