Daily Current Affairs - 05-04-2021

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind recently promulgated the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. The ordinance will allow pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for MSMEs. The Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process is called PIRP.

About the Ordinance

The ordinance introduces a pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for corporate persons classified as MSMEs under the MSME Development Act, 2006. Chapter III-A has been introduced to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 under the amendment. It explains the initiation of resolution, duties of resolution professional and eligibilities to take the benefits of pre-packaged insolvency resolution processes, etc.

What is the main objective of the ordinance?

The ordinance aims to provide an efficient alternative insolvency resolution process for the corporate persons classified as MSMEs.

How will the ordinance benefit the corporates?

The ordinance allows the corporate debtor to submit a “base resolution plan” to the resolution professional. However, the debtor should have the plan ready before approaching the creditors to initiate PIRP. If the committee of creditors did not approve the plan, then the resolution professional shall invite applicants to submit different plans.


Control of Company during PIRP

During the PIRP framework, the management of affairs of the corporate debtor will continue to vest with the Board of Directors.

What is the difference between PIRP and normal IBC process?

The Defence Research and Development Organisation recently developed an Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships against missile attacks. One of the DRDO laboratories located in Jodhpur developed three variants of the Advanced Chaff Technology. They were Short Range Chaff Rocket, Long Range Chaff Rocket and Medium Range Chaff Rocket.

Key Features of the Technology


Recent Developments by DRDO

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently approved the “National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021”.

Key Features of National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

Challenges to be addressed by the policy

The National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021, will address the following challenges:

What are Rare Diseases?

According to the World Health Organization, the rare diseases are those diseases with a prevalence of 1 or less per thousand population. However, several other countries use their own definitions. Some even define as prevalence of 1 per 10,000 population.

Rare Diseases in India

The rare diseases recorded in India are primary immunodeficiency disorder, Cystic Fibrosis, Pompe disease, Gaucher’s disease, fabry disease, maple syrup urine disease, etc.

Preventive measures adopted by the policy

The preventive measures adopted by the National Policy for Rare Diseases are as follows:

Implementation of the policy

February 28 is observed as Rare Disease Day every year.

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) operating under Ministry of Tribal Affairs recently launched the “SANKALP SE SIDDHI”.


What is the plan?

After the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras are activated in the selected 1,500 villages, these kendras will work towards achieving Rs 200 crores of sales target.

Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

Tribal Issues

According to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the following are the problems faced by the tribal population in India:

A professor and a research associate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have developed a sensitive watch for the use of visually impaired people. The watch has tactile hour indicators of different shapes. These indicators help the visually impaired persons to recognize the time easily.

About the Touch Sensitive Watch

The user has to touch and scan the hour indicator of the watch to know the time. The watch then communicates back to the user with the help of different vibration patterns. The watch provides user privacy as it does not require audio feedback.

Currently, mechanical watches are available for the visually impaired. Here the user has to feel the needles of hour and minute hand to know the time. On the other hand, the touch sensitive watch developed has no moving parts. Thus, there is no scope of breakage in the touch sensitive watch.

National Programme for Control of Blindness

Main causes of blindness in India

The main causes of blindness in India are refractive error, cataract, corneal blindness, surgical complication, Glaucoma, Posterior Capsular Opacification, Surgical Complication, posterior capsular opacification.

Blindness in India

According to World Vision Report of World Health Organization, the rate of cataract surgery has increased by nine-fold between 1981 and 2012 in India.

Major barriers to access treatment

Hubert Hurkacz of Poland has won the Miami Open title. He won the title playing against Jannik Sinner. Hubert has become the Poland’s first Masters 1000 Champion.

Hubert Hurkacz

Strategies Used

Hubert Hurkacz uses an all-court game strategy. The other tennis strategies used by the players are baseliners and volleyers.

Miami Open

The Miami Open is also called the Miami Masters. The tournament is held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. The tournament is being held from 1987.

ATP Masters

It is a series of nine tennis tournaments that features top ranked players. Novak Djokovic holds the record for winning most of the titles in this series. He is the only tennis player to complete Career Golden Masters.

The Chinese scientists have recently identified the transfer of genes from plants to insects. Usually transfer of genes happen among the same family. For instance, the genes of a human parent get transferred to his or her child. However, this is not the case in the recent discovery. Here the insect called whiteflies has incorporated a portion of DNA from plants into their genome.

About the Gene Transfer


Whiteflies Resistant Cotton

On April 4, 2021, the multinational military exercise “Shantir Ogroshena, 2021” was begun at Bangabandhu Senanibas, Bangladesh. The exercise is being held to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He is the Father of Bangladesh.

Shantir Ogroshena

The theme of the exercise is:
Robust Peace Keeping Operations

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Other Military Exercises between India and Bangladesh

In the United Kingdom, thousands are protesting against the new legislation introduced in the British Parliament. The new legislation is called the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, 2021. The protests against the bill have been named as “Kill the Bill” protest.

Why is Police and Crime Bill being passed?

Currently, the British Police is using public order legislation called the Public Order Act passed in 1986 to manage the protests in the country. However, according to the British Government, this legislation is no longer fit to manage the types of protests that are faced in the country. The “April Uprising” is being cited as an example where the protests went out of control. The British Police spent 16 million USD to control the April Uprising.

Police and Crime Bill features

Why are people protesting against the bill?

The Japan Meteorological Agency recently announced that the Cherry Blossom season of Japan is in full bloom. Usually, the Cherry trees of Japan reach their full bloom in April. This time the Cherry Blossom has occurred ten days earlier. This is the first time the Cherry trees have bloomed this earlier in Japan. Previously, the earliest Cherry Blossoms in Japan occurred before 1,200 years.

Earliest Cherry Blossom

According to Osaka University of Japan, the flowering of the Cherry trees was this earlier in 812 AD. This is mainly due to Climate Change and global warming. The average temperature of Japan increased from 47.5 degrees Fahrenheit in 1953 to 51.1 degrees Fahrenheit in 2020.

Cherry Blossom in Japan

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom is a flower. The Cherry Blossom trees are ornamental Cherry trees. They are different from edible Cherry trees.

How is Climate Change affecting Cherry Blossom trees?

The leaves of the Cherry trees secrete a hormone that stops the flowers from blooming further. The secretion of this hormone stops when the temperature increases. After the weather becomes warm, the flowers bloom completely. This year, due to climate change, the flowers reached this stage earlier than usual as the hormones stopped secreting.

Where are Cherry Blossom trees found?

Cherry Blossom trees are found throughout the world. They are usually common in Northern Hemisphere, especially in regions with temperate climate. This includes Japan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Korea, USA, UK, Indonesia, etc.

Cherry Blossom in India

In India, Cherry Blossom is common in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Garo Hills and Khasi Hills in the north east. Cherry Blossom festivals in India are held during autumn, that is, in October and November. Shillong is known for its Cherry Blossom.

The ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) is also called Shanghai Ranking. Around fifteen Indian Universities have made it to the ARWU, 2020.

Indian Universities in ARWU Ranking, 2020

Though, the above institutes were included in the ranking, none of them were in the top 100 list. All the Indian institutes were placed in the category of 501-600.

About ARWU

The ARWU ranking is prepared by the Shanghai Ranking consultancy. It is an independent organisation that is dedicated to research on higher education, intelligence and consultation. The consultancy has been publishing the Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2009.

How are the universities ranked in ARWU ranking?

The ARWU ranking uses six indicators to rank the universities. They are as follows:

More than 1800 universities are ranked every year.

Top performers of ARWU Ranking

The top performers of ARWU ranking are as follows:

The UK based payments system company ACI recently released a report on digital payments. According to the report, India has the highest number of real-time online transactions in 2020.

Key Findings of the Report

How did COVID-19 accelerate India’s digitisation?

Challenges in Digital Transformation in India

The National Savings Institute operating under the Ministry of Finance recently announced that West Bengal is the top contributor to the Small Savings Scheme in the country. The state contributes 15% of the total corpus. It has so far collected Rs 90,000 crores under the Small Savings Scheme.

Top performers of Small Savings Scheme

Recent Developments of Small Savings Schemes

What are Small Savings Schemes?

The Small Savings Schemes consist of twelve instruments. The major Small Savings Schemes are as follows:

National Savings Certificate

It is a fixed income investment that can be opened at any post office. It helps small to mid income investors to invest while saving on income tax. There is no maximum limit on purchase of National Savings Certificate. However, according to Section 80 of Income Tax Act, only investments up to Rs 1.5 lakhs can bring tax breaks.

Public Provident Funds

The Public Provident Fund was introduced in India in 1968. The main objective of Public Provident Funds is to mobilize small saving in the form of investment. Basically, Public Provident Funds is a long-term investment. The interests earned under the scheme are not taxable.

Kisan Vikas Patra

It was launched in 1988. Kisan Vikas Patra is a small saving certificate scheme. It is a long-term investment.

Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme

The scheme was launched for the parents of girl child. It encourages the parents of a girl child to build funds for her future education.