Weekly Current Affairs 23rd March- 31st March 2021

(General Awareness Digest for Regulatory Body Exams)


  • RBI issued guidelines for the merger of Urban Cooperative Banks
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines for merger/amalgamation to all Primary/Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) to place them in the public domain.
  • RBI appoints panel for new universal bank & SFB licences
    • The RBI has constituted a committee headed by former deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath to evaluate applications for universal banks as well as small finance banks (SFB).
  • RBI’s Curbs on PMC Bank extended till 30 June
    • The RBI has extended restrictions on withdrawals and deposits in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank till 30 June, as it works to finalize an investor for the scam-hit multi-state cooperative bank.
    • It had imposed restrictions on PMC Bank in September 2019 after finding financial irregularities.


  • Some states overestimated economic performance in budgets, GSDP may need revision: Report
    • States like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are likely to have overestimated economic performance in their revised estimates, a report by economists at SBI said.
  • FSSAI bans blending of mustard oil with other edible oils
    • FSSAI has banned blending of any kind of edible oil with mustard oil from June 8 2021.
    • Such a ban was earlier imposed from October 1 2020, only to be revoked in less than three months.
  • 6-digit HSN code mandatory in invoices for biz with over Rs 5crore turnover
    • Businesses with turnover of more than Rs 5 crore will have to furnish six-digit HSN or tariff code on the invoices issued for supplies of taxable goods and services from April 1 2021.
    • In trade parlance, every product is categorised under an HSN code (Harmonised System of Nomenclature).


  • Chief Justice of India SA Bobde Recommends Justice NV Ramana as Successor
    • Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has recommended Justice NV Ramana as his successor after he retires on April 23. Justice Ramana will be the 48th CJI.
  • Union Education Minister inaugurates Shaheed Bhagat Singh Smarak in New Delhi
    • Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Smarak, on 90 years of martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru at New Delhi, in the campus of Delhi University on Shaheed Diwas celebrated on Mar 23.
  • India, Bangladesh ink five MoUs
    • India and Bangladesh signed five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) covering a number of areas of bilateral cooperation.
    • The MoUs were signed to boost cooperation in disaster management, trade, IT and sports, among other fields.


  • World's first ship tunnel slated for construction in Norway
    • In engineering project billed as the world's first ship tunnel is slated for construction in Norway.
    • The tunnel will run underneath the mountains in Norway's Stadhavet peninsula.
  • New Zealand passes miscarriages bereavement leave law
    • New Zealand’s parliament has passed legislation giving mothers and their partners the right to paid leave following a miscarriage or still birth, becoming only the second country in the world to do so.
    • India is the only other country with similar legislation.
  • Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of independence
    • Bangladesh marks the 50th anniversary of its independence on 26 March.
    • It commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Pakistan on 26 March 1971.


  • Uttar Pradesh govt to organise 'Banana Festival' in Kushinagar
    • Uttar Pradesh government is organised a 'Banana Festival' in Kushinagar.
    • The state government had in 2018 organised the One District One Product (ODOP) scheme to promote traditional enterprise. Noting the good cultivation of bananas in Kushinagar, products in the district made from banana fibre were selected in the ODOP scheme.
  • Nagaland launches new app to support Community Health Officers
    • Nagaland government launched the i-Learn Capacity Building and Performance Tracking Application.
    • The i-Learn app is a learning management system for Community Health Officers (CHOs) with self-facilitated learning for improving and learning new skills in clinical and non-clinical areas.
  • Andhra Pradesh To Launch India's 'first Govt-run Ambulance Network' For Animals
    • The Andhra Pradesh government has now decided to set up "India's first government-run ambulance network" for animals, to further boost the animal husbandry and veterinary sector in the state.


  • International Intellectual Property Index 2021
    • The US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC) released 9th edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index.
    • Best Performing Nations: The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan remained at the top of the global intellectual property rankings 2021.
    • India’s Rank: India ranked 40 in the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index.
    • Worst Performing Nation: Venezuela which is ranked 53rd is at the bottom of the index.
  • Trends in International Arms Transfers 2020: SIPRI
    • India was reported to be second largest arms importer in 2016-20 after Saudi Arabia and above Egypt, Australia and China, according to a recent release by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Sweden based think tank.
  • India ranked fourth most powerful military in world: Miltary Direct's study
    • According to a study released by Defence website Military Direct, China has the strongest military force in the world while India stands at number four.
    • The USA comes in 2nd place, followed by Russia at 3rd place, India at 4th and then France at 5th place. The UK is at 9th place.


  • ISRO demonstrates free space quantum communication for the first time
    • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) demonstrated free-space quantum communication over a distance of 300 m for the first time.
    • The demonstration included live videoconferencing using quantum-key-encrypted signals.
  • Russia launches 38 satellites for 18 countries
    • Russia put 38 foreign satellites into orbit after a successful launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


  • TRIFED exchanges MoU with the Dadra &Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Administration
    • TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs has recently entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the Administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu for the implementation of the MSP for MFP Scheme and the Van Dhan Yojana.
  • Uttar Pradesh govt. develops India’s first FPO portal
    • The UP Government has launched the UP FPO Shakti Portal as part of the Kisan Kalyan Mission.
    • The portal, the first of its kind in the country, has been developed by the department of agriculture with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and is aimed at benefitting the farmers at the grassroots level.


  • ICGS Vajra commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard
    • L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vajra was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, at Chennai.
    • ICGS Vajra is the sixth vessel in the series of seven OPVs being built by L&T under a Ministry of Defence contract signed in the year 2015.
  • India, Pak, China to participate in SCO joint anti-terrorism exercise
    • India, Pakistan, China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will hold a joint anti-terrorism exercise this year.
    • The decision to hold the joint exercise “Pabbi-Antiterror-2021” was announced during the 36th meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • India conducts first-ever joint patrol in Madagascar EEZ
    • In a first, the navies of India and Madagascar undertook joint patrolling of Madagascar’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
    • Objective is to ensure maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).


  • 7th annual summit of NATHEALTH
    • With an objective to bring the healthcare industry together to engage, collaborate and deliberate, to chart a forward path together and emerge resilient in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, NATHEALTH-Healthcare Federation of India, organised the 7th NATHEALTH Annual Summit.
    • The theme was 'Indian Health System Expansion in Post-COVID Era’.


  • Saraswati Samman 2020
    • A noted Marathi writer Dr. Sharankumar Limbale will receive Saraswati Samman 2020 for his Marathi novel “Sanatan”. This was the 30th edition of the award.
  • Gandhi Peace Prizes for 2019 & 2020
    • India announced that the Gandhi Peace Prize for the past two years (2019 & 2020) will be conferred on late Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said (2019) and Bangladeshi leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (2020) for their contributions to social and political transformation through non-violent methods.
  • Award for ESAF Small Finance Bank
    • ESAF Small Finance Bank has been awarded ‘Great Place to Work’ certification by the Great Place to Work Institute.


  • Shreyas Iyer Signs Up With Lancashire for Royal London Cup 2021
    • English county Lancashire announced the overseas signing of India batsman Shreyas Iyer for the 2021 Royal London Cup.
  • Para Shooting World Cup 2021
    • Indian para-athlete Singhraj won gold medal in the 2021 Para Shooting World Cup at Al Ain in the UAE.
  • ISSF Shooting World Cup
    • In Shooting, the Indian contingent tops the medal tally in ISSF Shooting World Cup.
    • India topped the medals tally with 30 medals in total - 15 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze.

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