Current affairs (20TH march)
CHAIRMAN OF 'STOP TB PARTNERSHIP BOARD'
- Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan has been appointed as the Chairman of the international body Stop TB Partnership Board.
- He was appointed in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis from India by 2025. He will serve a three-year term, commencing from July this year.
- The Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB.
- The participation of a wide range of constituencies gives this global body the credibility and the broad range of medical, social and financial expertise needed to defeat TB.
- The Partnership’s vision is a TB-free world. The appointment of Dr Harsh Vardhan as the Chair of this prestigious global body is a proud recognition of India’s political commitment to the eradication of TB.
- Established in the year 2000, the ‘Stop TB Partnership’ is mandated to eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem.
6TH INDIA-BRAZIL-SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN'S MEETING
- The Sixth India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum meeting was held virtually. The Forum discussed key issues that contribute towards the transformation of women’s lives.
- At the end of the conference, a joint declaration was also issued highlighting the shared IBSA goals and commitments for achieving gender equality in all spheres of life.
- The India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperation Forum is a unique platform that brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents.
- The meeting was led by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.
- IBSA is committed to inclusive sustainable development, in pursuit of the well-being of its citizens and those from other developing nations.
- The principles, norms and values underpinning the IBSA Dialogue Forum are participatory democracy, respect for human rights, the Rule of Law and the strengthening of multilateralism.
- IBSA lays efforts in South-South cooperation beyond the conventional areas of exchange of experts and training.
MINES & MINERALS DEVELOPMENT & REGULATION BILL
- The 2021 "Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Amendment Bill", proposed in Lok Sabha. MMDR bill amended the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act of 1957.
- Removal of restrictions on mineral end-uses: The Bill stipulates that no mines may be reserved for specific end-uses.
- Sale of minerals from captive landmines: The Bill stipulates that captive landmines (except atomic minerals) can sell 50% of their annual minerals production on the open market after meeting their own needs. The central government can raise this threshold through notification.
- In some cases, auctions are conducted by the central government: The Bill authorizes the central government to negotiate with the state governments to specify a time period for completing the auction process.
- If the state government cannot complete the auction process during this period, the auction can be conducted by the central government.
- Allocation of mines with expired leases: The Bill says that mines (other than lignite, coal, and atomic minerals), whose lease has expired, may be allocated to a government company in certain cases.
- The state government can grant a lease for such a mine to a government company for a time period of 10 years or until the selection of a new lessee, whichever is earlier.
- Statutory clearances transfer: The draft bill stipulates that the statutory clearances of the transfer will be valid for the entire lease term of the new tenant.
- Allocation of mines whose leases expire: The Bill states that mines whose leases expire (except for coal, lignite and atomic minerals) can be allocated to government companies under certain circumstances.
FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF TANZANIA
- Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the sixth President of Tanzania, becoming the first female leader of the East African country.
- The 61-year-old Hassan assumed the presidency, following the death of previous President John Magfufuli, due to a heart condition.
- She will finish Magufuli’s second five-year term, which will run until 2025. Prior to taking charge as President, Hassan was the Vice-President of Tanzania, also being the first female vice-president of the country, since November 2015.
UNCTAD PROJECTS INDIA'S GDP TO GROW AT 5%
- The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has projected India’s economy to contract by 6.9 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, is forecast to record a “stronger recovery” in 2021 and grow by 5 per cent. Further, the UNCTAD estimates the global economy to grow by 4.7 per cent in 2021.
- The report noted that the deeper than expected downturn in 2020 explains in part the stronger recovery now projected for 2021 for India.
- According to a UN report which said the country’s current fiscal year budget points to a shift towards the demand-side stimulus, with an uptick in public investment.
- UNCTAD Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
- UNCTAD Founder: United Nations General Assembly.
- UNCTAD Founded: 30 December 1964.
WORLD SPARROW DAY: 20TH MARCH
- World Sparrow Day is celebrated every year on March 20 to raise awareness about the House Sparrow and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations.
- The theme of 2021 World Sparrow Day “I LOVE Sparrows”.
- The day was initiated by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world. The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010.
- The sparrows are known to live in the backyards and green patches in urban areas but “in the last two decades, their population is on the decline in almost every city,” according to the wwfindia.org.
- On this World Sparrow Day let’s encourage children and others around us to respect spaces for sparrows.
MOODY'S PROJECTED INDIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH
- Moody’s Analytics has projected the Indian economy to grow by 12 per cent in the Calendar Year 2021.
- For the Calendar year 2020, the real GDP was projected to contract 7.1 per cent by Moody’s. It must be noted that Moody’s Analytics makes calendar year projections, while its sister organization Moody’s Investors Service provides fiscal year estimates.
- This forecast is equivalent to real GDP, in level terms, growing by 4 per cent above pre-COVID-19 levels (as of March 2020) by the end of 2021, or equivalently, by 5.7 per cent above the GDP level in December 2020 by the end of 2021.
- Headquarters of Moody’s: NewYork, United States.
- President & CEO of Moody’s: Raymond W. McDaniel, Jr.