1. PM Modi launches ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign on March 22, 2021, on the occasion of World Water Day for conserving water. PM urged that every penny of MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) funds be spent on rainwater conservation till the monsoon arrives.
- The ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign will be implemented across the country, in both rural and urban areas from March 22 to November 30, 2021 (the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country).
- The main aim of the campaign is to take water conservation at the grass-root level through people’s participation and urge stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater.
2. Arindam Bagchi takes charge as MEA spokesperson
- Arindam Bagchi, an officer of the 1995 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), has assumed charge as the new spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA). He is replacing Anurag Srivastava, an officer of the 1999 batch of IFS.
- Before this, Bagchi was serving as the joint secretary (north) at the MEA headquarters. He was an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer from the 1995 batch.
- In past, he has served as India’s ambassador to Croatia from November 2018 to June 2020. He was also India’s deputy high commissioner to Sri Lanka.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Minister of External Affairs: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
3. RBI imposes Rs 15 lakh penalty on Fedbank Financial Services
- The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 15 lakh on Fedbank Financial Services Limited, Mumbai.
- The penalty has been imposed for non-compliance with “certain provisions of the directions issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) contained in ”Monitoring of Frauds in NBFCs (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2016′.
- The statutory inspection of the company with reference to its financial position as of March 31, 2019, revealed, inter alia, non-compliance with the directions issued by it. The inspection report of the Koyana Sahakari Bank based on its financial position as of March 31, 2019, revealed that it had exceeded the prudential inter-bank (single bank) exposure limit.
4. RBI sets up external advisory committee for evaluating banking applications
- The Reserve Bank of India has announced the names of the members of the Standing External Advisory Committee (SEAC) for evaluating applications for Universal Banks as well as Small Finance Banks.
- The committee has five members, with former RBI deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath as the chairperson. The panel will have a tenure of three years.
- According to guidelines, applications for universal banks and SFBs will first be evaluated by the RBI to ensure prima facie eligibility of the applicants, after which the newly formed committee will evaluate the applications.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.
5. Indian Armed Forces 4th Strongest in the World
- China has the strongest military force in the world while India stands at number four, according to a study released by defence website Military Direct. China has the strongest military in the world, scoring 82 out of 100 points in the index.
- The USA, despite their enormous military budgets, comes in 2nd place with 74 points, followed by Russia with 69, India at 61 and then France with 58.
- The U.K. just about makes the Top 10, coming in 9th place with a score of 43. The study said the “ultimate military strength index” was calculated after taking into consideration various factors including budgets, number of inactive and active military personnel, total air, sea, land and nuclear resources, average salaries, and weight of equipment.
6. 67th National Film Awards Announced
The 67th National Film Awards are currently being announced in New Delhi. The awards are for films from the year 2019. The event is organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The ceremony was supposed to be held in May last year but was delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is the complete list of all the winners:
Feature Film Awards
- Best Feature Film: Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (Malayalam)
- Best Actor (shared): Manoj Bajpayee for Bhonsle (Hindi), and Dhanush for Asuran (Tamil)
- Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut for Panga (Hindi) and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (Hindi)
- Best Supporting Actress: Pallavi Joshi for The Tashkent Files (Hindi)
- Best Supporting Actor: Vijay Sethupathi for Super Deluxe (Tamil)
- Best Director: Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan for Bahattar Hoorain (Hindi)
- Best Debut Film of a Director: Mathukutty Xavier for Helen (Malayalam)
- Best Child Artist: Naga Vishal for KD (Tamil)
- Best Action Direction: Avane Srimannarayana (Kannada), Vikram Mor
- Best Choreography: Maharishi (Telugu), Raju Sundaram
- Best Special Effects: Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (Malayalam), Siddharth Priyadarshan
- Special Jury Award: Oththa Seruppu Size 7 (Tamil), Radhakrishnan Parthiban
- Best Lyrics: Prabha Varma for Kolaambi (Malayalam)
- Best Music Direction: D. Imman for Viswasam (Tamil)
- Best Background Music: Prabuddha Banerjee for Jyeshthoputro (Bengali)
- Best Make-up Artist: Ranjith for Helen (Malayalam)
- Best Costumes: Sujith Sudhakaran and V. Sai for Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (Malayalam)
- Best Production Design: Anandi Gopal (Marathi), Sunil Nigwekar and Nilesh Wagh
- Best Audiography (Location Sound Recordist): Iewduh (Khasi), Debajit Gayan
- Best Audiography (Re-recordist of the final mixed track): Oththa Seruppu Size 7 (Tamil), Resul Pookutty
- Best Screenplay (Original): Jyeshthoputro (Bengali), Kaushik Ganguly
- Best Screenplay (Adapted): Gumnaami (Bengali), Srijit Mukherji
- Best Screenplay (Dialogue Writer): The Tashkent Files (Hindi), Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri
- Best Cinematography: Jallikattu (Malayalam), Gireesh Gangadharan
- Best Editing: Jersey (Telugu), Navin Nooli
- Best Children’s Film: Kastoori (Hindi)
- Best Film on Environment Conservation: Water Burial (Monpa)
- Best Film on Social Issues: Anandi Gopal (Marathi)
- Best Film on National Integration: Tajmahal (Marathi)
- Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Maharishi (Telugu)
- Best Female Playback Singer: Savani Ravindra for Bardo (Marathi)
- Best Male Playback Singer: B Praak for Kesari (Hindi)
Best Films in Each Language:
- Best Hindi Film: Chhichhore
- Best Telugu Film: Jersey
- Best Malayalam Film: Kalla Nottam
- Best Tamil Film: Asuran
- Best Paniya Film: Kenjira
- Best Mishing Film: Anu Ruwad
- Best Khasi Film: Iewduh
- Best Chattisgarhi Film: Bhulan the Maze
- Best Haryanvi Film: Chhoriyan Chhoron Se Kam Nahi Hoti
- Best Tulu Film: Pingara
- Best Punjabi Film: Rab Da Radio 2
- Best Odia Film: Kalira Atita and Sala Budhar Badla (shared)
- Best Manipuri Film: Eigi Kona
- Best Marathi Film: Bardo
- Best Konkani Film: Kaajro
- Best Kannada Film: Akshi
- Best Bengali Film: Gumnaami
- Best Assamese Film: Ronuwa – Who Never Surrender
- Special Mentions: Biriyani (Malayalam), Jonaki Porua (Assamese), Lata Bhagwan Kare (Marathi) and Picasso (Marathi)
Non-Feature Film Awards
- Best Voice-over/ Narration: Sir David Attenborough for wild Karnataka (English)
- Best Music Direction: Bishakhjyoti for Kranti Darshi Guruji – Ahead of Times (Hindi)
- Best Editing: Arjun Gourisaria for Shut Up Sona (Hindi/ English)
- Best Audiography: Radha (Musical), Allwin Rego and Sanjay Maurya
- Best On-Location Sound Recordist: Rahas (Hindi), Saptarshi Sarkar
- Best Cinematography: Savita Singh for Sonsi (Hindi)
- Best Direction: Sudhanshu Saria for Knock Knock Knock (English/ Bengali)
- Best Film on Family Values: Oru Paathira Swapnam Pole (Malayalam)
- Best Short Fiction Film: Custody (Hindi/ English)
- Special Jury Award: Small Scale Societies (English)
- Best Animation Film: Radha (Musical)
- Best Investigative Film: Jakkal (Marathi)
- Best Exploration Film: Wild Karnataka (English)
- Best Educational Film: Apples and Oranges (English)
- Best Film on Social Issues: Holy Rights (Hindi) and Ladli (Hindi)
- Best Environment Film: The Stork Saviours (Hindi)
- Best Promotional Film: The Shower (Hindi)
- Best Arts and Culture Film: Shrikshetra-Ru-Sahijata (Odia)
- Best Biographical Film: Elephants Do Remember (English)
- Best Ethnographic Film: Charan-Atva The Essence of Being a Nomad (Gujarati)
- Best Debut Non-Feature Film of a Director: Raj Pritam More for Khisa (Marathi)
- Best Non-Feature Film: An Engineered Dream (Hindi)
- Most Film Friendly State: Sikkim
- Best Book on Cinema: A Gandhian Affair: India’s Curious Portrayal of Love in Cinema, by Sanjay Suri
- (Special mentions: Cinema Paharana Manus by Ashok Rane and Kannada Cinema: Jagathika Cinema Vikasa-Prerane Prabhava written by PR Ramadasa Naidu)
7. Gandhi Peace Prize for the Year 2019 & 2020 announced
- The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019 is being conferred on (Late) His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman. Gandhi Peace Prize recognizes the unparalleled vision and leadership of the Late H.M. Sultan Qaboos Bin Said in strengthening relations between India and Oman, and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region.
- On the other hand, Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Committee selected the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods.
- The award carries an amount of Rs. 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item.
8. India Legends wins 2020-21 Road Safety World Series T-20
- In Cricket, India Legends defeated Sri Lanka Legends by 14 runs to clinch the Road Safety World Series final title, held at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
- India Legends put up a total of 181/4 but Sri Lanks Legends could manage 167/7. Sachin Tendulkar was the captain of the India Legends.
- Player of the Match: Yusuf Pathan (India Legends)
- Player of the Series: Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka Legends)
- Most Runs: Tillakaratne Dilshan
- Most Wickets: Tillakaratne Dilshan
9. Nozomi Okuhara bags women’s singles titles at All England Open
- Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara has won the All England Badminton Championships women’s title as she defeated Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-12, 21-16 in the finals.
- In the men’s category, Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia has won the All England Badminton Championships title as he defeated Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in the summit clash. With this win, Malaysia’s title drought came to an end and it is after four years, that someone from the country has managed to win the All England Open. Lee Chong Wei had last won the All England Open for Malaysia in 2017.
Here is the list of winners of the All England Badminton Championships 2021:
|1.||Men’s singles||Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia)|
|2.||Women’s singles||Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)|
|3.||Men’s doubles||Hiroyuki Endo and|
|4.||Women’s doubles||Mayu Matsumoto and|
|5.||Mixed doubles||Yuta Watanabe and|
10. Shaheed Diwas Observed On 23 March
- Every year, March 23 is observed as Martyrs Day (Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day) to pay tribute on the death anniversary of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru, who laid their lives for the freedom of India.
- It was on March 23 in 1931, in Lahore (Pakistan), that these three were hanged to death for assassinating John Saunders, a British police officer in 1928.
- They had mistaken him for British police superintendent James Scott, who had ordered lathi-charge, which eventually led to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. Also, 30 January is observed as Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
11. World Meteorological Day observed globally on 23 March
- The World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on 23 March to commemorate the date of the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization in 23 March 1950. The day also highlights the contribution that the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society.
- The World Meteorological Day theme is “The ocean, our climate and weather” celebrates WMO’s focus in connecting the ocean, climate and weather within the Earth System. It also marks the starting year of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- World Meteorological Organization Head: Petteri Taalas.
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
- World Meteorological Organization has a membership of 191 member states and territories.
12. Noted filmmaker and writer Sagar Sarhadi passes away
- Noted writer and filmmaker Sagar Sarhadi, known for films like “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Silsila”, and “Bazaar”, has passed away. He began his career as Urdu short stories writer and entered Bollywood through Yash Chopra’s 1976 “Kabhi Kabhie”, which had Amitabh Bachchan and Raakhee in the lead role.
- He turned director with “Bazaar” in 1982. He had written dialogues for various acclaimed films like “Silsila”, “Chandni”, “Deewana” “Kaho Na Pyaar Hai” etc.
13. Acclaimed Egyptian feminist Nawal Saadawi passes away
- Nawal Saadawi, a renowned Egyptian feminist, psychiatrist and novelist, whose writings have stirred controversy for decades in an overwhelmingly conservative society passed away. She was a fierce advocate of women rights in Egypt and the Arab world.
- In 2005, she was awarded the Inana International Prize in Belgium, a year after she received the North-South prize from the Council of Europe. In 2020, Time Magazine named her on their 100 Women of the Year list. She was the founder and head of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights.