Current Affairs - 15 April 2021

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1.Udhampur bags top position at National level for successfully implementing PMGSY during 2020-21
  • Udhampur district of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has bagged top position at National level for successfully implementing Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) during 2020-21. The district has received top position for constructing roads of 560.49 km in 2020-21.
  • However, four more districts from the Union Territory have also figured in the list of PMGSY top performing 30 districts in the country. It includes Rajouri, Doda, Kathua and Reasi districts of Jammu division of Jammu and Kashmir.
Foot Notes:
About Jammu and Kashmir:
Capitals: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
Lt. Governor: Manoj Sinha
 
2.World Art Day 2021: 15 April
  • World Art Day is observed every year on 15 April to celebrate fine arts and promote awareness of creative activity around the world.
  • The day was declared by the International Association of Art (IAA), an NGO working in official partnership with UNESCO.
  • The first celebration of World Art Day was held on April 15, 2012.
  • The date has been selected in honor of the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, the famous painter of Mona Lisa.
  • He was chosen as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as art’s importance to other fields.
3.Gennova starts enrolment for Phase I/II human trials for its mRNA vaccine
  • India's mRNA-based covid-19 vaccine candidate-HGCO19, developed by Pune-based biotechnology company Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd has received additional government funding for its clinical studies.
  • The department of biotechnology (DBT), ministry of science & technology on 13th April announced approval of additional funding awarded under Mission Covid Suraksha—The Indian covid-19 Vaccine Development Mission by DBT's dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) after multiple rounds of evaluation of all the applications that were submitted in response to the 'Request for Expression of Interest (REOI)'under Mission COVID Suraksha for the development of covid-19 vaccine candidate(s).
4.Agriculture Ministry signs MoU with Microsoft for a pilot project in 100 villages of 6 states to raise farmers income
  • Union Agriculture Ministry has signed an MoU with Microsoft for a pilot project in 100 villages of six states.This project will carry out various tasks for the betterment of farmers in the selected villages, which will enhance their income. This will also reduce the input costs for farmers and make farming easy.
  • These states are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Microsoft will develop a farmer interface for smart and well-organized agriculture, including post-harvest management and distribution.
  • PM Modi has laid great emphasis on the use of modern technologies in the farming sector to enhance farmers' income. He said, the agricultural economy is the backbone of the country and any loss to agriculture is a loss for the country.
  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, the agriculture sector has contributed positively to the country's economy even in adverse conditions like Corona epidemic.
Foot Notes:
About Microsoft:
CEO: Satya Nadella
Founded: 4 April 1975
Headquarters: Washington D.C, United States
Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen
 
5.NITI Aayog launches ‘Poshan Gyan’, a digital repository on health, nutrition
  • NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University launched Poshan Gyan, a national digital repository on health and nutrition. The launch event was addressed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant, Women and Child Development Secretary Ram Mohan Mishra and Additional Secretary Dr. Rakesh Sarwal.
  • While launching the website, Dr. Rajiv Kumar said, the creation of Poshan Gyan was a landmark moment. He said, real change can be brought about only through changing behaviours on the ground. The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said, high malnutrition persists despite India being a food-surplus nation, which points towards a clear need for behavioural change.
Foot Notes:
About NITI Aayog:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Chairperson: Narendra Modi
Formed: 1 January 2015
CEO: Amitabh Kant
 
6.Government launched community mental-health digital platform "MANAS"
  • The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India Prof. K Vijay Raghavan has virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups.
  • MANAS which stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System was endorsed as a national program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
  • MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizens. MANAS App integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces developed/researched by various national bodies and research institutions.
  • MANAS was initiated by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. It was jointly executed by NIMHANS Bengaluru, AFMC Pune and C-DAC Bengaluru.
7.Lizelle Lee and Bhuvneshwar Kumar voted ICC Players of the Month for March 2021
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) 14th April announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month Awards for March which recognise and celebrate the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.
  • India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for March 2021, for his impressive performances in India’s recently concluded series against England. He was the standout bowler on either side in the white-ball series and was chosen the winner for the month by fans and the ICC voting academy.
8.Kane Williamson awarded Sir Richard Hadlee medal for fourth time
  • New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee medal for the fourth time in six years, while women's allrounder Amelia Kerr and rising star Devon Conway also claimed top honours at the New Zealand Cricket Awards for the 2020-21 season.
  • Williamson was given the award on the back of his impressive run in Tests during the summer, where he scored a career-best 251 against the West Indies in Hamilton, followed by a century on his home ground in Tauranga during the Boxing Day Test. He also made a double-century against Pakistan in Christchurch, which helped New Zealand book their place in the ICC World Test Championship final. Overall, New Zealand won 17 out of 20 matches they played during the summer, and claimed all seven series.
Foot Notes:
About New Zealand:
Capital: Wellington
Prime Minister: Jacinda Ardern
Currency: New Zealand dollar
 
9.Maharashtra gets India's first floating LNG storage and regasification unit
  • India’s first Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) has arrived at H-Energy’s Jaigarh Terminal in Maharashtra.
  • This will also be the first year-round Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Maharashtra.
  • The LNG terminal is located at JSW Jaigarh Port in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, on the west coast of India. The port is the first deep water, 24x7 operational private port in Maharashtra.
  • The LNG regasification terminal has storage capacity of 170,000 cubic metres and installed regasification capacity of 750 million cubic feet per day (equivalent to about six million tonnes a year).
  • The FSRU based LNG Terminals aim at providing the ability to enhance the pace of natural gas import capability in an environment friendly and efficient manner.
Foot Notes:
About Maharashtra:
Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Capital: Mumbai
Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray
 
10.Seville to be host city for Laureus World Sports Awards 2021
  • The Spanish city of Seville will host the 22nd Laureus World Sports Awards on May 6 in a virtual ceremony owing to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Among the many big names who have had a year to remember and who will be in contention for the awards are Rafael Nadal, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James, Robert Lewandowski (Sportsman), Naomi Osaka, Federica Brignone (Sportswoman).

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