Daily Current Affairs - 11-03-2021

The Japanese scientific research institute called RIKEN and Fujitsu started developing the “Fugaku” six years ago. It is the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Now this supercomputer is fully ready and developed in Japan and is now available for the research use.


This supercomputer has been developed with the aim of making the device core of the computing infrastructure of Japan. Then the supercomputer was tested for the particular projects in order to combat COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Now the Fugaku is fully open and available for shared use. The Research Organization for the Information Science and Technology (RIST) of Japan has selected some 74 projects which will use this supercomputer in the financial year 2021. RIST has also proposed for the development of the new projects in several categories and has invited the researchers who are interested to apply for the same.

About Fugaku

It is a key national technology that has been developed with the goal to achieve research results which ultimately will help in building a long-lived and healthy society, better energy use and disaster mitigation. It also aims to establish the government’s vision of making “ultra-smart Society 5.0”. The supercomputer has topped the top500 list, which is a “Supercomputer benchmark index”, for the second year in line. The computer comprises of 100 times the application performance of K supercomputer. It has been developed to implement the high-resolution, large-scale and long-duration simulation. Fugaku has been named after an alternative name for Mount Fuji. It started development in the year 2014 as the successor to the K computer. It is built with the Fujitsu A64FX microprocessor.

Tirath Singh Rawat has become the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on March 10, 2021. He took the oath as CM a day after the former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned from the post.


Tirath Singh is the Lok Sabha MP from Garhwal. He was elected as the leader of BJP Legislature Party and it made him to take over as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. This news was announced by Trivendra Singh Rawat after the meeting of BJP legislature party. The choice of making Mr Rawat the new CM of the state was also taken up as a surprise because he was not among the favourite candidate for many.  The other key names for the post of CM were Dhan Singh Rawat, Ajay Bhatt and Anil Baluni.

About Tirath Singh Rawat

He was the BJP party chief in the state of Uttarakhand from 2013 to 2015. Presently, he is the national secretary of BJP. He was also elected as an MLA from the Chaubattakhal Constituency and remained in the position from 2012 to 2017. He also acted as the first education minister of the Uttarakhand when it was carved out as a separate state. He has also been the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttarakhand and a state membership chief. He also served as the state vice president of the Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

Chief Minister

The chief minister is the elected head of government in each state. The constitution provides that, the Governor is a head of the state but but de facto executive authority lies with the chief minister. He is the head of the government. The CM is elected through a majority in state legislative assembly by a vote of confidence in legislative assembly. He is elected for five years and hold office during the pleasure of Governor. He is appointed by governor and swearing in is also done before the governor.

Moody’s Investors Service has published a report and stated that, though the businesses and economic activities across the globe have resumed after the pandemic-related lockdowns, but it would be hard for most of the countries to return to their pre-pandemic activity levels till the year 2022.


The report highlights that, the global recovery will be slow and bumpy. It also added that, though there has been relative stability in its forecasts since April 2020 but the uncertainty regarding the macroeconomic outlook will remain higher than the usual. It further highlights that, the rating actions will be more subdued in the year 2021 unless there is major shock for the global economic activity. It also states that, though the crisis has created several credit challenges, the credit downturn will be relatively short-lived and the risks will be most vulnerable to restrictions on the normal activities. The rating agency further highlighted that, the asset prices and debt issuers’ market access was largely recovered from the shock and the leverage metrics have shifted permanently.

Moody’s Investors Service or Moody’s

It is the bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation. The corporation represents the traditional line of business of the Moody’s. The Investors Service of Moody’s also provides for the international financial research on the bonds issued through the commercial and government entities. Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Group are the big three credit rating agencies across the world. It ranks the creditworthiness of the borrowers using the standardized ratings scale which is used to measure the expected investor loss in case of the default. The company was founded by John Moody in the year 1909 in order to produce the manuals of the statistics related to stocks, bonds and bond ratings.

The “Bloomberg Billionaires Index” released the ranking for world’s richest person. The index highlights that, Elon Musk who is the chief of Tesla and SpaceX has achieved a new milestone. He is already the second-richest person across the world. Now, his net worth jumped to $25 billion in a day after Tesla Inc. shares increased sharply on March 9, 2021.


The index highlighted that, the shares of Tesla jumped by 20 per cent. This was the biggest increase in more than a year. Tesla stock was up by 19.64 per cent standing at $673.58 per share. With this increase in the value of share, the valuation of Tesla increased the net worth of the chief to $174 billion. Tesla also benefited from the upgrade by New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu.

Other Gainers

The Bloomberg report highlighted that, top 10 largest wealth gainers from the tech industries, added $54 billion after there was a sharp rally in the technology shares of United States on March 9, 2021. This surge has come after three weeks of the decline. This decline has pushed the Nasdaq 100 Index down from the peak. The increase in the US shares has also helped Jeff Bezos to gain $6 billion with which his net worth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index now stands at $180 billion.

Bloomberg Billionaires Index

It is a daily ranking of the richest people of the world. The index provides for the detailed calculations in the net worth analysis of each profile page of the billionaires. These figures are updated at the end of every trading day in New York.

Elon Reeve Musk

He is a business magnate, industrial designer, and engineer. He is also the founder, CEO, CTO, and chief designer of the SpaceX and the product architect of Tesla. He also founded the Boring Company. He is a co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI.

The scientists in a recent study concluded that, the warming of worldwide oceans because of climate change may affect the metabolism of sharks. The scientists conducted the work in the New England Aquarium and studied “Epaulette Sharks” which live off the Australia and New Guinea.

What did scientists find?

In the recently conducted study, the scientists found that warmer conditions had boosted the growing process of Sharks. It means that; these sharks hatched from the eggs earlier and were born exhausted. The scientists also found that the baby sharks were at the risk of being born smaller. They would also be born without energy they require to survive.

How the study was conducted?

The scientists performed the study using breeding program for sharks by the aquarium. The scientists first raised 27 sharks under the average summer conditions or in about 27℃. They were also kept under the temperature of about the 29℃ and 31℃. While doing so, it was found that the sharks reared in warmest temperatures weighed less than those who were raised in the average temperatures. They also exhibited the reduced metabolic performance.

About Epaulette sharks

It is a species of longtailed carpet shark belongs to the family Hemiscylliidae. It is found in the shallow and tropical waters off Australia and New Guinea. The shark comprises of a very large, white-margined black spot behind each of the pectoral fin. The shark is under 1 m in length. The shark has a slender body with the short head and broad, paddle-shaped paired fins. The sharks have nocturnal habits. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the shark under “Least Concern” category.

The Union Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal, announced on March 10, 2021 that the Indian Railways has prepared a National Rail Plan (NRP) in order to establish a future ready Railway system by the year 2030.

National Rail Plan (NRP)

The Union Railway Minister highlighted that; the National Rail Plan has been prepared with the aim of formulating the strategies on the basis of both operational capacities as well as the commercial policy initiatives. The step was taken so as to increase the modal share of Railways to 45 percent in freight. The plan also seeks to create the capacity ahead of the demand in the country. It will also cater to the future growth in demand up to the year 2050 and also increase the modal share of Railways to 45 percent in freight traffic.

Key highlights

The railway minister also stated in a written reply to the lower house that the urban transportation is an integral part of urban development and is state subject. So, the concerned state is responsible to initiate and develop the urban transport infrastructure such as metro rail projects or MetroLite or MetroNeo in the urban agglomerates. He also stated that, several Business Development Units (BDUs) have been set up in order to attract new business by providing value-for-money solutions for logistics. He replied that, the Indian railways is undertaking the “Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach for the Passenger Train Operations in order to enhance the overall service quality and operational efficiency.

Business Development Units

Such Units have been created in all the zones of Indian Railways in a bid to attract new traffic and increase the rail share for the existing stream of traffic. BDUs will be interacting with industries and will facilitate those industries in carrying consignments by rail.

Function of BDUs

The main functions of the BDUs include:

  1. Increasing the present rail share of railways in traditional bulk commodity movement.
  2. Attracting new non-bulk traffic from local industries into rail mode.

Olive Ridley female turtles have started moving to the Gahirmatha beach in the Kendrapara district in Odisha. They are arriving at the beach to lay eggs which is described as the phenomenon called ‘arribada’.

Mass Nesting

Arribada is a Spanish term which describes the unique natural heritage of these marine species which converge on the nesting ground to lay eggs. The annual mass nesting of the marine species started on March 10, 2021 in Nasi-2 beach of Gahirmatha nesting ground. Around 2,000 turtles had turned up to lay eggs on ground. The mass nesting process will continue for at least 10 days. Usually, around 7.30 lakh Olive Ridley turtles were gathered for the mass nesting in the year 2019-2020.

Gahirmatha Beach

It is a beach located in the state of Odisha. It separates the Bhitarkanika Mangroves from Bay of Bengal. This beach is the most important nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles in the world. It is a part of the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the only marine wildlife sanctuary in Odisha.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

The scientific name of the turtle is Lepidochelys olivacea. It is also known as the Pacific Ridley sea turtle. The turtle belongs to the family Cheloniidae. It is the second-smallest known species across the world. The species is also the most abundant of all the sea turtles across the world. It is found in the warm and tropical waters especially in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is also found in the warm waters of Atlantic Ocean. Olive Ridley turtle and the Kemp’s ridley turtle are known for their unique mass nesting sites which are called as arribadas.

Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle

It is also called Atlantic Ridley sea turtle. The turtle is the rarest species of sea turtle and also the most endangered species of sea turtles across the world.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) launched the first virtual trade fair on March 10, 2021. It will conclude on March 12, 2021.


This trade fair was organised in order to boost the export of agricultural and processed food products. APEDA has initiated this concept of the virtual trade fair because of the COVID-19 related restrictions. It was organised to sustain the agricultural and processed food products exports of India.

Theme of the Trade Fair

The fair is being organised under the theme “India Rice and Agro Commodity”. This fair will focus on showcasing exports potential of several agricultural commodities.


The virtual trade fair will be participated by the importers and exporters. These potential buyers or importers and visitors will get a chance to explore a huge range of food products. These products will be presented by exporters through the virtual fair.

Products to be displayed

The virtual trade fair will display several key products such as basmati rice, non-basmati rice, wheat, maize, millets, coarse grains and groundnut. As of now, 135 Exhibitors have registered for the trade fair. Apart from that, 266 Indian and international buyers from the Brazil, France, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Bahrain, Philippines, Fiji, Myanmar, Netherlands, and Peru have registered for the events. The buyers were generated with the help of Indian Embassies across these countries.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

It is an Apex-Export Trade Promotion Active body. It was set up by Ministry of Commerce and Industry under “Agriculture and Processed Food products Export Development Authority”. It was set by an act of parliament passed in December 1985. The body came into effect on February 13, 1986.

The India–Uzbekistan joint military exercise “DUSTLIK II” is being held in the Foreign Training Node Chaubatia at Ranikhet in the state of Uttarakhand. It is the second edition of annual bilateral joint exercise of both the armies. It will conclude on March 19, 2021.


The first edition of DUSTLIK was held at Uzbekistan in the month of November, 2019. In the second edition of the exercise, around 45 soldiers from each of Indian army and Uzbekistan army are participating. During the exercise, both the armies will share their expertise and skills with respect to the counter-terrorism operations under the mandate of United Nations in Mountainous or Urban or Rural scenarios.

Validation exercise

The exercise will also culminate into a 36-hour joint validation exercise which is scheduled for March 17 to March 18, 2021. This exercise will be a testbed for soldiers of both the countries because under the exercise, the armies will undergo the challenges of actual operations in such scenarios.

Significance of the exercise

The joint exercise will provide an impetus to the military and diplomatic ties of the two countries. It also signifies the strong resolve of both the countries to counter-terrorism.


This was the first-ever joint military exercise between the armies of India and Uzbekistan. The exercise took place in the year 2019 in Uzbekistan. The curtain raiser of the exercise was chaired by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister of Uzbekistan. It was held with the focus on counter terrorism. The exercise concluded on November 13, 2019. The Indian Army contingent was trained with Uzbekistan army.

The Parliament has passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 after the Rajya Sabha cleared it on March 10, 2021. This bill was already passed in the Lok Sabha in February, 2021.

Key Points

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The legislation comprises of the provisions of dealing with the domestic and international arbitration. It defines the law to conduct conciliation proceedings. It replaces the Ordinance comprising of the same provisions that was promulgated on November 4, 2020. The legislation deals with the domestic and international arbitration.

Provisions of the Bill

  1. The bill comprises of the provision of “Automatic stay on awards”. Earlier, the act of 1996 had allowed the party to file application in order to set aside the order given in the arbitration proceeding.
  2. It specifies that the count can stay the arbitral award, even if there is pendency of setting aside of application, when the court is satisfied that relevant arbitration agreement or contract or making of award was induced by fraud or corruption.
  3. Schedule seven of the principal act (Act of 1996) specifies some qualifications, experience, and accreditation norms for the arbitrators. The arbitrator must be:

The bill of 2021 removes the Schedule seven for arbitrators and mention that these qualifications, experience, and norms will only be specified under regulations by the regulators.


The Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 is the main governing law of the arbitration. This act was enacted with the aim of consolidating and amending the law related to the international commercial arbitration, domestic arbitration and enforcement of the foreign award. It also seeks to define the law related to the conciliation.

The “Arjuna Sahayak Irrigation Project” will be completed and launched in one or two months in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The project will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister.


The launching of the project was announced by the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, on March 11, 2021. This irrigation project will bring positive changes for farmers. This was announced by him while he was launching the Lahchura Dam under the Arjun Sahayak Project in Mahoba district.

About Arjuna Sahayak Project

This is an irrigation project of worth Rs 2,600 crore. It is being built on the river Dhasan. The project will provide irrigation facilities to 1.5 lakh farmers across 168 villages of Banda, Mahoba and Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh. After this project is completed, around four lakh people will get pure drinking water. The irrigation facility will be provided to the area of 15,000 hectares under this project.

About Dhasan River

This river is a right bank tributary of Betwa River. It originates in Begumganj tehsil in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. It has its south-eastern boundary with the Lalitpur District in Uttar Pradesh. The river is having the length of 365 km. Out of the total length, 240 km flows in Madhya Pradesh, 54 km of the length is common between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh while the 71 kms of the river lies in Uttar Pradesh. This river is also known as the Dasharna in the ancient period. Lahchura Dam is built on this river. This river is regarded as a holy river by the residents of nearby villages.

The state of Karnataka has launched the “Xcelerator Bengaluru Initiative” in the bid to provide support to the women-owned micro-businesses.

Government’s support to women

The state presented the Budget for 2021-2021 on March 8, 2021 in which it has granted ₹37,188 crore for the women-centric programmes. Similarly, the government is also encouraging the small scale or micro entrepreneurs, employees, working women, rural self-help groups with the help of several initiatives like prominent Elevate Women programme.

About Xcelerator Bengaluru

The “Xcelerator Bengaluru” is a curated six-month accelerator programme. It seeks to provide its support to the women so as to help in scaling the women-owned micro-businesses. This initiative is jointly organised by the UBUNTU Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs’ Associations, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) and Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI). It seeks to reach and scale 50,000 women led enterprises. It is co-designed and co-created with the help of practitioners in women entrepreneurship development organisations, successful entrepreneurs and academics. It is designed and executed in partnership with the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE) which is 37-year-old organisation and is dedicated to empower the women by entrepreneurship development.

About Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI)

The Mysore chamber of commerce was founded by Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya, who was an engineering genius, a statesman, a visionary, and a great Institution builder on May 8, 1916. Mr W.C. Rose was the first President of the Chambers till 1920. This Chamber later converted to the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI). It as an apex organization for Trade & Services sectors and Industries in Karnataka.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has removed IDBI Bank from the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework which is the enhanced regulatory supervision of RBI on March 10, 2021. The bank was removed from the framework after four years as a result of its improved financial performance.


Central bank had enlisted the IDBI Bank under the PCA framework in May 2017. This is because the bank had breached the thresholds for capital adequacy, leverage ratio, asset quality and return on assets. The net NPAs were more than 13% in the month of March 2017.


By the end of December 31, 2020, it was noted that the bank was not in breach of PCA parameters on regulatory capital, leverage ratio and net NPA. It reported a net profit of ₹378 crores in that quarter. Thus, it was removed from the regulatory framework.

About Prompt Corrective Action (PCA)

It is a framework under which the banks with weak financial metrics are kept under regulation by the central bank. The framework was introduced in 2002 by the RBI. It is a structured early-intervention mechanism for the banks which are having poor asset quality or are vulnerable because of losses. The PCA was launched with the aim of checking the issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the banking sector. It seeks to help and give alerts to the regulator, investors & depositors when the bank is in or is moving into trouble. It tries to solve the problem before it turns into crisis. The framework helps in monitoring the key performance indicators of the bands and restoring the financial health of the bank. This framework is applicable only to the commercial banks. Co-operative banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are not covered under the framework.

The nation comprising of a population of 212 million, Brazil, is facing the severe second wave of Covid-19. The pandemic had hit the country in the year 2020. Now, the country is observing more covid deaths & cases than before and its hospitals are overflowing with the surge in infection due to Brazilian Variant of coronavirus.


Brazil is hosting the new variant of covid-19 called P.1. this variant of the virus is more contagious and deadlier. Amid the rising cases, the country is observing a major shortfall in vaccine supplies. Furthermore, one of the reasons of rising cases are the policy uncertainty. For example, in three different cities of Brazil namely, Bauru, Serrana and Araraquara within 140 km has completely different approaches to fight the sudden rise in covid-19 cases. This led to more confusion and uncertainty. In Araraquara, there is a complete lockdown while in Bauru there is no lockdown or any policy on wearing masks. On the other hand, vaccination programme is going on in Serrana.


The increasing number of cases in various states might led to the collapse of their public and private hospital systems. This could also become the cases in every states of Brazil if the surge in cases continues.  It is also a cause of concern that where the existing vaccine is having any effect on this variant or not.

India’s assistance

Under the vaccine Maitri Initiative, India had provided a large consignment of vaccines to Brazil.

Variant P.1

This variant of SARS-CoV-2 is also known as the Variant of Concern 202101/02 or the Brazilian variant. It is also called as lineage P.1 and it comprises of 17 unique amino acid changes. Out of them, ten changes are in its spike protein. This variant was first detected by National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Japan in the month of January 2021. Four people from Japan who had visited Amazonas, Brazil were tested positive for this variant. Later in the month, this variant was declared to be in circulation in Brazil. The virus led to huge infections in Manaus city which is the capital of northern state of Amazonas. In January 2021, the study found that this variant was present in 91 per cent of samples which were sequenced in Amazonas. The preliminary data also shows that, the chances of Covid-19 reinfection via the P.1 variant lies between 25 per cent to 60 per cent.