Current Affairs- 21st September
Science and Technology
India En route to a clean and sustainable energy future
- For every developing country, building sustainable resources of power is a must. On similar lines, India is working round the clock to uplift the power sector. In the coming days, the nation is planning to set up a 14GWh (Gigawatt hours) battery storage system in Kutch.
- The information was shared by the Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh in the ‘Mint Energyscape conclave’. The plan can give a strategic push to India’s grid-scale battery storage programme and hence will be among one of the largest in the world.
India now has 10 International Blue Flag beaches
- In yet another recognition of India’s commitment to protect and conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through holistic management of the resources the globally recognized and the coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag”, has accorded the Blue Flag Certification for two new beaches this year –Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry beaches.
- Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark (FEE) which accords the globally recognized eco-label – Blue Flag certification, has also given re-certification for 8 nominated beaches which were awarded the Blue Flag certificate last year.
EC organises virtual National Conference on Accessible Elections 2021
- The Election Commission today organised a virtual National Conference on Accessible Elections 2021 with the objective to assess the present accessibility policies and discuss strategies for addressing barriers to enhance participation in electoral process for voters with disabilities.
- The virtual conference was attended by Chief Electoral Officers, Civil Society Organisations representing various disabilities and representatives from Government Ministries and Institutions.
- Mr. Chandra reiterated Commission’s commitment in various international resolutions and mandates emphasising the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the electoral process.
Govt decides to appoint Air Marshal V R Chaudhari as next Chief of IAF
- Government has decided to appoint Air Marshal V R Chaudhari, presently Vice Chief of Air Staff, as the next Chief of the Indian Air Force.
- He will assume charge after the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on 30th of this month.
- Air Marshal V R Chaudhari was commissioned into the Fighter stream of Indian Air Force on 29th December 1982 and has held various Command, Staff and Instructional Appointments at various levels including the present one as Vice Chief of Air Staff.
International Monetary puts on hold funds to Afghanistan amid rising uncertainty
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put on hold funds to Afghanistan amid the rising uncertainty in the country. These developments came after IMF recently announced a 650 billion US Dollars Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation for member countries, but Afghanistan at the moment will not be allowed to access these funds.
- IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday at a press conference that Afghanistan will not have access to this grant because of the uncertainty over Afghanistan’s Government. As a result, the IMF programme there has been put on hold.
U.N. Chief, UK PM to hold roundtable of world leaders
- U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a roundtable of world leaders today to address major gaps on emissions targets and climate finance. The closed-door meeting on the sidelines of the annual high-level week of the U.N. General Assembly will include leaders from a few dozen countries representing industrialized nations, emerging economies and vulnerable developing countries.
- Selwin Hart, assistant secretary-general and special adviser to Mr Guterres on climate action said, the roundtable discussion aims to ensure a successful outcome at the U.N. climate conference being held from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow.
India, Indonesia begin three-day naval exercise in Sunda Strait
- India and Indonesia began a three-day mega naval wargame on Monday in the Sunda Strait, in reflection of their growing maritime cooperation.
- Officials said the Indian Navy deployed its two frontline warships Shivalik and Kadmatt for the third edition of the exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’.
- The two ships arrived in Jakarta on Saturday. The Sunda Strait lies between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.
- Indian Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I is also participating in the exercise. In pursuance of India’s Act East Policy, exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’ was conceived in 2018 as a bilateral exercise.
Iran becomes 9th member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
- Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was approved after almost 15 years by the bloc’s seven permanent members.
- After the technical and legal process concludes – which could take up to two years – Iran will formally join a group that accounts for about one-third of the world’s land and exports trillions of dollars annually – as it counts China, Russia and India, in addition to several Central Asian states, among its members.
Awards and Honours
PM Hasina receives SDG Progress Award
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been conferred with SDG Progress award for Bangladesh’s steady progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
- Prime Minister Hasina is currently visiting the US to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
- Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen called this award an international acknowledgement of Bangladesh’s success in spearheading the SDGs, reports the official news agency BSS.
Days and Dates
International Week of Deaf People 2021: September 20th to 26th
- Every year, the full week ending on the last Sunday of September is observed as the International Week of the Deaf (IWD). In 2021, IWD is being observed from September 20 to 26, 2021. The last Sunday of the month of September is celebrated as the World Day of Deaf or International Day of the Deaf (September 26, 2021).
- The theme of 2021 IWD is “Celebrating Thriving Deaf Communities”.
- It is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy to commemorate the month when the first World Congress of the WFD was held.
Other Important Affairs
- Today is the World Peace Day also known as International Day of Peace. It is observed every year on 21 September.
- A two-day Vanijya Utsav is being held across the country as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations to mark the 75th year of India’s Independence.
- World Alzheimer’s Day is observed globally on September 21 every year. The day aims to raise awareness about the stigma that runs around Alzheimer disease and related dementia.
- CISF official Geeta Samota became the “fastest Indian” to summit two peaks located in Africa and Russia. Earlier this month, Sub Inspector Geeta Samota had scaled Mount Elbrus in Russia, the highest peak in Europe. While Mt Elbrus (5,642 mts) is in Russia, the Kilimanjaro peak (5,895 mts) is located in Tanzania and is Africa’s highest peak.
- Power Finance Corp. Ltd (PFC) is set to become the 11th Maharatna central public sector enterprise (CPSE), with an inter-ministerial committee clearing the Navratna last week for this.