Current affairs (23RD march)
INDIA RANKED 56TH IN GLOBAL HOME PRICE INDEX
- India has moved down 13 spots in the latest global home price index to finish last at 56th rank in the quarter ending December 2020.
- Against its 43rd rank a year ago, India saw a decline of 3.6% year-on-year (YoY) in home prices, leading to the drop in global position, showed Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index.
- India was the weakest-performing country during the fourth quarter of 2020, with a decline of 3.6% in home prices, followed by Morocco with a drop of 3.3%.
- According to the report, markets like New Zealand (19%), Russia (14%), the US (10%), Canada and UK (both 9%) have recorded accelerated growth in rankings in the last three months due to a growth in housing demand.
- The index tracks the movement in mainstream residential prices across 56 countries and territories worldwide using official statistics.
- In the 12-month percentage change for the period Q4 2019 – Q4 2020, Turkey continues to lead the annual rankings with prices up by 30.3% on-year, followed by New Zealand at 18.6% and Slovakia at 16.0%.
BIHAR CABINET APPROVED ETHANOL POLICY
- Bihar Cabinet has approved the Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, becoming the 1st Indian State to have an ethanol promotion policy.
- The policy allows the extraction of ethanol, which was restricted to sugarcane, from surplus quantities of maize as well.
- The new policy would permit ethanol production in Bihar from all feedstocks permitted by National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, and subsequently by the National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
- The Assembly was informed of the cabinet decision by deputy chief minister Renu Devi as the industry minister Shahnawaz Husain was away in poll-bound West Bengal for campaigning.
- So far, the government of India has granted permission for ethanol production from B-heavy molasses, C-heavy molasses, grains unfit for human consumption, sugarcane juice, sugar, sugar syrup, surplus rice and maize.
- The Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, of Bihar promotes new standalone ethanol manufacturing units by providing them additional capital subsidy at 15% of the cost of plant and machinery up to a maximum of ₹5 crores.
- The new policy also provides an additional subsidy for special class investors like SCs, STs, EBCs, women, differently-abled, war widows, acid attack victims and third gender entrepreneurs.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF 67TH NATIONAL FILM AWARDS
- The 67th National Film Awards are currently being announced in New Delhi. The awards are for films from the year 2019.
- The event is organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The ceremony was supposed to be held in May last year but was delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
List of all the winners: Feature Film Awards
- Best Feature Film: Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (Malayalam)
- Best Actor (shared): Manoj Bajpayee for Bhonsle (Hindi), and Dhanush for Asuran (Tamil)
- Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut for Panga (Hindi) and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (Hindi)
- Best Supporting Actress: Pallavi Joshi for The Tashkent Files (Hindi)
- Best Supporting Actor: Vijay Sethupathi for Super Deluxe (Tamil)
- Best Director: Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan for Bahattar Hoorain (Hindi)
- Most Film Friendly State: Sikkim
- Best Book on Cinema: A Gandhian Affair: India’s Curious Portrayal of Love in Cinema, by Sanjay Suri
- (Special mentions: Cinema Paharana Manus by Ashok Rane and Kannada Cinema: Jagathika Cinema Vikasa-Prerane Prabhava written by PR Ramadasa Naidu)
GANDHI PEACE PRIZE FOR 2019 & 2020 ANNOUNCED
- The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019 is being conferred on (Late) His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman.
- Gandhi Peace Prize recognizes the unparalleled vision and leadership of the Late H.M. Sultan Qaboos Bin Said in strengthening relations between India and Oman, and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region.
- On the other hand, Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
- The Committee selected the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods.
- The Gandhi Peace Prize recognizes the immense and unparalleled contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in inspiring the liberation of Bangladesh, bringing stability to a nation born out of strife, laying the foundation for the close and fraternal relations between India and Bangladesh, and promoting peace and non-violence in the Indian subcontinent
- Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by the Government of India since 1995, the 125th Birth Anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex. The award carries an amount of Rs. 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item.
SHAHEED DIWAS OR MARTYRS DAY: 23RD MARCH
- Every year, March 23 is observed as Martyrs Day (Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day) to pay tribute on the death anniversary of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru, who laid their lives for the freedom of India.
- It was on March 23 in 1931, in Lahore (Pakistan), that these three were hanged to death for assassinating John Saunders, a British police officer in 1928.
- They had mistaken him for British police superintendent James Scott, who had ordered lathi-charge, which eventually led to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. Also, 30 January is observed as Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Shaheed Diwas is observed on March 23 to honour the sacrifice of three extraordinary freedom fighters of India. Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were hanged to death by the Britishers.
- They came forward at a very young age and fought bravely for the independence of India. They went on to become an inspiration to the youth of the country.
WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY: MARCH 23RD
- The World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on 23 March to commemorate the date of the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization in 23 March 1950.
- The day also highlights the contribution that the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society.
- The World Meteorological Day theme is “The ocean, our climate and weather” celebrates WMO’s focus in connecting the ocean, climate and weather within the Earth System.
- It also marks the starting year of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
- World Meteorological Organization Head: Petteri Taalas.
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
- World's Meteorological Organization has a membership of 191 member states and territories.
NOZOMI OKUHARA WINS TITLE AT ENGLAND OPEN
- Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara has won the All England Badminton Championships women’s title as she defeated Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-12, 21-16 in the finals.
- In the men’s category, Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia has won the All England Badminton Championships title as he defeated Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in the summit clash.
- With this win, Malaysia’s title drought came to an end and it is after four years, that someone from the country has managed to win the All England Open. Lee Chong Wei had last won the All England Open for Malaysia in 2017.
List of winners of the All England Badminton Championships 2021:
- Men’s singles --- Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia)
- Women’s singles ---- Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
- Men’s doubles --- Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe
- Women’s doubles --- Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara