Daily Current Affairs - 22-03-2021

The winners for the 67th National Film Awards 2021 were announced on March 22, 2021. This award ceremony was delayed by a year amid the covid-19 pandemic.


The National Film Awards ceremony is organised on May 3 every year. However, the ceremony was not organised in the year 2020. The winners were finally announced on March 22 during a press conference at the National Media Centre in New Delhi.

About 67th award

In the year 2021, there were a total of 461 films in the Feature Film category and 220 films in the Non-Feature Film category. The entries were from the 13 states in the most film-friendly states.

Winner List

The winners of the 67th National Film Awards are listed below:

66th National Film Award

The National Film Awards celebrate the excellence in films. The ceremony is organised every year. In the year 2019, 66th National Film Awards were organised. In the 66th edition, Uri: The Surgical Strike movie had won four awards.

Highlighting the broader resumption of the diplomatic ties, the two countries announced that, they are all set to hold their first meeting in three years of a “Permanent Indus Commission” on March 22, 2021. The commission that deals with the water rights on the Indus River.


The Permanent Indus Commission which was set up under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 will meet on March 23 and March 24 in New Delhi. The commission deals with the bilateral water issues and they will discuss the same during the meeting.

Agenda of the meeting

During the meeting, Pakistan will raise its objection on the technical designs of Pakal Dul of India and the Lower Kalnai hydroelectric plants. The talks also represent a thawing in the bilateral ties which was frozen since the suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir in the year 2019. The suicide bombing was blamed on Pakistan-based guerrillas. India’s decision to revoke the constitutional autonomy of Kashmir to bind it closer to India also opposed by Pakistan. But now the countries are making tentative efforts to re-engage and calm the borders since both the countries are struggling of the worst economic slowdown amid the covid-19 pandemic.

Permanent Indus Commission

It is a bilateral commission which comprises of the officials from India and Pakistan. The commission was created to implement and manage the goals and objectives. It also outlines the agenda of the Indus Waters Treaty.

Indus Waters Treaty

It is a water-distribution treaty in between India and Pakistan. The treaty is backed by the World Bank. The treaty provides for the provision of using the available water in the Indus River and its tributaries. The treaty was signed by the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and the President of Pakistan, Ayub Khan in Karachi on September 19, 1960. The Treaty provides control over the waters of three Eastern Rivers namely, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej.

According to the Ministry of the culture, government of India has conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for 2020. The peace prize for the year 2019 was conferred on the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman.


The peace prize was conferred ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Dhaka on March 26, 2021. He will be attending the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the independence and birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first President and also became Prime Minister of Bangladesh, later.  He is called as  “Father of the Nation” or “Mujib”. He was assassinated on August 15, 1975.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

Winner of the Gandhi Peace Prize 2019, Sultan Qaboos, was the longest-reigning leader of the modern Arab world. He died in the month of January 2020. The peace prize was given this year for the last two years that is 2019 and 2020. In the year 2018, it was announced for the last four years.

Gandhi Peace Prize

This is an International Gandhi Peace Prize which has been named after Mahatma Gandhi. The award is presented by the Government of India. It is presented as a tribute to the Gandhian Ideals. This award was launched in the year 1995 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi. This annual award is given to the individuals and institutions for their contributions in the political, social and economic transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian ideals. It comprises of rupees one crore in cash, a plaque and a citation. The award is open to all the persons regardless of their race, nationality, gender or creed.

Bihar is celebrating its 109th foundation day on March 22, 2021. The foundation day is known as the “Bihar Day”. The day is regarded as a public holiday across the state.

Bihar Day

The day is observed every year on March 22. It marks the formation of state of Bihar. On this day, Bihar was carved out of the Bengal by the British government in the year 1912. The Day was started being celebrated in the tenure of Nitish Kumar. Now it is celebrated on a large scale by Bihar Government. The day is also celebrated in the countries like Britain, United States, Germany, Australia, Canada, Scotland, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Trinidad & Tobago and in Mauritius.

About Bihar

Bihar which is a state in eastern India is called as the third-largest state by population across India. It is also the twelfth-largest state by territory. The state is having an area of 94,163 km2. It is surrounded by Uttar Pradesh in the west, Nepal in the north, northern part of West Bengal in the east and Jharkhand in the south. The plain is split by river Ganges flows from west to east. The three main cultural regions of the state include Mithila, Magadh, and Bhojpur. The southern part of the state was carved out to form Jharkhand on November 15, 2000. Official languages of the state are Hindi and Urdu.

History of Bihar

In ancient and classical India, the area of Bihar was considered as the centre of power, learning, and culture. The first empire of India called “Maurya Empire” was emerged from Magadha. Also, Bihar is considered as the origin of most widely adhered-to religions of the word called Buddhism.

Arogya Sanjeevani was launched on April 1, 2020 for the policyholders and is available at the cheaper price. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has allowed the policyholder in order to give this policy and has also given out the related mandates.


The IRDAI has standardized the Arogya Sanjeevani policy and has clearly instructed the health insurance companies to set a standard term and condition for this policy. The policy will also cover the cost of hospitalization for the coronavirus patients. The premium of the policy will have to be set between Rs 1000 to 5000. It will cover the risk between 1 Lakh to 5 Lakh.

Compulsory Guidelines

The policy is the compulsory to offered all the health insurance companies. IRDAI has set up the premium for the policy in between Rs 1000 to Rs 5000. The policy will cover the amount between 1 lakh to 5 lakhs. It is also offered to insured person in multiples of 50,000. Under the policy, the insurance companies will not impose the deductible. The insurance companies will also not provide the claim bonus of 5 percent every year with the maximum of 50 percent. The person lying between the age of 18 years to 65 years of age can get this policy. It will cover the 2% of the insurance cover for room rent during hospitalization. The policy also provides the insured persons an option of switching their policy from one company to other after the policy period ends.


​After the standardization of the policy, the terms & conditions around the policy would remain same for any insurance provider. With the standardized policy, the companies will provide the identical plans and identical coverage. Thus, the terms and conditions become universal after this and will be applicable to all the insurers. ​

The Danish Red Cross announced that it has launched first of its kind catastrophe bond for the volcano-related disasters in collaboration with the several financial firms.

Volcano Bonds

This bond which will enable the disaster relief agency to get the financial aid quickly to those who are suffering because of the eruption of 10 volcanoes namely Chile, Ecuador, Cameroon, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Indonesia.  The project’s partners aim to raise $3 million with the launch of this bond. This money will be transferred to the Denmark’s branch of the Red Cross. The Initial investors in the bond are Plenum investments and Schroder Investment Management. The firm specializes in the insurance-linked securities.

How the funds will be raised?

The pay-out of the bond is based on the quantitative model which predict about where the funds will be needed on the basis of the height of the ash cloud after the volcanic eruption and prevailing winds.


The project has been in the making since the year November 2018 when it was started around a table in Zurich.

Catastrophe Bonds

The catastrophe bonds insure against the damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms. Some of the bonds also include the volcanic eruptions in baskets of the covered perils. These bonds offer a high yield to the investors who are going through the risk of losing some or all of their investment during the disaster.


These pandemic bonds, which were sold in the year 2017, started being criticised when they failed to pay out during the Ebola outbreak in 2019 and in the initial phases of coronavirus pandemic in 2020. These bonds also went into losses amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The World Water Day being observed on March 22, 2021. It is a United Nations designated day. The day is being observed under the United Nations theme- “Valuing Water” which focuses on “How we can better protect this vital resource”.


The events like approaching summer season and ongoing coronavirus pandemic have made the observance of the day more significant because these events have provided a silent warning for the world about how critical the availability of clean water is. The day is observed to mark the awareness of the 2.2 billion people who do not have access to safe water. The day talks about taking action regarding the global water crisis.


The day is used to raise awareness regarding the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations choose the theme for each year with the focus on topics which are required for “clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)”. The day is celebrated in line with the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goal 6. The United Nations also releases the “UN World Water Development Report (WWDR)” each year on the occasion of World Water Day. The “UN-Water” is the convener for this Day. It selects the theme of each year in consultation with UN organizations.

Need of the day

Presently, 1 out of 3 people are living without safe drinking water. By the year 2050, around 5.7 billion people would be living in the areas where water would be in scarce for at least one month a year. Thus, if we limit the global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial levels, the climate-induced water stress can be cut by 50 percent. The Climate-resilient water supply & sanitation will help in saving more than 3,60,000 infants each year. Thus, the observance of the day is important to raise awareness about the significance of water.

The Congress leader, Jairam Ramesh, has expressed his fear regarding the interlinking the Ken-Betwa rivers linking project. The minister said that the interlinking of the rivers will destroy the Panna Tiger Reserve located in the state of Madhya Pradesh.


The minister also said that, he had suggested alternatives of the river interlinking 10 years ago but those recommendations were ignored.

Ken Betwa River Linking Project

The River interlinking project aims to divert the surplus water from Ken river in Madhya Pradesh to Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh. This is being done with the objective of irrigating the drought-prone Bundelkhand region across the districts of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Banda & Mahoba districts in UP and Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur & Panna districts in MP. This project is one among the 30 rivers interlinking projects across the country.

What is the need for Interlinking?

India receives 80% of the water through annual rains while the surface water flow happens for a period of 4 month from June to September. Thus, there exits the spatial & time variance & demand-supply gaps in the availability of natural water and the demand for irrigation, industrial water & drinking water. This gap can be balanced by interlinking the rivers wherein the rivers will be joined by the network of canals & reservoirs.

Advantages of interlinking

River linking will help in curbing the recurring droughts and reducing the excessive dependence on groundwater in the Bundelkhand region. It will thus help in reducing the rate of suicides among farmers by ensuring them a stable livelihood. It will produce 75 MW of electricity along with provide drinking water to 13 lakh people in the two states.


Construction of Daudhan dam will submerge 10% of the critical tiger habitat of Panna Tiger Reserve. This in turn would affect the tiger conservation efforts. The height of the dam will have effect on the nesting sites of the vultures.

The government has set up the “Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG)” for the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 across India.


This was announced by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The minister also highlighted that, this consortium comprises of ten Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs) namely, ILS Bhubaneshwar, NIBMG Kalyani, NCCS Pune, ICMR-NIV Pune, CDFD Hyderabad, CSIR-CCMB Hyderabad, NIMHANS Bengaluru, InStem/NCBS Bengaluru, CSIR-IGIB Delhi, and NCDC Delhi.

Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs)

The RGSLs across the country are currently utilising their internal funds and resources to undertake the activities of consortium. The proposal to sanction the fund is under the financial appraisal process with the Department of Biotechnology.


The INSACOG Comprises of 10 laboratories for the purpose of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). The laboratories have been set up with following objectives:

  1. To find out the current status of new variant of SARS COV-2 in India.
  2. To establish a sentinel surveillance in order to detect the genomic variants early with the public health implication.
  3. To determine the genomic variants in unusual events or trends like the super spreader events and high mortality or morbidity trend areas.

The INSACOG was proposed to sequence the five per cent of all positive samples initially from each state. This was decided so as to identify the potential outbreaks and the related strains under the continuous surveillance process. Under the consortium, priority will be given to Covid-19 laboratories or hospitals in urban areas along with the tertiary care District Hospitals in accordance with the defined Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

The Foreign Minister of Taiwan, Joseph Wu, recently launched a “Freedom Pineapple” campaign on Twitter in order to condemn the politically-driven ban on the import of pineapples from Taiwan by China. The Taiwanese pineapples have also become a political symbol in the region following the ban.

About Freedom Pineapple

Freedom pineapples is a political and social response against the Chinese ban on import of pineapples from Taiwan. The Chinese government has banned the import of Pineapples from Taiwan just before the season for pineapple was started in the year 2021. The government has banned the import stating that the imports done in the previous instances had been contaminated with pests. However, this was denied by experts, producers, and the government of Taiwan. The movement’s name is inspired from a “Play on Freedom Fries” which is named as the “Freedom pineapples”.

How Taiwan Responded to ban?

After facing the ban, the Taiwanese government had asked its citizens and other diplomatic allies to increase their consumption of “Freedom Pineapples”. The government has also promised to provide financial assistance to any farmers who will undergo losses because of the ban. The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, has also launched a social media campaign named “Eat Taiwan’s pineapples until you burst,”. This campaign was launched to encourage its citizens to increase their consumption of local pineapples. The Restaurants in Taiwan also incorporated pineapple into their dishes.

How the farmers responded?

The Taiwanese farmers have started diverting the non-pineapple exports from China to other markets because of they are concerned that their product could be banned next.

The International Day of Forests is observed by the United Nations on March 21. The day commemorate the green cover across the world highlighting its importance. The day was observed under the theme– “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.

About International Day of Forests

The international day of forest was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in the year 2012. The day is marked with the celebrations and it raises awareness regarding the importance of all types of forests. The countries across the world are encouraged to undertake the local, national and international efforts in order to organize the activities like tree-planting campaigns with respect to forests and trees. This day is celebrated by the United Nations Forum on Forests and Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. These organisations collaborate with governments, Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other such organisations in the field.

Theme of the day

The theme for the day is chosen by “Collaborative Partnership on Forests”. The theme was chosen with the aim of emphasising how the restoration and sustainable management of the forests can help in addressing the climate change and biodiversity crisis. It will also help in producing the goods and services for sustainable development. It will also foster an economic activity which in turn will create jobs and improve lives. The theme also fit into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration which is in place from 2021-2030. The ecosystem restoration calls to protect and revive the ecosystem across the world.

The date “March 19” evoked several painful memories at Kishangarh village of Mansa district. In the year 1949, in the Kishangarh village, four farmers were killed on the same date during the “Pepsu Muzara movement”. This movement and those farmers were remembered at several sites of ongoing farmer’s protest.

About Muzara Movement

This movement was started with the objective of taking ownership rights of land after tilling it for years together. This movement started in 1930s under British rule when the Jagridars were seeking the share in crop of farmers across the villages of Punjab under the Patiala Riyasat. The share used to be passed on to the Maharaja of Patiala and then to Britshers. Thus, the farmers were working like slaves of Jagirdars, Maharaja and British. So, the farmers started this movement in which they refused to give the food grains to their masters. After India’s Independence some 784 villages of the Patiala Riyasat were named as PEPSU province. Following this, in the month of October 1948, the Patiala Maharaja had passed orders to give one third land of villages to Jagirdars. However, farmers did not accept this. Later on March 19, 1949 these farmers confronted the security forces of Maharaja at Kishangarh in which four farmers, one cop and one patwari were killed.


Muzara word is used for the “landless farmers” who used to work on someone’s land.  The Muzara movement finds its origin in late 19th century, when “princely state of Patiala” was suffering the oppression by ‘Maharaja of Patiala’. The local landlords called the biswedars enjoyed their rights on land but the tenants felt that those landlords had no legitimate right to land. The found an outlet in movements like the Akali and Praja Mandal movements during 1920s. During 1930s, liberal atmosphere was created through which the congress party attained its hold in several provinces. After that, Punjab became the nerve centre of Muzara movement. By 1948, small armed groups of 30 to 40 people used to protect muzaras against onslaught of landlords.  After the Congress ministry was established in 1951, an Agrarian Reforms Enquiry Committee was set up in order to recommend the measures to tackle the issue. In the year 1952, PEPSU Tenancy (Temporary Provision) Act was formulated to protect the tenants. This act provided for peasants to become the owners if they paid compensation twelve times of the land revenue.

PEPSU Province

It stands for “Patiala and East Punjab States Union”. It was a state of India, which united the eight princely states in the year between 1948 and 1956. The capital and principal city of PEPSU was Patiala. Shimla, Kasauli, Kandaghat and Chail were also a part of PEPSU.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to launch the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign” in the virtual mode. The campaign is being launched on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22, 2021. The campaign will be implemented under the theme– ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’.


On the occasion, the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh will sign a historic Memorandum of Agreement to implement the “Ken Betwa Link Project” in the presence of Prime Minister. This will be the first project of “National Perspective Plan” for interlinking of the rivers.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

This campaign will be implemented across the rural and urban areas in the country. It will run till November 30, 2021.  The campaign will be launched as a Jan Andolan in order to undertake water conservation at the grass-root level with people’s participation. It seeks to nudge all stakeholders so as to create “rainwater harvesting structures” which are suitable to the climatic conditions in order to store the rainwater properly. As the part of campaign, the Gram Sabhas will also take “Jal Shapath” for water conservation.

Ken Betwa Link Project

This interlinking project involves the transfer of water from Ken River to the Betwa River by constructing the “Daudhan Dam” and a canal to link the two rivers. This project seeks to provide the annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectare. It will also provide the drinking water supply to around 62 lakh people. With the completion of project, 103 Megawatt of hydropower energy would also be generated.

Significance of the project

The Ken Betwa Interlinking Project is of significant benefit for the water starved region of Bundelkhand. It will be benefiting the districts of Panna, Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh, Damoh, Datia, Sagar, Shivpuri, Vidisha and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh while the districts of Mahoba, Banda, Jhansi and Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh. The project will also way to more such interlinking of river projects which in turn will ensure that scarcity of water does not comes in between the development of country.