Current affairs (18TH march)
INDIA'S ARMS IMPORT FELL BY 33%: SIPRI
- India’s arms imports fell 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
- The report on international arms transfers attributed the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes. Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46%.
- India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report.
- According to Sipri, India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20, making the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms.
- This represents an increase of 228% over India’s export share of 0.1 % during the previous five-year period of 2011-15.
RBI IMPOSED FINE ON STATE BANK OF INDIA
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of 2 crores on the State Bank of India (SBI) for contravention of certain provisions of Section 10 of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949.
- The central bank’s specific directions issued to the bank on payment of remuneration to employees in the form of commission.
- This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested with RBI under the provisions of the BR Act. The penalty is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
- RBI said the statutory inspection of the bank with reference to its financial position as of March 31, 2017, and March 31, 2018, and the Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) pertaining thereto, and examination of the correspondence with the bank regarding payment of remuneration to its employees in the form of commission, revealed, inter alia, contravention of the provisions of the Act and aforesaid specific directions issued by RBI.
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- SBI Chairperson: Dinesh Kumar Khara.
- SBI Headquarters:
NEW DELHI AS WORLD'S MOST POLLUTED CAPITAL CITY
- New Delhi has been adjudged as the world’s most polluted capital city for the third straight year in the 2020 World Air Quality Report by Swiss organisation, IQAir.
- Globally, New Delhi is ranked as the 10th most polluted city in the world. The topmost polluted city in the world is Xinjiang in China.
- This is followed by nine Indian cities as the most polluted cities in the world, which are Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow and Bhiwari.
- The IQAir report measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM 2.5, which is measured by ground-based monitoring stations.
- As per the report, India was home to 35 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities, spanning 106 countries, which means India continues to feature prominently at the top of the most polluted cities ranking.
- The IQAir report seeks to empower individuals, organizations and communities to breathe cleaner air through information, collaboration and technology solutions.
EXPERTS COMMITTEE FOR STARTUP INDIA SEED FUND
- The government has constituted an experts advisory committee for the overall execution and monitoring of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.
- The committee would be chaired by H K Mittal from the Department of Science and Technology. The other representatives of the committee would include members from DPIIT, the department of biotechnology, science and technology, electronics and IT, Niti Aayog, and expert members from the startup ecosystem.
- The committee will evaluate and select incubators for allotment of funds under the scheme, monitor progress and take all necessary measures for efficient utilisation of funds towards the fulfilment of objectives of the scheme.
- Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS): The scheme has been approved for the period of the next four years starting from 2021-22, beginning from April 1, 2021.
- The government has earmarked Rs 945 crore corpus for the scheme, which will be divided over the next four years for providing seed funding to eligible startups through eligible incubators across India.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SAHITYA AKADEMI AWARDS 2020
- Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 20 languages. Seven books of poetry, four of the novel, Five short stories, two plays, and one each of memoirs and epic poetry in 20 Indian languages.
- The awards for Malayalam, Nepali, Odia and Rajasthani will be announced later. Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honour in India.
- It is a dream for all Indian writers to look forward to one of the prestigious literary awards. The political-writer M Veerappa Moily, poet Arundhathi Subramaniam will be bestowed with the Sahitya Akademi Award 2020.
- The Akademi is run by three authorities: General council, Finance committee, Executive board. The Akademi is known for holding the largest library of multi-lingual books in India. The Sahitya Akademi is autonomous. It comes under the Ministry of Culture.
List of winners in different language and genre categories:
- Assamese -- Bengsata (Short stories) -- Apurba Kumar Saikia
- Bengali -- Eka Eka Ekashi (Memoirs) -- Mani Shankar Mukhopadhyay
- Bodo -- Gwthenay Lamayao Gwdan Agan (Short stories) -- Dharanidhar Owari
- Dogri-- Baba Jitmal (Play) -- Gian Singh
- English -- When God Is a Traveller (Poetry) -- Arundhathi Subramaniam
- Gujarati -- Banaras Diary (Poetry) -- Harish Meenakshru
- Hindi -- Tokeri Mein Digant ‘ Their Gatha” (Poetry) -- Anamika
- Sahitya Akademi Award 2020 winners will be bestowed with the award in the form of a casket, containing the engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cash amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- at the Sahitya Akademi Award Presentation function.
GLOBAL RECYCLING DAY OBSERVED ON MARCH 18
- Global Recycling Day is observed every year on March 18 to create awareness among the masses about the rapid pace at which our natural resources are being used.
- The day also promotes the concept and practice of recycling. Every year, events are organized by environmentalist and activists to promote the cause.
- In 2021, the theme of Global Recycling Day is “Recycling Heroes”. Its main aim is to recognize the people, places and activities that showcase the importance of recycling in preserving natural resources.
- Recycling has helped in reducing carbon emissions by over 700 million tonnes every year.
- Notably, over 1.6 million people are employed around the world in the recycling industry. In this decade, the yearly contribution of recycling will increase up to $400 billion.
BOOK TITLED "BATTLE READY FOR 21ST CENTURY"
- A book titled “Battle Ready for 21st Century” co-edited by Lt Gen AK Singh, Distinguished Fellow CLAWS and Brig Narender Kumar, Visiting Fellow CLAWS was released by Gen Bipin Rawat.
- The book lays down the conceptual framework for the strategic management of future conflicts.
- The book “Battle Ready for the 21st Century” has endeavoured to postulate and define emerging areas of conflict, desired capabilities and doctrinal issues that need careful examination.
- The authors with hands-on experience and domain specialisation have endeavoured to define and suggest the ways and means necessary to secure India from emerging security challenges on land, air, sea, space, cyber domain and even cognitive domain.
- The book is dwelling on future conflicts that India may face and need to build capabilities to dissuade and prevent accidental wars.
- The foreword is written by former Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash. Former Chief of the Army Staff Gen NC Vij and Prof Gautam Sen have commented on the book for empirically identifying future security challenges and the need for building capabilities.