Current Affairs - 14 April 2021

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1.Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to inaugurate IAF Commanders' Conference on April 15
  • The first bi-annual Indian Air Force (IAF) Commanders' Conference for the year 2021 will be inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on April 15 at the Vayu Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • A series of discussions would be conducted over a period of three days during the conference to address strategies and policies related to capabilities that would give IAF a significant edge over its adversaries.
  • The conference of top-level leadership is also aimed at addressing the issues of IAF's operational capabilities in the times to come.
  • Various welfare and human resource measures to improve HR and administrative efficiency will also be discussed, they added.

What is Air Force Commanders' Conference:

  • The IAF Commanders' Conference is a bi-annual conference which is held at Subroto Hall, Air Headquarters, Vayu Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • It provides a forum to the senior leadership of the IAF to discuss critical issues pertaining to operations, maintenance and administration.
Foot Notes:
About IAF:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 8 October 1932, India
Chief of Air Staff: R.K.S.bahadauria
Motto: "Touch the Sky with Glory"
 
2.Ambedkar Jayanti 2021 : 14 April
  • Ambedkar Jayanti ( also known as Bhim Jayanti) is an annual festival observed on 14 April to commemorate the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar who was born on 14 April 1891.
  • The Day has been observed as an official public holiday throughout India since 2015.
  • In 2021, we are marking the 130th birth anniversary of Babasaheb. 
  • Dr. Ambedkar is known as the Father (chief architect) of the Indian Constitution.
  • He was the first Law and Justice Minister of the country after the independence.
  • Dr. Bhim has been bestowed with the country’s highest civilian honor, Bharat Ratna in 1990 posthumously.
3.India overtakes Brazil to become the second-worst hit country as Covid cases soar
  • India reported more than 168,000 new cases over a 24-hour period on Monday, according to health ministry data.
  • Around 83% of the new infections were reported in 10 states, including the western state of Maharashtra, home to India's financial capital Mumbai.
  • Since the beginning of April, India has reported more than 1.37 million cases, bringing the country's total number of infections to over 13.5 million.
  • India overtook Brazil as the second worst-infected country behind the United States after data showed that Covid-19 cases continued to surge.
  • The South Asian nation reported more than 168,000 new cases over a 24-hour period on Monday, according to health ministry data. Around 83% of the new infections were reported in 10 states, including the western state of Maharashtra, which is home to India's financial capital Mumbai.
Foot Notes:
About Brazil:
President: Jair Bolsonaro
Capital: Brasilia
Currency: Brazilian real
 
4.Russian Vaccine Sputnik V gets emergency use authorisation in India
  • The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the use of the Sputnik V vaccine for usage, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
  • This paves the way for India to roll out its third vaccine against coronavirus infections. The country has been administering Covishield -- the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India -- and home-grown Covaxin.
  • India has now become the 60th country to approve Sputnik V.
Foot Notes:
About Sputnik V:
The Sputnik V is a Russian vaccine.Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to conduct clinical trials on the vaccine and for its distribution rights in India. The vaccine has proved 91.6% of efficacy during its phase 3 trials.
 
About Russia:
Capital: Moscow
President: Vladimir Putin
Currency: Russian ruble
 
5.PM Modi inaugurated 6th Raisina Dialogue, organised in Fully Digital Format
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2021 “Raisina Dialogue”, through video-conferencing on April 13, 2021.
  • Raisina Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics, organised annually since 2016.
  • The Raisina Dialogue 2021 is the sixth edition of the annual dialogue, organised from April 13 to 16, 2021, in fully digital form for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The theme for the 2021 conference is “#ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers, and Out of Control”.
  • The four-day dialogue is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the think-tank Observer Research Foundation.
6.PM Modi addressed  Association of Indian Universities' 95th annual meet on 14th April
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday will address the Association of Indian Universities' 95th annual meet and National Seminar of Vice-Chancellors at 11 am through video conferencing.
  • PM Modi will also release four books based on Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar's life, written by Kishor Makwana.
  • The Meet will also commemorate and celebrate the 96th Foundation day of AIU, established in 1925 under the patronage of stalwarts like Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
  • A National Seminar of Vice-Chancellors on the theme 'Implementing National Educational Policy-2020 to Transform Higher Education in India is also being organised during the Meet. It aims to work out implementation strategies for the recently launched National Education Policy− 2020 with a clear-cut action plan on effectively implementing the policy in the interest of its primary stakeholders, the students.
7.Guillermo Alberto Santiago Lasso Mendoza elected as President of Ecuador
  • Ecuadorian businessman and politician Guillermo Alberto Santiago Lasso Mendoza (65 years) has been elected as the President of Ecuador.
  • He defeated Andrés Arauz in the 2021 general election.
  • He previously ran for the presidential elections in 2013 and 2017 but was defeated.
  • Apart from his political career, he was also a banker and previously served as CEO of Banco Guayaquil.
  • The Electoral Council in Ecuador had not declared an official winner in the contest to replace President Lenín Moreno next month, but results released by the agency showed former banker Guillermo Lasso with about 53% of votes and leftist Andrés Arauz at 47%, with just over 90% of votes counted.
Foot Notes:
About Ecuador:
President: Lenín Moreno
Capital: Quito
Currency: United States Dollar
 
8.Punjab National Bank launches digital initiative PNB@Ease
  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched digital initiative titled PNB@Ease under which every transaction by a bank branch will be initiated and authorized by customers themselves.
  • Service will range from savings accounts opening to availing loans, without visiting a branch,
  • It will be rolled out across 165 identified locations across India.
  • It will be loaded with 5 Kiosks: ATM, Bunch Note Acceptor, Account Opening Kiosk, Card Issuance Kiosk, internet-enabled Kiosk.
Foot Notes:
About Punjab National Bank:
Headquarters: New Delhi
CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
Founded: 19 May 1894, Lahore, Pakistan
 
9.IAS officer Siddharth Longjam appointed new NADA DG
  • IAS officer Siddharth Singh Longjam will take over as the National Anti-Doping Agency's Director-General, succeeding Navin Agarwal who listed the creation of Athletes Biological Passport (ABP) for around 60 elite Indian sportspersons as one of the highlights of his tenure. Longjam is currently serving as joint secretary in the sports ministry and is also the CEO of the currently suspended National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL).
  • Agarwal, an IPS officer who took charge of NADA in 2016, will be back in Jammu & Kashmir Police. Asked about his tenure in a role which isn't exactly conventional policing, Agarwal said ABP has been a significant step in curbing the menace of doping. The Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) helps monitor select biological variables over time that can reveal the effects of doping, rather than attempting to detect the doping substance or the method itself.
Foot Notes:
About NADA:
Headquarters Location: New Delhi
CEO: Navin Agarwal
Founded: 24 November 2005
Motto: Play fair
Chairman: Kiren Rijiju
 
10.Hockey player Balbir Singh Junior passed away at 88
  • Balbir Singh Junior, who was a member of the silver medal-winning 1958 Asian Games Indian hockey team, died here at the age of 88.
  • Born on May 2, 1932, at Sansarpur in Jalandhar, also known as the nursery of Indian hockey, Balbir Singh Junior had played alongside legends like Balbir Singh Senior, Leslie Claudius, Prithipal Singh, Balkishan and Charles Stephen among others.
  • Singh took hockey when he was six years old. He studied at Lyallpur Khalsa College in Jalandhar and was first selected to play for the Indian hockey team in 1951 during the tour of Afghanistan.
  • He was part of the Punjab state hockey team and also captained Punjab University team. Later, he also played for the Indian Railways team that toured European countries such as Spain, Switzerland and Italy. The team also played Test matches in Netherlands.

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