Current affairs (16TH march)
INDIA'S FOREX RESERVES 4TH LARGEST IN THE WORLD
- India’s foreign-exchange reserves surpassed Russia’s to become the world’s fourth-largest reserve. The foreign currency holdings of India stood at $580.3 billion as of March 5, as per the data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- The reserve of Russia was $580.1 billion. Overall, China has the largest reserves, followed by Japan and Switzerland, as on the International Monetary Fund table.
- Reserves for both countries have mostly flattened out this year after months of rapid increase. India pulled ahead as Russian holdings declined at a faster rate in recent weeks.
- India’s reserves, enough to cover roughly 18 months of imports, have been bolstered by a rare current-account surplus, rising inflows into the local stock market and foreign direct investment.
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikanta Das
- Headquarters: Mumbai
ISRO LAUNCHED SOUNDING ROCKET RH-560
- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched a sounding rocket named RH-560 on March 12, 2021. The purpose of launching the rocket is to study the "vertical changes" in the dynamics of neutral wind and plasma.
- The RH-560 rocket was launched from the Sriharikota Range (SHAR) of the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC).
- ISRO emphasized that the sounding rocket is a one-stage or two-stage solid propellant rocket. These rockets are used to probe the upper atmosphere and conduct space research. Beginning in 1965, ISRO began to launch locally-made sounding rockets.
- ISRO recently announced that it plans to launch an Earth observation satellite on March 28, 2021, which will provide near real-time border images. This will also enable rapid monitoring of natural disasters.
- The satellite named GISAT-1 will be launched by the "GSLV-F10 rocket" of the Sriharikota spaceport.
- The rocket will place the spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit, which will then be placed in a geostationary orbit with the help of an airborne propulsion system. The orbit is about 36,000 kilometers above the earth's equator.
- Amazonia-1: In February 2021, the space organization and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) from the Sriharikota Spaceport launched the main satellite called Amazonia-1 of Brazil, as well as 18 passenger satellites.
- This is ISRO's first satellite in 2021 during the covid-19 pandemic. This is also the first commercial mission of New Space India Limited (NSIL), which was carried out with the help of Spaceflight Inc. of the United States of America (USA).
4TH GLOBAL AYURVEDA FESTIVAL: 12TH TO 19TH MARCH
- The Prime Minister delivered a speech at the 4th Global Ayurveda Festival. The 4th Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF 2021) aims to discuss and develop Ayurveda on a global scale.
- The 4th Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF 2021) aims to discuss and develop Ayurveda on a global scale. This is a virtual gathering that will be held in March 12 – 19, 2021.
- The event demonstrated that Ayurveda, as a global treatment programme, will become a meeting place for people all over the world who are working hard to achieve this goal.
- The festival was originally scheduled to be held in Angamaly, Kerala in May 2020, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.
- Led by the Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI) Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), the Ayurveda Hospital Management Association organized the conference in collaboration with 14 organizations.
- The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry is a festival and industry partner. The conference (including many seminars) will focus on the relevance of Ayurveda in the post-COVID world and the potential of Ayurveda in enhancing immunity.
SOMALIA TO ORGANIZE ELECTIONS: UNITED NATIONS
- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has asked the Somali government to immediately organize elections in the country on March 12, 2021.
- The UN Security Council made this request in a resolution that emphasized the urgent threat to Somalia’s security from Al-Shabaab and armed opposition groups.
- The adopted UN Security Council resolution authorized the African Union to maintain a strong force of approximately 20,000 people in Somalia until the end of 2020.
- The purpose of this is to reduce the threat of extremist groups and make federal, sovereignty, unity and stability possible.
- The purpose of the resolution is to hand over security to the Somali authorities so that the country can play a leading role in 2021 and assume full responsibility by 2023.
- The UN Security Council resolution also emphasized the importance of capacity building between Somali forces and agencies, and authorized the AU forces.
- After failing to conduct the scheduled elections in February 2021, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed) was under increasing pressure and the resolution was passed.
- The election could not be held because no agreement has been reached on how to vote. Critics also accused Muhammad of delaying the election because he is seeking a second four-year term.
- Somalia is in the Horn of Africa. The country borders Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on the Africa.
MUMBAI CITY FC BEAT MOHUN BAGAN FOR ISL TITLE
- Mumbai City FC has defeated ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the ISL 2020-21 final to lift yet another trophy this year.
- Mumbai had earlier secured the ISL Shield along with a spot in the AFC Champions League group stage by finishing first in the standings in the regular season.
- Golden Ball Award (Best Player of ISL 2020-21): ATK Mohun Bagan forward Roy Krishna.
- Emerging Indian Player of the Year: NorthEast United midfielder Lalengmawia.
- Golden Boot Award (Top goal-scorer): FC Goa striker Igor Angulo for 14 goals.
- Golden Glove Award (Best Goalkeeper): ATK Mohun Bagan custodian Arindam Bhattacharya for ten clean sheets.
US AS INDIA'S SECOND LARGEST OIL SUPPLIER
- The United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India's second largest oil supplier. This shift came after refineries increased their purchases of cheaper U.S. crude oil to record levels to offset OPEC+ production cuts.
- The shift in supply was triggered by lower crude oil demand in the United States. It coincided that Saudi Arabia voluntarily cut its output by 1 million barrels per day in accordance with an agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to maintain a low output.
- India’s oil imports from the United States, the world’s largest oil producer, increased to 48%, reaching a record 545,300 barrels per day (barrels\/day) in February 2021, accounting for 14% of India’s total imports in February.
- On the other hand, since January 2021, India’s imports from Saudi Arabia have decreased by 42%, falling to a 10-year low of 445,200 barrels per day.
- As a result, Saudi Arabia, which has always been one of India’s two largest oil suppliers, fell to fourth place for the first time since 2006.
- India is the world's third largest oil importer and consumer. The country has repeatedly called on major oil producers to ease supply constraints and help the global economy recover. India also pointed to Saudi Arabia's voluntary cuts to promote the rise of global oil prices.
- According to data, Iraq is still India's largest oil seller. Even though oil purchases fell by 23% from a five-month low to 867,500 bpd, they maintained their highest position.
- Iraq has also cut its annual oil supply to Indian refineries by 20% in 2021 to fulfill its obligations under the OPEC production agreement.
DEEPAK MISHRA APPOINTED AS DIRECTOR OF ICRIER
- Deepak Mishra, Practice Manager in the World Bank’s Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Global Practice, has been appointed as the next director and chief executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
- He will take the charge of Rajat Kathuria who has been the director and chief executive of ICRIER since 1st September 2012.
- Mishra has held various positions at the World Bank, including co-director of the World Development Report 2016 (Digital Dividends), country economist for Ethiopia, Pakistan, Sudan, and Vietnam.
- ICRIER Established: August 1981.
- ICRIER Headquaters: New Delhi.