Daily Current Affairs - 08-03-2021

The American rock band called Kings of Leon has released a music album recently. The music album was launched as a non-fungible token (NFT). Thus, the band has become the first ever to distribute the digitised art.


The new album of the band is titled as ‘When You See Yourself’. It will be distributed in three tokens under the series called ‘NFT Yourself’. One token will be provided as a special album package. Second token will be offering live show perks such as front-row seats for life while the third token will be offering the exclusive audio-visual art. This system was developed by YellowHeart which is a New York City-based ticketing firm. This firm is also specialised in the blockchain technology. The album will be released on the music-streaming platforms such as apple music, Spotify, and Amazon. However, the version with the special perks will only be available on the YellowHeart platform.  This concept of ‘smart contracts’ can also be used for general tickets which will allow the artists to earn a small percentage of money when the NFT is resold.

What is Non-Fungible Token?

It is a special type of cryptographic token which represents somethings which are unique. These tokens are not mutually interchangeable. This is opposite to the cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. It is a type of crypto-asset that represents several numbers of assets such as tickets, artforms, and music.  Such type of asset is gaining its popularity because several investors and enthusiasts are interested to spend a large sum of money on items which only exist digitally. These tokens are used to create digital scarcity and digital ownership. It can also be used in online gaming, crypto art and digital collectibles.

The HDFC Bank has launched the “SmartUp Unnati mentoring Programme”. This programme was launched to provide its support to the women entrepreneurs.

About SmartUp Unnati mentoring Programme

This programme was launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Under this programme, the senior women leaders from the HDFC Bank with the expertise will mentor the women entrepreneurs so as to help them in achieving their goals in next one year. This programme is available for the existing customers of the bank. The programme will initially target more than 3,000 women entrepreneurs who are associated with the SmartUp programme of the bank. Under the programme, the senior women executive leaders’ will be acting as the sounding board for women entrepreneurs. Thus, it is a programme for women by women.

Significance of the programme

This programme will provide women the access to mentorship and help them in expanding their visions. It will also enable them to scale up their businesses by widening their visions. This, it will encourage the women entrepreneurs to face the challenges which are unique to them.

SmartUp Programme

The SmartUp programme was launched by the HDFC Bank in the year 2018. It is an online mentoring platform which was launched for banking start-ups. Under this programme, HDFC is working with the state governments, incubators and accelerators in a bid to promote the entrepreneurship. The programme recognises the challenge that the entrepreneurs usually face ranging from “accessing credit” to “formulating strategy in the dynamic business environment”.

HDFC Bank Limited

It is an Indian banking and financial services company. It has been headquartered in Mumbai. The bank is the largest private sector bank in India by assets. As of March 2020, the bank is also the largest in India by market capitalisation.

Indian wrestler, Bajrang Punia, has regained the world number one ranking. He gained his ranking after winning second successive gold medal at Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series.


The wrestler defeated Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia by 2-2 criteria in 65 kg the final freestyle event which was organised in Rome on March 7, 2021. He won the event after getting a two-pointer in last 30 seconds of bout. This was the first international competition of Bajrang Punia since the Covid-19 outbreak.


The wrestler, Bajrang Punia, was ranked at the second spot in world’s ranking before the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series was started. His win in the event helped him regain the top spot in the 65 kg weight category. He has a total point of 14 highest among the others. He made the full use of tournament before the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

Previous wins

The wrestler had defeated Jordan Oliver from The United States in the year 2020 in the final. In this tournament he has won the gold medal. Earlier than that, he reserved his place for the Tokyo Olympic Games in the month of September 2019 after he won the bronze at World Championships.

Tokyo Olympics

The 2020 Summer Olympics is officially known as the Tokyo Olympics. It has been scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.  It will be held in Tokyo, Japan. It was earlier scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020. but it was postponed for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The games retain the name “Tokyo 2020 name” even though it has been rescheduled for 2021 for marketing and branding purposes.

The Heritage Foundation, a US Conservative think-tank, recently launched the “Economic Freedom Index”. In the index, Singapore has topped the global ranking for the second consecutive year. The index was prepared by covering 184 countries this time for the period of July 2019 to June 2020.


The overall score of the Singapore was increased by 0.3 points to 89.7. The score was increased primarily because of the improvement in score for the government spending. The score obtained by Singapore is well-above the regional and the world averages. Hongkong was not considered to prepare this year’s index for the first time which has topped the list for 25 years out of 26 years before this year’s index. Hong Kong was kept outside, because, the Special Administrative Region & the economic policies of the country now come under the direct control of Beijing.

Global Five countries

The second place was obtained by New Zealand with its score of 83.9 points. Australia has obtained the third position with 82.4 points. Switzerland has scored 81.9 points and acquired the fourth position. While, the Ireland obtained the fifth position with 81.4 points.

Rank of Major Economies

Among the major economies of the world, the United Kingdom has been ranked at 7th position with its score of 78.4 points. The United States has been ranked 20th with 74.8 points. Japan was ranked at 23rd and has obtained the score of 74.1 points. Germany obtained 72.5 points and was ranked 29th. China has been ranked at number 107 with its score of 58.4 points. India has obtained a score of 56.5 this year which is ranked at the middle among Asia-Pacific countries that is 26th out of 40 Asia-Pacific countries.

Index of Economic Freedom

It is an annual index and ranking. It was created in the year 1995 by the conservative think-tank called The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. This index measures the degree of economic freedom among the world’s nations. This index is inspired by Adam Smith’s approach in The Wealth of Nations which states that the “basic institutions which protect the liberty of individuals to pursue their economic interests, in turn, result into the greater prosperity for bigger society”.

Indian Railways has launched an integrated “Rail Madad Helpline number 139”. This helpline number can be used for all type of queries, assistance and complaints for passengers during the travel.


All the existing helplines numbers have now been integrated into a single number 139. This was done to overcome the inconvenience that existed with multiple helpline numbers for grievances and enquiry for railway travel.  This integrated helpline number will help in quick grievance redressal and enquiry during the journey. To raise the awareness and inform public, railways has also launched a social media campaign called “#OneRailOneHelpline139”.


Indian Railways has already discontinued several railway grievances helplines in the year 2020. The helpline no. 182 will be discontinued from April 1, 2021 and will be merged into 139.

About Helpline no 139

The Helpline number 139 are available in twelve languages. The Passengers can opt for Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). Passengers would also be given the option to directly connect to the call-centre executive by pressing asterisk (*). This new helpline number does not require any smartphone to call from. This number is compatible with all types of phones. On an average the 139-helpline number receives enquiry 3,44,513 calls or SMS per day.

Menu of 139 Helpline Number

The Ministry of Finance has launched several schemes in past seven years which comprise of several special provisions that empowers the women. One such scheme is “Stand-up India scheme” under which 81% of the account holders are women. All these schemes have financially empowered the women to lead a better life and fulfil their dreams of being an entrepreneur. These schemes have benefitted the women in the manner stated below.

Stand-Up India Scheme

This scheme was launched on April 5, 2016 in order to promote the entrepreneurship at the grass root level for the economic empowerment and job creation. This scheme seeks to provide the institutional credit structure to reach out to underserved sector of people like Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Women Entrepreneurs. It seeks to enable them to participate in the economic growth of the country.  This scheme was launched with the objective of facilitating the bank loans ranging between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 crore to one Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe borrower and to one woman borrower per bank branch in order to set up a Greenfield enterprise. As on February 26, 2021 it has more than 81% of the account sanctioned to the women entrepreneurs.

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)

This scheme was launched on April 8, 2015 to provide the loans up to 10 lakhs for the non-corporate, non-farm small or micro enterprises. These loans are called as the MUDRA loans under PMMY. The loans are provided by the Commercial Banks, RRBs, MFIs, NBFCs and Small Finance Banks. Under the scheme, MUDRA has created three products called ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ that signifies the stage of growth or development. Under the scheme, around 68% or 19.04 crore accounts have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs which amount to Rs 6.36 lakh crores.

The government of Australia has suspended its defence cooperation with Myanmar and has decided to redirect the humanitarian aid which the country was providing to the government of Myanmar. This decision was taken on March 7, 2021 by the government following the military takeover of the government of Myanmar and detention of the Australian citizen in Myanmar.


The Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne, stated that the Australian diplomats only had access to the economic policy adviser Sean Turnell twice after he was detained in February 2021 in Myanmar. She is of the view that it is a limited consular support for the diplomat. Australia announced to suspended its defense training program with Myanmar which was worth 1.5 million Australian dollars over the five years. This program was restricted to the non-combat areas like English-language training. Now the Australian humanitarian aid will be directed away from the Myanmar government and other government-related entities. The aid will now focus on immediate humanitarian needs of most vulnerable and poor in Myanmar such as Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. Australia had also imposed sanctions like an arms embargo and other sanctions which targeted several individuals. Those sanctions will also continue to be reviewed


The Australian citizen was detained within the weeks of arriving in Yangon which is the biggest city of Myanmar. He travelled from Australia to take up the job as adviser to the government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The military coup on Myanmar took place on February 1, 2021 following which the Prime Minister of Myanmar Suu Kyi and the President Win Myint were arbitrarily detained.

Military Coup in Myanmar

The military in Myanmar took over the government and a state emergency were announced in Myanmar on February 1, 2021 after claiming that, the government was failed in tackling the situation in Myanmar amid the covid-19 pandemic. The military took over the country in accordance with the Article 417 of the Myanmar’s constitution that provides power to the military to take over in times of emergency.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has announced to classify all the major schemes of the ministry for their effective implementation and programmes under the three Umbrella schemes namely, Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Vatsalya and Mission Shakti.

How women and child are significant for Country?

As per the census 2011, the Women and Children accounts for 67.7% of India’s population. So, the empowerment & protection of women & children and ensuring their overall development is very crucial for the sustainable and equitable development of India. In this line, the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeks to ensure the well-nourished children growing in the safe and secure environment. It also seeks to empower the women by providing them an environment which is accessible, affordable, reliable and is free from discrimination & violence. The major objective of Ministry is to address the gaps in the State action for women & children and to promote the inter-ministerial & inter- sectoral convergence which in turn will help in creating the gender equitable & child centred legislation, policies and programmes.

Mission Shakti

The Indian Constitution has granted equal rights to women and men with respect to the freedom and opportunity. So, to make woman the author of her destiny there is a need to adopt a continuum approach so as to create an ecosystem which can addresses the inherent biases in the society. There is also the need to create an inclusive society wherein the women & girls have equal access to resources & opportunities. This will enable them to participate in the social, economic and political development of the country. To achieve this objective, Mission Shakti was launched.

Mission Poshan 2.0

The government is launching the Mission Poshan 2.0 after merging the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and Poshan Abhiyan. This will help strengthening the delivery, outreach, nutritional content, and outcomes.


This mission was launched with the objective of ensuring the safety and well-being of children.

Google has launched a new web platform ‘Women Will’ on March 8, 2021 on the occasion of “International Women’s Day”. This platform will provide its support to 1 million rural women in India in order for them to become entrepreneurs with the help of accelerator programmes, business tutorials and mentorship.


This web portal can be accessed in English and Hindi languages. It will offer the guidance to the aspiring women in villages to turn their interest or a hobby like beauty services, tailoring, home tuition, food processing, etc. into business. It will also be providing guidance to manage and promote the business. In the initial phase, Google will work with 2,000 Internet Saathis in order to help women turn entrepreneurs.

Internet Saathi Programme

The Internet Saathis Programme was launched by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in 2015 with the objective of imparting digital literacy training to women across villages.

Other initiatives by Google

Google also announced initiatives on the occasion of Women’s day. Those initiatives include-

  1. Committed a grant of $500,000 to Nasscom Foundation. This grant will reach out to 1 lakh women agri-workers in the states of Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. It will help in offering the digital and financial literacy training.
  2. A global “Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls” was also announced. Under this, Google will offer $25 million in grants to the non-profits and social enterprises in India and other countries which are providing its support to the women and girls so as to reach their full potential.
  3. Google has also announced to enable search in English for “women-led” such as “women-led restaurants,” “women-led clothing stores” and other such keywords on Google Search and Maps. It will provide support to women entrepreneurs. This feature is based on an opt-in feature on Google My Business where women-led businesses can identify on their Business Profiles.
  4. Google had also announced in February 2021 to invest $15 million in order to provide its support to Indian small and micro enterprises in India amid the covid-19 pandemic.
  5. Apart from the, the company had also announced in 2020, to invest Rs 75,000 crore in five to seven years to boost the digitization efforts in India.

The Indian Naval Ships are all set to make the first-ever visit to historic port town of Mongla in Bangladesh. The ships will make part of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebration which will be commemorating 50 years of the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan. The celebrations will be held from March 8 to March 10, 2021.


The official release shows that, the Indian Naval Ships including the indigenously build offshore patrol vessel, Sumedha and an indigenously built guided missile corvette, Kulish will take the port call at Mongla from March 8 to 10. This will commemorate the ongoing Swarnim Vijay Varsh and it will also reiterate the India-Bangladesh historic friendship. The ships will pay homage to the Bangladeshi and Indian combatants & citizens who lost their lives in the Liberation War of 1971. This also marks the firm resolve and commitment of India to maintain peace, stability and good order in line with the SAGAR (Security & Growth for all in the Region) policy of India.

Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971

This war is also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence or the Liberation War in Bangladesh. The war was a revolution and armed conflict which was sparked due to rise of Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement in East Pakistan during 1971 Bangladesh genocide. The war led to the independence of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. This war was started after the Pakistani military launched the “Operation Searchlight” against people of East Pakistan on March 25, 1971. In the war, the Pakistani military was thrown out of Bangladesh and 90000 troops were made to surrender with the joint efforts of India and Bangladesh.

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, laid down the foundation stone for conservation works of Singorgarh Fort at the Singrampur village of Damoh district in Madhya Pradesh on March 7, 2021.


On the occasion, the President also inaugurated the Jabalpur Circle of Archaeological Survey of India. He also addressed the State Level Tribal Conference at Singrampur village in Damoh which was organized by Union Ministry of Culture and the Tribal Affairs Department of Madhya Pradesh. On the occasion, Kovind also paid his floral tributes at the statue of Rani Durgavati in Singrampur village. He also launched the booklet of Tribal Department and a portal for virtual classes for the tribal artists. On this occasion, President also awarded the talented tribal students with the Shankar Shah and Rani Durgavati awards.

Singorgarh Fort

This port is situated in Damoh district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is a hill-fort of Garha Kingdom. The fort is spread over the hills of a forested area. It is located at a distance of 45 km from Jabalpur city. It was a magnificent fort. Rajgond rulers of central India were the residence of this fort. The fort is currently in a ruined condition for which conservation work is launched. The fort also comprises of a pond at the hilltop that provided water. Under the rule of Rani Durgavati in the year 1564, the fort was attacked by the last war of the Garha Kingdom dynasty.

Gondwana Kingdom

This was a ruling kingdom in the Gondwana region of India. The region comprises of the core region of eastern part of Vidarbha (Maharashtra), some parts of Madhya Pradesh and parts of west of Chhattisgarh. It also include some parts of western Odisha, northern Telangana and southern Uttar Pradesh.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, will inaugurate the ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh via video conferencing on March 9, 2021. He will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of several infrastructure projects in Tripura on the occasion.

About ‘Maitri Setu’

The ‘Maitri Setu’ is a bridge that has been built in the River Feni. Feni river flows between the Indian boundary in the state of Tripura and Bangladesh. The name ‘Maitri Setu’ has been chose to symbolize the growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between both the countries. The construction of the bridge was done by the “National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd”. The total cost of the bridge project is Rs. 133 Crores. It is a 1.9 Km long bridge that connects the Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.

Significance of the bridge

The inauguration of the bridge will establish a new chapter for doing the trade and people to people movement in between the countries. After this bridge is operation, the Indian state of Tripura will become the ‘Gateway of North East’ with having access to Chittagong Port in Bangladesh. This port is located at the distance of 80 Kms from Sabroom.

Check Post at Sabroom, Tripura

Prime Minister Modi will also lay down the foundation stone to set up an “Integrated Check Post at Sabroom” on the occasion. This check post will help in easing the movement of goods and passengers between India and Bangladesh. It will also provide new market opportunities for the products of North Eastern states of India. This check post will also assist the seamless movement of passengers from both the countries. The project will be undertaken by “Land Ports Authority of India”. This project has the estimated cost of Rs 232 crores.

Bangladesh has announced on March 7, 2021 the names of nine individuals and one organization who will be conferred with the Highest Civilian Award of the Bangladesh called “Independence Award” for the year 2021.


As per the announcement, four individuals have been selected posthumously under the category of freedom fighters with respect to their contribution to the liberation war of Bangladesh. These four individuals include- A K M Bazlur Rahman, Brig Gen. Khurshid Uddin Ahmed, Ahsan Ullah Master and Akhataruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. Apart from them, Dr. Mrinmoy Guha Niyogi was selected for contributing to science and technology. Mahadev Saha have been selected for award for his contributions in literature. Ataur Rahman and Gazi Mazharul Anwar will be honoured with the award for their contribution in Culture while, Dr.  M Amzad Hossain was nominated for the award for his social & public service. Among the various organisations, “Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council” was nominated for the award for “Research & Training”.

Independence Award

This award is also called as the Independence Award, Swadhinata Padak and the Swadhinata Puroskar. It the highest civilian award which is conferred by the government of Bangladesh since 1977. It is given to the Bangladeshi citizens or organizations to recognise their substantial contribution in several fields including the education, journalism, public service, War of Liberation, Language Movement, medical science, science and technology, social science, games & sports, song, fine arts, rural development etc. The recipient of the honour gets a “Gold Medal”, a cash reward of ‘Five Lakh Taka’ and a certificate of honour.

The International Women’s Day is being celebrated across the world on March 8, 2021. This day is observed on March 8 every year in order to help in shaping a gender equal world. The day is being observed this year under the theme – “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”  which was decided by UN Women.

Significance of the day

The day is observed in order to celebrate the achievements of women. It also highlights the increasing visibility of women in every sphere of life. The day celebrates the political, cultural, economic and social achievements of women. It also marks the extraordinary roles played by women in every walk of life besides celebrating the acts of courage and determination of the ordinary women.


The celebration of this day is a focal point in movement of rights of the women. The first ever women’s day was celebrated on February 28, 1908 by the Socialist Party of America. Following this, the German delegates including Kate Duncker, Clara Zetkin and Paula Thiede proposed for the organise a special Women’s day at the International Socialist Women’s Conference of 1910. In the year 1917, the women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia following which March 8 became a national holiday in Soviet Russia. United Nations started celebrating it in the year 1977.

Celebration of the day

The Women’s Day is celebrated by observing a public holiday in some nations while it is also a day of protest in some nations. In India the government have dedicated several schemes and policies that mark the glory of women. The government of India has accorded high priority on the empowerment of women and started several initiatives such as access to education, improved gender sensitivity and better healthcare.