13-04-2021 Current Affairs Summary with Quiz

Singapore becomes the first country to ratify the RCEP trade agreement

Singapore has become the first country to complete the official process for ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

The trade pact, which is the world's largest, was signed by all 10 ASEAN members and key partners including China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand at the 4th RCEP leaders summit in November 2020.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed on November 15, 2020, after almost eight years of negotiations between the participating countries on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting.

The signatories of the agreement include 10 ASEAN countries - Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines and 5 key partners.

Sonu Sood made brand ambassador for Punjab’s COVID vaccination programme

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, on April 13, 2021, announced that Bollywood actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood will be the Brand Ambassador for Punjab’s COVID vaccination programme.

Amarinder Singh mentioned that the people of Punjab are very hesitant about the vaccine. But he expressed confidence that when the people of Punjab will hear from the ‘Punjab da puttar’ (Son of Punjab) about the benefits of the vaccine, and how safe it is, they will believe him.

Complete curfew in Maharashtra from tomorrow 8 pm till next 15 days: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a complete curfew in Maharashtra from 8 pm on April 14, 2021, till 7 am on May 1, 2021. Only essential services will be allowed between 7 am and 8 pm. Section 144 will be imposed in the entire state from tomorrow. informed the Chief Minister asserting that he will not term this as lockdown.

Raisina Dialogue 2021: PM Modi inaugurates the 6th edition of the dialogue

Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the 6th edition of the Raisina Dialogue on April 13, 2021. The inaugural session of the dialogue was also joined by the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, and the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.

Raisina Dialogue 2021 will be held in a virtual mode from April 13 to April 16. The Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geoeconomics and geopolitics and is held annually since 2016. The Dialogue is jointly organised by the External Affairs Ministry and Observer Research Foundation.

One of the subsequent session was also joined by the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison. Because of the exceptional circumstances due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the dialogue is being conducted in a virtual model.

Sonam Malik becomes India's youngest female wrestler to qualify for Tokyo Olympics


Eighteen-year-old Sonam Malik has become India’s youngest woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo. She bagged a silver medal in the women’s 62-kg wrestling category at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers that was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from April 9-11, 2021.

eSANTA: Union Minister Piyush Goyal launches platform for marine products to empower farmers


The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on April 13, 2021, launched the e-SANTA platform for marine products.

The Union Minister informed that the e-commerce platform will help in empowering farmers as they will be able to sell their products through this portal. The advanced platform will enable the farmers to do spot as well as forward sales.

During the launch, he also suggested that the Marine Products Export Development Authority must have a rating system for both the sellers and buyers on the portal so that one can see and take the decisions accordingly.

Currently, there are about 18,000 farmers in the country who have been contributing to the marine exports of India. The launch of the eSaNta portal will revolutionise traditional aqua farming by providing a cashless, contactless & electronic trade platform between farmers, exporters & domestic markets.

French Foreign Affairs Minister visits India, hold talks with EAM Dr S Jaishankar

French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in India for a four-day official visit on April 12, 2021. He was welcomed by Union External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and the two leaders later also held delegation-level talks. This is the first high-level physical interaction between India and France since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian researchers discover a rare and farthest gamma-ray emitting galaxy


Scientists from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, along with researchers from other institutions, have found the farthest gamma-ray emitting Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 (NSL1) galaxy known till date.

The researchers from ARIES in collaboration with researchers have been studying around 25,000 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and were able to devise a new method to find high-z NLS1 galaxies till now unknown by comparing different emission lines in their spectra. In the process, they found a high-z gamma-ray emitting NLS1 galaxy.

One of the largest ground-based telescopes in the world, the 8.2 m Subaru Telescope located in Hawaii, US was used to confirm the findings. Upon observation, researchers confirmed that they have found a genuine NLS1 galaxy at a high redshift of 1.34, which is about 31 billion light-years away from us.

The researchers confirmed that the newly found farthest gamma-ray emitting NLS1 galaxy was formed when the Universe was only about 4.7 billion years old. The current age of the Universe is 13.8 billion years.

Saint Vincent, the Caribbean's largest island nation covered in ash

The La Soufrière, which had been dormant for over four decades, erupted for the first time three days back and since then it has been erupting explosively, covering the main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in ash and debris.

Saint Vincent is a volcanic island in the Caribbean. It is the largest island of the country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines island chain and is located in the Caribbean Sea, between Saint Lucia and Grenada. It is composed of partially submerged volcanic mountains.

Sushil Chandra takes charge as the Chief Election Commissioner of India


The Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on April 12, 2021, was appointed by President Ram Nath Kovind as a new Chief Election Commissioner of India. Chandra became the 24th Chief Election Commissioner of the country.

Sushil Chandra, the senior-most Election Commissioner, officially took charge of the new position on April 13, 2021. He replaced Sunil Arora who has retired.

Punjab to involve Arhtiyas in Direct Payments to Farmers

The Punjab State Government recently told the Union Government that it will pay the Minimum Support Price directly into the accounts of farmers starting this procurement season. However, the Arhtiyas in the state has been opposing the direct payment. Arhtiyas are Commission Agents in the state. They used to pay the farmers earlier in Punjab. To solve the issue, Punjab has now amended the procurement software to include Arhtiyas in the direct payment process as well.

Arhtiyas and farmers in the state have strong and age-old trust in the state of Punjab. However, according to the Government, several Arhtiyas are looting the money and the allocated funds do not reach the farmers.

Odyssey Completes 20 years: NASA releases Electric Blue Dune Images


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US recently released the image of Mars to mark the 20th anniversary of the Odyssey. The image depicted Dunes on Mars.

DGFT Trade Facilitation App launched

The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal recently launched the DGFT Trade Facilitation Mobile Application. DGFT is Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

India Energy Dashboards (Version 2.0) by NITI Aayog

The Niti Aayog recently launched the India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0. It will provide single window access to the data related to the utilisation, pricing, production, distribution of energy in the country. It will provide data from the Central Electricity Authority, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Coal Controller’s Organisation. The India Energy Dashboard Version 1.0 was launched in 2017.

2021 Global food policy report


The Global Food Policy Report is published by the International Food Policy Research Institute. This year the institute has released the report based on the theme “Transforming Food Systems After COVID-19”.

Key Findings of the report: India

  • The lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 crisis closed schools and daycare centres. This affected the availability of nutritious perishable food products. Several households shifted from expensive nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables towards cheaper staple foods.
  • The midday meal programme of India that covers 80% of primary-school-age children in the country was affected due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The school closures are likely to exacerbate nutrition and food insecurity in the country especially in girls and disadvantaged population.
  • 50% of households in India reported that women spent more time fetching firewood and water in comparison with the previous year.
  • Efforts of India to incorporate migrant workers into social protection programmes was a huge success.
  • Around 80 million hectares of land in India have been classified as commons. This included forest, water bodies, and pastures. The Commons provide a source of livelihood for more than 350 million people in the country. They are dependent on these areas for their forest products and fodder.

Recommendations

  • The governments should use global events such as COP26, UNFSS (United Nations Food Systems Summit) and Nutrition for Growth Summit to put food system transformation rightly on the development agenda.
  • The resilience of all food systems should be increased.
  • The flexibility of social protection policies to protect the vulnerable population during the time of health crisis should be expanded.

Tax collections for FY 21

The Direct Tax Collections include Personal Income Tax collections and Corporation Tax collections. The Personal Income Tax collected for the year 2020-21 was Rs 4.88 lakh crores. The Corporation Tax (or Corporate Tax) collected for the year 2020-21 was Rs 4.57 lakh crores.

Central Asia: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan trans-border trade centre

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have launched the construction of an international centre for trade and economic cooperation called “Central Asia”. The Central Asia Trade centre has been launched on the borders of the two countries.

The Center is to be constructed in an area of 400 hectares of land. It will have a capacity to accommodate 35,000 people and five thousand trucks. After completion, the centre will become a large trade and industrial platform to implement joint projects of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The centre is located near the border check post of Gisht Kuprik. After China and Russia, Kazakhstan is the third-largest trade partner of Uzbekistan.

1 crore plants along national highways geotagged across the country: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar

One crore plants along the national highways have been geotagged across the countryEnvironment Minister Prakash Javadekar said it has been done in keeping with Narendra Modi Government's strong commitment towards making the country cleaner and greener.

No meal services on domestic flights under two hours


As the second wave of Covid-19 intensifies, the Centre has said that onboard meals will not be allowed on flights with a duration of under two hours, with a set of guidelines including staggered service, use of only disposable utensils, etc. to be followed by airlines in case of flights that are two hours or longer in duration.

In an office memorandum Monday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “The Ministry of Civil Aviation, considering the increasing threat of Covid-19 and its variants, has decided to review onboard meal services in domestic flight operations”.

The new norms for in-flight meals will be applicable from April 15.

India: Expert panel recommends approval to Sputnik V vaccine

An Expert Panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) recently approved the Emergency Use of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V. However, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) is to take a final call on the recommendation. When approved, Sputnik will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be available in India.

Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) (Amendment) Rules, 2021


The Ministry of Power recently issued a Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2021. These new rules allow net metering of rooftop solar systems.

The net metering of the rooftop has been allowed up to 500 KW in the new rules. The following definitions were added: Gross Metering means a mechanism where the total solar energy generated from a grid-interactive rooftop solar system and the energy consumed are accounted for separately. Net metering is defined as the mechanism where solar energy is exported to the grid from a grid-interactive rooftop solar PV (Photo Voltaic) system. The energy imported from the grid and the energy exported to the grid is valued at two different tariffs. These amendments have been made to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. Electricity is a concurrent subject.


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