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CURRENT AFFAIRS – 11/10/2021 to 17/10/2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 11/10/2021 to 17/10/2021

TestFunda ,  09-Nov-21
India invited to become full-time member of IEA: Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri:
Category/iesEconomics/Socio – Polity
India has been invited to become a full-time member of the International Energy Agency (IEA) by its Executive Director Fatih Birol, informed Union Housing and Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. If India accepts the proposal of being a full-time member of the International Energy Agency, it will need to raise strategic oil reserves to 90 days requirement. India's current strategic oil reserves equal 9.5 days of its requirement.

Work to monetise Alliance Air, 3 other subsidiaries of Air India to start now, says DIPAM Secretary:
Category/iesBusiness and Corporate/Economics
The DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management) Secretary, Tuhin Kanta Pandey informed that after the historic Air India Privatisation, the central government will now start the work on monetizing Air India’s four other subsidiaries, including the Alliance Air, and over Rs. 14,700 crores worth non-core assets such as land and building.

Indian economy to grow at 9.5 percent, global economy at 5.9 percent in 2021: IMF
Indian economy is expected to grow at 9.5 percent in 2021 and at 8.5 percent in 2022, as per the latest projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook October 2021 released on October 12, 2021. The IMF stated that India's economy had contracted by 7.3 per cent in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other countries, the IMF has projected China to grow at 5.6 per cent in 2022, the US to grow at 5.2 percent and the United Kingdom to grow at 5 percent.

Australia agrees to build rover to help NASA find oxygen on Moon:
Category/iesScience and Technology
Australia has announced that it will build a 20-kilogram semi-autonomous lunar rover for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to take to the moon as early as 2026 in search of oxygen.

Centre to increase coal production to 2 million tonnes per day in a week:
The Central Government is boosting its per day coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tonnes within a week to meet the rampant demand for coal by states, power companies, and railways. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on October 13 tweeted that coal shipments to thermal power plants have surpassed 2 million tonnes per day from 1.87 million tonnes per day as of October 11. Use of local coal up to a 10 per cent blend of imported coal has been granted to permitted power generators to increase coal stocks.

China launches first solar observation satellite:
Category/iesScience and Technology
China on October 14, 2021, launched its first solar observation satellite by a Long March 2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern Shanxi province into a 571-km altitude orbit. The 550-kg Xihe satellite will monitor the Sun for three years. Until now, China has had a solar monitoring network on the ground however it did not access to the optical data outside the atmosphere. The Xihe satellite, the first solar observation satellite by China will aid the country to fill that gap. 

For first time, Earth receives radio signals from outside Solar System:
Category/iesScience and Technology
The Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), the world’s most powerful radio antenna located in the Netherlands picked up signals from planet outside of Solar System. Astronomer Dr Benjamin Pope from the University of Queensland and his colleagues at the Dutch national observatory ASTRON for the first time detected stars that are emitting radio signals. This phenomenon hints towards the presence of hidden planets around these stars. This technique could also answer the question if there is life in or beyond Solar System other than Earth.

Pluto’s atmosphere is disappearing:
Category/iesScience and Technology
Pluto's atmosphere is undergoing a significant alteration and disappearing, as per a recent study by researchers. The icy dwarf planet's atmosphere is mainly made up of nitrogen.

PM Modi launches Indian Space Association:
Category/iesGroups and Organisation/Socio – Polity/ Science and Technology
PM Modi said that our approach to Space reforms is based on four pillars - freedom to private sector in innovation, role of government as an enabler, to make youth future-ready and to see the Space sector as a resource for the progress of common man.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) wins IPL 2021, beats KKR by 27 runs:
The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lifted their 4th IPL title after defeating the Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs at the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final in Dubai on October 15, 2021. The CSK stood at 192/3 while KKR was at 165/9 on the scorecard. Along with the IPL trophy, CSK won Rs 20 crores as IPL 2021 prize money. Earlier, the CSK has won IPL titles in 2010, 2011, 2018. CSK stood at 7th position in the IPL 2020. 

ISSF Junior World Championship: India finish on top with 43 medals, including 17 gold; Check medal standings:
Category/ies - Sports
Indian shooters have won whopping 43 medals, including 17 gold, to finish on top in the ISSF Junior World Championship which concluded on October 10, 2021. The shooters won all the available 12 medals on the final competition day of the top junior tournament at the Las Palmas Shooting Range in Lima, the Capital of Peru.

Ibha unveiled as official mascot of FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022
IFA unveiled the official mascot of the U-17 Women's World Cup 2022 -'Ibha'- on October 11,2021 to mark exactly one year to go until the tournament kicks off. Ibha is an Asiatic lioness representing 'Nari Shakti' or women power. As per an official release by FIFA, Ibha aims to inspire women and girls across India and around the world to realise their potential. The announcement coincided with the International Day of the Girl Child.

Germany launches world’s first self-driving train:
Category/iesInternational Politics/Business and Corporate
Germany rail operator Deutsche Bahn and German engineering company Siemens on October 11, 2021, launched the world’s first automated, driverless train in Hamburg city, Germany. It will join the S-Bahn rapid urban rail network of the northern city in Germany and will begin operations and carrying passengers from December 2021. The Deutsche Group has labelled the driverless train as more punctual and energy-efficient than the traditional trains. Four such trains will join the S-Bahn Rapid Urban Rail Network by December 2021 while using the existing rail infrastructure.

Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri breaks Brazilian legend Pele's international goal record:
Category/iesPerson and Personality/Sports
Indian football skipper Sunil Chhetri broke legendary Brazilian football player Pele's international goal record on October 13, 2021 during the match against the Maldives in the ongoing 2021 SAFF Championship. Sunil Chhetri surpassed Pele's International goal record of 77 goals when he scored a goal in the 62nd minute in India's match against the Maldives. The Indian football captain has also become the joint sixth-highest international goal scorer in the world. 

India likely to host in-person NSA-level talks on Afghanistan, Pakistan also invited:
India has proposed to host an in-person National security advisor (NSA) meet in Afghanistan in November. Many countries in the region and key stakeholders like Russia have been invited. The meet was to take place earlier this year, but could not happen.

India’s first ‘One Health’ Consortium launched:
Category/iesGovt. Schemes
One Health’ Consortium envisages carrying out the surveillance of significant viral, bacterial infections of zoonotic as well as the transboundary pathogens in India, including the North-eastern part of the country.

Elon Musk becomes world's richest person, total worth to touch $300 billion:
Category/iesPerson and Personality
Elon Musk has emerged as the richest person in the world. His net worth is nearing $300 billion. Musk is now almost $100 billion richer than Jeff Bezos.

Kochi declared as dementia-friendly city:
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared Kochi as a 'dementia-friendly city' while inaugurating a dementia-friendly district programme called Udbodh on October 16, 2021.

India’s Western Railways to use surveillance drones in a bid to boost security:
Category/iesGovt. Schemes and Socio Polity
Sumit Thakur, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Western Railways informed that in order to tighten security, Western Railways has been planning on using surveillance drones to keep a bird’s eye watch on the railway assets, disaster management, and crowd management.

Draft EPR Notification: Centre announces targets to manage plastic packaging waste:
The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change on October 6, 2021, released a draft notification for regulation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. The Draft EPR Notification lays out the target quantity of waste that the plastic packaging generating producers, brand owners, and importers in India will have to treat, recycle, reuse, or dispose of after the consumer has used the plastic packaging or material.

ADB boosts 2019-2030 climate financing goals to $100 billion:
Category/iesInternational Politics
The plans, disclosed by Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa, increase a previous $80 billion goal for climate financing for developing nations in Asia for the decade announced in 2018.

United Nations declares access to a clean environment a human right:
Category/iesGroups and Organisation
The United Nations Human Rights Council on October 8, 2021, recognized access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right. The move by the global body has added its weight to the global fight against climate change as well as its devastating consequences on humans.

UNHRC: India re-elected to UN Human Rights Council for record 6th term with overwhelming majority:
Category/iesGroups and Organisation
India on October 14, 2021, was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2022-2024 term with an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly. India’s re-election for the record sixth term to the UN body has been described by New Delhi’s envoy as a robust endorsement of the country’s strong roots in pluralism, democracy, and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

2021 Global Hunger Index: India ranks 101 out 116 countries:
The 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) ranked India at 101st out of a total of 116 countries. The 2021 GHI report launched on October 14, 2021, stated that India with a score of 27.5 is facing a level of hunger that is serious. The Global Hunger Index released in 2020 ranked India at 94th among 107 countries. India has also been identified among the 31 countries where hunger has been identified as a serious threat. India has also ranked behind Pakistan (92nd rank), Bangladesh (76th rank), and Nepal (76th rank)….

BSF's area of jurisdiction expanded in three states, Punjab & WB call it intrusion:
Category/iesGroups and Organisation
The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to extend the Border Security Force's (BSF) jurisdiction from 15 km to 50 km inside the international border along Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. The decision has been taken to “improve operational efficiency” and “crack down on smuggling rackets”.

Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index: India ranked third, sixth on new PPA index:
India has been ranked at the third position in the 58th edition of EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index’ (RECAI). The index ranks the world’s top 40 markets on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.

World Standards Day 2021:
World Standards Day is observed annually on October 14 all over the world to create awareness about the significance of standardization to the global economy among regulators, consumers, and industry. Standards have been important to every individual in the world and we all have been raised with this concept. World Standards Day 2021 is also a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts who develop voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards.

Najla Bouden, Tunisia’s 1st female prime minister:
Category/iesPerson and Personality
Tunisia’s President Kais Saied on October 11, 2021, approved a new government by decree that has been constituted by the newly-appointed Prime Minister Najla Bouden Romdhane. 63-years-old Bouden will be Tunisia’s first female prime minister. The development came 11 weeks after Saied sacked the last serving prime minister Hichem Mechichi, suspended parliament, and granted himself judicial powers on July 25 which the opponents termed as a coup while many Tunisians praised the move.

Government accords ‘Maharatna’ status to Power Finance Corporation:
Category/iesAwards and Honors/Business and Corporate
The Government of India has accorded ‘Maharatna’ Status to state-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC). As per the statement by the company, the move will pave the way for the company’s greater financial and operational efficiency. There is a total of 11 companies in India that have been granted ‘Maharatna’ status. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is the 11th firm to join the list.

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria awarded 22nd Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence:
Category/ies Awards and Honors/Person and Personality
AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria was honoured with the 22nd Lal Bahadur  Shastri National Award for Excellence for his pioneer and sustained contribution in the field of medicine and pandemic awareness. Dr. Guleria was conferred the prestigious award by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu who called him "commander-in-chief" of India’s dedicated army of frontline warriors who have been selflessly waging a tireless battle against COVID-19.

Prime Minister Modi launches PM GatiShakti- National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity:
Category/iesGovt. Schemes and Socio-Polity
Prime Minister Modi on October 13, 2021, launched PM GatiShakti- National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity worth Rs. 100 lakh crores at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The plan of GatiShakti was announced by PM Modi during his address on Independence Day 2021. As per PMO, PM GatiShakti will address the past issues through institutionalizing the holistic planning for stakeholders for the major infrastructure projects.

Amit Khare appointed as Prime Minister Modi’s advisor for two years:
Category/iesPerson and Personality/Trivia
Amit Khare, the Former Secretary (HRD), Information & Broadcasting (I&B), on October 12, 2021, has been appointed as the advisor of Prime Minister Modi. Khare is an IAS officer of the 1985 batch.

Covaxin recommended for emergency use in children aged 2-18 years:
Category/iesScience and Technology/Trivia
The Subject Expert Committee on COVID-19 has recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children aged between 2-18 year-olds. Bharat Biotech, the Hyderabad-based company, had submitted data from Covaxin's clinical trials on children aged between 2 to 18 years to the DCGI on October 6, 2021.

Alexander Schallenberg sworn-in as new Chancellor of Austria after Kurz steps aside:
Category/iesPerson and Personality
Austria got a new Chancellor on October 11, 2021, two days after the former leader Sebastian Kurz resigned amid the corruption allegations, however, the direction of the government policy was not expected to change.

Telugu filmmaker B Gopal to be awarded Satyajit Ray Award:
Category/iesAwards and Honors/Person and Personality
Renowned Telugu filmmaker B Gopal has been chosen for the 4th Satyajit Ray Award for his contribution to Indian cinema. Gopal has been selected by a panel comprising Malayalam filmmaker Balu Kiriyath, music director Perumbavoor G Raveendranath and others. Telugu filmmaker B Gopal has directed 2 Hindi movies and 30 Telugu movies in his decade-long career.

Rajasthan decides to recall controversial Marriage Registration Bill amid concern over child marriage:
Category/iesGovt. Schemes and Socio-Polity
The Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot said on October 11, 2021, that the state government has decided to recall the recently passed marriage registration bill to re-examine it. The step has been taken amid the concerns that it will encourage child marriages in the state.

OFB Corporatisation: Government to launch 7 new defence firms carved out of OFB on October 15:
Category/iesGroups and Organisation
The Defence Ministry has informed that these 7 new Defence companies carved out of OFB will have 66 firm contracts that are worth Rs. 65,000 crores from the three services and the paramilitary forces.

Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Farmers observe Shaheed Kisan Diwas today, antim ardaas at Tikunia:
The Sankyut Kisan Morcha (SKM) has called for observing October 12th as Shaheed Kisan Diwas across India as a tribute to the four farmers and a journalist who died during the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh on October 3rd.

India’s first mobile-based e-voting system developed in Telangana:
Category/iesGovt. Schemes and Socio-Polity
Telangana announced on October 6, 2021, that it has developed India’s first smartphone-based-e-voting solution, in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic that has rushed the entire world into all-digital operations.

Indian railways launches two long haul freight trains 'Trishul', 'Garuda':
Category/iesGovt. Schemes and Socio-Polity
IndianThe Indian Railways on October 7, 2021, successfully launched and operated two long-haul freight trains named Trishul and Garuda for the first time over South Central Railway. Both the long-haul freight trains include empty open wagons for loading coal meant for thermal power plants. These trains are twice or multiple times longer than the normal freight trains. These two long-haul freight trains will aid in providing an effective solution to the problem of capacity constraints in critical rail sections.

India, Denmark inks four MoUs, including on skill development, groundwater resources:
Category/iesGovt. Schemes and Socio-Polity
India and Denmark on October 9, 2021, exchanged four agreements following a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen. The Prime of Denmark arrived in New Delhi early on October 9 and held bilateral talks with PM Modi. On her visit, she also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and interacted with the students, think tanks, and members of civil society.

AQ Khan, ‘father of Pakistan's Nuclear bomb’, dies of Covid-19:
Category/ies Person and Personality
AQ Khan had faced criticism in 2004 after he was blamed for nuclear technology proliferation. The evidence showed that he had been selling parts of centrifuges and material to North Korea, Libya and Iran.

International Day of the Girl Child 2021:
International Girl Child Day is observed every year on October 11. It is an observance day by the United Nations that aims at amplifying the voices of the young girls all around the world as well as increase awareness about the issues that are faced by them. Girl Child Day provides an opportunity to take note of day-to-day discrimination and how it impacts the growth of young girls, particularly in underdeveloped and developing nations. The theme for international Girls Day 2021 is ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation’.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk informed on October 7, 2021 that the SpaceX satellite internet service 'Starlink' will be rolled out across the United States by the end of the month:
Category/iesScience and Technology

G20 Extraordinary Summit: PM Modi stresses on preventing Afghan territory from becoming source of terrorism:
CategorySocio-Polity/Groups and Organisation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on preventing Afghan territory from becoming the source of radicalisation and terrorism during the virtual G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit on Afghanistan on October 12, 2021.

China flew a record number of at least 150 military fighter jets, bombers, and other warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ):
Category/ies - Trivia

Iraq Elections 2021:
Category/iesInternational Politics
Iraq Parliamentary elections were held on October 10, 2021 after several challenges with the hope of bringing in key reforms. The initial turnout was reported to be around 41 percent, not nearly as low as election officials had earlier feared. The Iraq Elections 2021 are the sixth parliamentary elections held since the fall of Saddam Hussein after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The officials feared that the voter turnout will be lower than in 2018, when just 44% of those eligible voters had cast a ballot. Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi urged citizens to participate in the election, saying, "Get out and vote, and change your reality for the sake of Iraq and your future."

8th ministerial meeting of India-US Economic & Financial Partnership Dialogue:
Eighth ministerial meeting of “India-United States of America (US) Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue” was held on October 15, 2021 at Washington D.C. Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman and Secretary of Treasury of the United States, Dr. Janet Yellen, chaired the meeting.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Prerna Sthal
Category/iesPerson and Personality
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Prerna Sthal was inaugurated on October 15, 2021 at Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam. Highlights Prerna Sthal was inaugurated to commemorate 90th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as well as to commemorate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

AIIMS launches ‘Healthy Smile’ Mobile App:
Category/iesScience and Technology
A bilingual mobile application ‘Healthy Smile’ was launched by AIIMS in a bid to raise awareness on maintaining oral hygiene among children. This app is an initiative of the Department of Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry, with the help of AIIMS intramural research grant. This initiative was launched with the aim of spreading awareness on maintaining oral hygiene among children right from infancy.
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