Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on 1st Apiril 2021 attended the 17th BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Ministerial Meet chaired by Sri Lanka. This BIMSTEC Ministerial Meet enjoys a unique strength of connecting South and Southeast Asia.
Established : 1997
Headquarter : Dhaka,Bangladesh
BIMSTEC, a sub-regional organization that constitutes a bridge between South and South-East Asia, has become a key platform for regional cooperation in recent times. BIMSTEC Secretariat is situated in Dhaka. BIMSTEC came into existence on June 6, 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand. First BIMSTEC Summit held in 2004 at Bangkok,Thailand and in 2008 India, 2014 Myanmar, 2016 India
Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest award to be given to the personalities for their unparalleled service in the film industry. The recipient is honoured for their outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. For the year 2019, this prestigious award has been conferred to superstar Rajinikanth for his outstanding service towards the development of Indian cinema.
About Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Established year : 1969
Awarded by : Directorate of Film Festivals
To honour the Father of Indian Cinema, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, the National Film Awards named the most prestigious and coveted award of Indian Cinema after him. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was introduced in 1969 by the government to recognise the contribution of film personalities towards the development of Indian Cinema. The first recipient of this award was Devika Rani.
Dadasaheb Phalke Award is given to a film personality for his/her outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The award comprises of a Swarna Kamal, a cash Prize of Rs. 10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakhs)certificate,silk scroll and a shawl.
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 for strengthening relations between India and Oman, and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region.
About Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said
Qaboos bin Said Al Said was the Sultan of Oman from 23 July 1970 until his death. He was the longest-serving leader in the Middle East and Arab world at the time of his death. As Sultan, Qaboos implemented a policy of modernization and ended Oman's international isolation. His reign saw a rise in living standards and development in the country, the abolition of slavery and the promulgation of Oman's constitution. Qaboos died in 2020.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’ campaign on World Water Day i.e. on 22nd March 2021 via video conferencing.
About ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’
The Campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas, with the theme “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”. It will be implemented from 22nd March 2021 to 30th November, 2021 - the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country. It will be launched as a Jan Andolan to take water conservation at grass-root level through people’s participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2021 represents one of the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community, is co-organized by International Telecommunications Union (ITU), UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD. World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2021 in close collaboration has proven to be an efficient mechanism for coordination of multi- stakeholder implementation activities, information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices and continues to provide assistance in developing multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships to advance development goals.
During the address prioritized the role of Information and Communication Technologies(ICTs) for modernization and transformation of the industry, promotion of inclusive economic growth and stimulation of the national economies to meet the larger objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 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.
About Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bangladeshi politician and statesman. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is called the "Father of the Nation" in Bangladesh. He served as the first President of Bangladesh and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 17 April 1971 until his assassination on 15 August 1975.
About Gandhi Peace Prize
Established year : 1995
Awarded by : Government of India
Gandhi Peace Prize Awards is for Social, Economic and Political transformation through Non-violence was instituted in the year 1995. This is an annual award given to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods. It is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, creed or gender. The Jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India ,and comprises of two ex-officio members, namely the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha.
Dr.Shobhna Kapoor, Assistant Professor at IIT Bombay won SERB Women Excellence Award(2021) for study in roles played by lipids in infectious diseases at molecular level and inventorying the pathogenic lipid-induced effects in host cell membrane properties, has tremendous potential to discover and design resistance-free membrane-centric drugs/drug targets for infectious diseases.
Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Examples of lipids include fats, oils, waxes, certain vitamins (such as A, D, E and K), hormones and most of the cell membrane that is not made up of protein.
About SERB Women Excellence Award
Awarded by : Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)
The award instituted by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), recognises and rewards outstanding research achievements of young women scientists in frontier areas of Science and Engineering.
Edition : 27th edition
Organized : Union Minister for Minority Affairs
Country : Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)
The 27th “Hunar Haat” is being organised by Union Minister for Minority Affairs at Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) from 12th March with “Commitment to Swadeshi & Swavalamban” (self-sustenance) and “Resolve to Self-reliant India”. The 27th “Hunar Haat” organised with the theme of “Vocal for Local” till 21st March, 2021. More than 600 artisans, craftsmen from more than 31 States/UTs are participating in the “Hunar Haat”.
About Hunar Haat
The Ministry of Union Minority Affairs organizes “Hunar Haat”. The event intends to provide employment opportunities to traditional culinary experts, artisans and craftsmen.
Edition : 11th edition
Theme : Global Manufacturing Hub for Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Organized : Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizer
11th edition of India Chem-2021 inaugurated on 17th March 2021. India Chem is one of the largest composite events of the chemical and petrochemical sector in the Asia-Pacific Region. Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, in association with FICCI, is organizing the 11th edition of India Chem- 2021 during 17-19th March 2021 in New Delhi. India Chem-2021 with the theme of “India: Global Manufacturing Hub for Chemicals and Petrochemicals” will showcase tremendous potential and supportive government policy for sustainable growth in the sector and provide a platform for domestic and international investors and other stakeholders to interact and forge alliances. This mega event will highlight the investment potential in Indian Chemicals & Petrochemicals Industry especially in Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under the aegis of the Ministry of Power undertaken Go Electric’ campaign an awareness drive for promoting Public Charging, e-mobility & its ecosystem.
Edition : 2nd edition
Organized : Ministry of Defense
The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise “DUSTLIK II” commenced on 10 March 2021 in Ranikhet (Uttarakhand). This is the Second Edition of annual bilateral joint exercise of both armies. Soldiers from Uzbekistan and Indian Army are participating in the exercise.
Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc), have developed the new kind of High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMTs), which is in the OFF state by default and works like any other commonly used power transistor. High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMTs) that is a normally OFF device and can switch currents up to 4A and operates at 600V. This first-ever indigenous HEMT device made from gallium nitride (GaN) is useful in electric cars, locomotives, power transmission and other areas requiring high voltage and high-frequency switching would reduce the cost of importing such stable and efficient transistors required in power electronics.
Manipur has emerged as the Champion state in Van Dhan programme as a major source of employment for the local tribals. Since the time that the programme was launched in the State in 2019, 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras have been established. These constitute 1500 SHGs and are benefitting 30,000 tribal entrepreneurs, who are involved in collection, processing, value adding, packaging and marketing of value added products from Minor Forest produce.
About Van Dhan programme
The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes. One major scheme that has contributed to increasing employment and income generation among the tribal population is the Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme, a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme.
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) will develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at Colombo Port. As the first ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka, Adani Ports will hold 51% in the terminal partnership. The WCT will have a 1,400-metre quay wall, water depth of 20 metres, terminal area of about 64 hectares with an annual capacity of 2.6 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit). The West Container Terminal (WCT) as a Public, Private, Partnership (PPP) project under BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis for 35 years.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has started work on reopening the crucial Baralacha Pass in Himachal Pradesh much before schedule to restore connectivity to Leh in Ladakh. Baralacha Pass is a high mountain pass in Zanskar range, connecting Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Leh district in Ladakh, situated along the Leh–Manali Highway.
Arms imports decreased by 33% between 2011–15 and 2016–20 while India continues to remain the second largest arms importer after Saudi Arabia, according to a report from Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Edition : 1st edition
Organized : India
The BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) held their first meeting under India’s Chairship from 9-11 March 2021. The theme of BRICS this year is -"BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation, and Consensus”.
The BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) proposed are
The first BRIC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in 2006 among China, Brazil, Russia and India on the margins of the general debate of the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly, which drew the action plan for BRIC cooperation. In 2009, the first BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. In December 2011, China, as the Chair, invited South Africa to join BRIC and BRIC officially enlarged to include 5 countries and changed into BRICS.
Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj has been commissioned on 10 March 2021 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface. With INS Karanj Submarine Major milestone for Indian Navy’s Project 75 as India achieves AatmaNirbharta with indigenous submarine construction.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 10 March 2021 has approved the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN) as a single non-lapsable reserve fund for share of Health from the proceeds of Health and Education Cess levied under Section 136-b of Finance Act, 2007.
The major benefit will be: enhanced access to universal & affordable health care through availability of earmarked resources, while ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of financial year.
In the budget speech 2018, the Finance Minister while announcing Ayushman Bharat Scheme, also announced replacement of existing 3% Education Cess by 4% Health and Education Cess.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) receives King Bhumibol World Soil Day - 2020 Award of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The award was announced by the FAO, Rome on the eve of World Soil Day - 2020 in view of the ICAR’s excellent contributions in “Soil Health Awareness” on the theme “Stop soil erosion, save our future” during the last year.
About King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award
Established year : 2018
Awarded by : Food and Agriculture Organization
Launched in 2018, the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award acknowledges individuals or institutions that raise public awareness of soils by organising successful and influential World Soil Day celebrations. The award, sponsored by the Kingdom of Thailand, is named after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand for his lifelong commitment to raising awareness of the importance of sustainable soil management and rehabilitation for food security, poverty alleviation and more.
Maitri Setu’ bridge inaugurated between India and Bangladesh on 9th March 2021 via video conference. The bridge ‘Maitri Setu’ has been built over Feni river which flows between Indian boundary in Tripura State and Bangladesh. The name ‘Maitri Setu’ symbolizes growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh. The 1.9 Km long bridge joins Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh. It is poised to herald a new chapter for trade and people to people movement between India and Bangladesh. With this inauguration, Tripura is set to become the ‘Gateway of North East’ with access to Chittagong Port of Bangladesh, which is just 80 Kms from Sabroom.
MT Swarna Krishna ship is being sailed by all women officers first time in the world maritime history
In an attempt to acknowledge the efforts of women in breaking down the stereotypes in erstwhile male-dominated maritime sector, Union Minister of Shipping has Virtually flagged off an all-women crew onboard Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) vessel MT Swarna Krishna on March 8, 2021 to commemorate the International Women’s Day. This is the first time in the world maritime history that a ship is being sailed by all women officers
Theme : Seva bhi – Rozgar bhi
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), the implementing agency of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is celebrating 3rd Janaushadhi Diwas on 7th March, 2021 with the theme of “Seva bhi – Rozgar bhi”. It will be a weeklong celebrations starting from 1st March to 7th March 2021.
About Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)
Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendras known as Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra. Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra (PMBJPK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs. BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs for co-ordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra.
Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi awarded CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi received the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award on 5th March 2021 via video conferencing.
CERAWeek was founded in 1983 by Dr. Daniel Yergin. It has been organized in Houston in March every year since 1983 and is considered the world’s premier annual energy platform. CERAWeek 2021 is being convened virtually from 1st March to 5th March, 2021.
About the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award
Established year : 2016
Awarded by : Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), United States.
CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award was instituted in 2016 by the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). It recognizes the commitment of leadership on the future of global energy & environment and for offering solutions and policies for energy access and affordability.
About Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA)
Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) is a consulting company in the United States that specializes in advising governments and private companies on energy markets, geopolitics, industry trends, and strategy. CERA has research and consulting staff across the globe and covers the oil, gas, power, and coal markets worldwide. The company was founded in 1983 by Pulitzer Prize winning author Daniel Yergin, James Rosenfield and Joseph Stanislaw.
Report by : Freedom House(United States)
India Status in 2021 Report : partly free
India’s status as a democracy and free society has been downgraded to “partly free” in the 2021 annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded non-governmental organization (NGO) that studies political freedom around the world, India had a score of 67 out of 100 in 2021 Report. India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
About Freedom House
Freedom House is a U.S.-based, U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights.Freedom House was founded in October 1941.
In 1973, Freedom House launched the Freedom in the World report, which assessed the level of freedom in each country and ranked them with a numerical score and declared them as “free”, “partly free” or “not free”. The annual report is perceived as one of the oldest quantitative measures of democracy.