General Knowledge & Current Affairs

October 2021 - 1st to 9th

1. Najla Bouden Romdhane appointed as first woman PM of Tunisia.

  • Najla Bouden Romdhane has been appointed as the first-ever female Prime Minister of Tunisia. The 63-year-old has also become the first female prime minister in the whole Arab world.
  • Prior to this appointment, Najla served in the education ministry in 2011. She is a geologist by profession and professor at the Tunis National School of Engineering.

2. India Pavilion inaugurated at Dubai Expo 2020.

  • The World Expo 2020 has been organized at Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The main theme of the Dubai Expo 2020 is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
  • The Expo was originally scheduled to take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Expo 2020 is the first to be held in the MENA & SA (the Middle East and North Africa & South Asia) region. World Expos provide a platform to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped the world we live in today. The grand event will have 191 country pavilions.
  • The theme of the India pavilion at the Expo is “Openness, Opportunity and Growth”.
  • It will showcase resurgent India’s march to becoming a USD 5 Trillion economy, the exceptional fightback against COVID-19 and the country’s emergence as a global business hub presenting huge opportunities for the world.

3. Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed takes oath for a second term.

  • The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed has been sworn in for a second five-year term. He was administered the oath of office by Supreme Court Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi.
  • Abiy’s Prosperity Party was declared the winner of June’s parliamentary elections, which were criticized by opposition parties but described by external observers as improved from past elections. He is serving as prime minister of Ethiopia since 2018.
  • Mr. Abiy won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms. He is dealing with a war that is spreading from the Tigray region and ethnic violence.

1. GoI launches ‘Waste to Wealth’ web portal.

  • The government of India has launched a web portal called “Waste to Wealth” to enhance cooperation for sustainable development through economy and community participation.
  • The web portal will bring together technology providers, government stakeholders and urban local bodies to find solutions to India’s waste problems, mainly plastic waste.
  • The portal has been launched by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser and inaugurated by the Principal Scientific Advisor K. Vijay Raghavan on October 02, 2021, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

2. Kiren Rijiju inaugurates India’s first Sports Arbitration Centre in Gujarat.

  • The Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju has inaugurated the first Sports Arbitration Centre of India at Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
  • This Sports Arbitration Centre of India (SACI) will serve as an independent body to fast track disputes in the sports sector and serve as a mechanism to redress issues related to sports.
  • The SACI will be promoted by Ahmedabad-based SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd. and all legal backing will be provided by the Ministry of Law and Justice. The SACI will have a far-reaching impact for the sports sector of the country by creating a reputation and establishing credibility for itself through the provision to settle disputes and other issues and concerns of the sports sector in a fast, transparent and very accountable manner.

3. World’s largest Khadi National Flag hoisted in Leh, Ladakh.

  • The world’s largest national flag, made up of Khadi cloth, has been installed in Leh, Ladakh, on the occasion of the 152nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 02, 2021.
  • The Khadi national flag was inaugurated by Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur. The flag is made by Khadi Dyers and Printers based in Mumbai which is affiliated to the Khadi Village and Industries Commission.
  • The tricolor is 225-feet long and 150-feet wide. It weighs around 1,000 kg.
  • The flag has been prepared by the 57 Engineer Regiment of the Indian Army.
  • The flag is the largest handwoven and handspun cotton khadi flag ever manufactured in India.

4. Vice President inaugurates Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre.

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre in the presence of Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati in the state of Assam.
  • The center was originally served as the residence of the British deputy commissioner of Kamrup. Nearly 150 years after it was constructed, the iconic DC Bungalow of Guwahati was opened to the public as a heritage center.
  • After the British annexed Assam in 1826 (after the Treaty of Yandaboo), the post of DC was created for Guwahati in 1839.
  • Several sites were surveyed for DC residence before Barphukanar Tilla on the banks of the Brahmaputra, where cannons used in the Battle of Saraighat lay scattered, was chosen. Post-independence, it continued to be the DC’s bungalow until 2011.

5. India joins Seychelles’ Tax Inspectors Without Borders programme.

  • The Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) has launched its programme in Seychelles. India has been chosen as the Partner Administration for this programme. The country will be providing its Tax Expert in support of the initiative.
  • The focus of the 12-month programme will be on Transfer Pricing cases of tourism and financial services sectors.
  • TIWB is a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), since its launch in 2015.
  • The aim of the initiative is to aid countries in strengthening their tax administration by transferring technical know-how and skills to the tax auditors through sharing of best audit practices.

1. India’s first e-fish market App Fishwaale launched in Assam.

  • Assam Minister for Fisheries, Environment and Forest and Excise, Parimal Suklabaidya launched an App Fishwaale, India’s first e-fish market. Table size fish such as bhangon, mrigal and rohu and freshwater and seawater frozen fish (icebox) will be available coupled with dry fish packets, dry fish raw, fish pickles and processed fish products.
  • Developed by Aqua Blue Global Aquaculture Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in collaboration with the fisheries department at a function held at Sri Madhabdev Bhawan auditorium, the minister called the app “a one-stop solution for aquaculture” that will help both the buyers and sellers.
  • This platform will help the fish farming community get a reasonable price for their produce and lead to the elimination of middlemen.

2. India’s Newest Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh.

  • National Tiger Conservation Authority has approved the Chhattisgarh government’s proposal to declare the combined areas of the Guru Ghasidas National Park & Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve.
  • It is located in the northern part of the state, bordering Madhya Pradesh & Jharkhand. This is the 4th Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh (Udanti-Sitanadi, Achanakmar, Indravati).

1. Kotak Bank gets approval from the government to collect direct, indirect taxes

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd (KMBL) has received approval from the government for the collection of direct & indirect taxes, such as income tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST) etc., through its banking network.
  • With this, the bank becomes the first scheduled private sector bank to receive approval after the announcement by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allowing all banks to participate in the government-related business.
  • After technical integration, KMBL customers will be able to pay their direct and indirect taxes straight from KMBL’s mobile banking or net banking platforms as well as through KMBL’s branch banking network, resulting in immense ease and convenience for customers.

1. Amazon India launched its Global Computer Science Education programme.

  • E-commerce major Amazon India has announced the launch of Amazon Future Engineer, its global computer science education programme in India.
  • The programme will enable access to quality computer science education and career opportunities for students from underrepresented and underserved communities.
  • In the first year of its launch, Amazon aims to enable and deliver learning opportunities to more than 1 lakh students from 900 government and aided schools across seven states in India.
  • Amazon Future Engineer programme in India will focus on the students of 6-12 class and it will also provide training to teachers for teaching computer science in a more engaging way.
  • Amazon is running this kind of programme in the US, the UK, Canada, and France.

2. Centre launches ICMR’s drone-based vaccine delivery model ‘i-Drone’.

  • The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, launched ‘i-Drone’, a drone-based vaccine delivery model for Northeast states. The i-Drone has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). i-Drone stands for ICMR’s Drone Response and Outreach in North East.
  • The main objective of this tool is to facilitate vaccine delivery to tough and hard-to-reach terrains of India, and to improve healthcare accessibility to the last mile. Currently, the drone-based delivery project is being implemented in Manipur, Nagaland, and the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
  • ICMR collaborated with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur for conducting an initial study to test the capacity of drones to carry and transfer vaccines safely.

3. First Malaria Vaccine Approved by W.H.O.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.
  • The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya & Malawi that has reached more than 800 000 children since 2019.
  • The vaccine is developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Many vaccines exist against viruses and bacteria but this was the first time that the WHO recommended broad use of a vaccine against a human parasite.
  • The vaccine acts against Plasmodium falciparum, one of five parasite species and the most deadly. The symptoms of malaria are fever, headaches, and muscle pain, then cycles of chills, fever, and sweating.

1. FC Goa lift maiden Durand Cup football trophy.

  • FC Goa beat Mohammedan Sporting to win their maiden Durand Cup football title, 1-0, in the final, held at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata.
  • FC Goa Captain Eduardo Bedia scored the all-important goal in the 105th minute after the final match went into the extra time.
  • The 2021 Durand Cup was the 130th edition of the Durand Cup, the oldest football tournament in Asia. The tournament was held from September 05 to October 03, 2021, in West Bengal.

2. Smriti Mandhana becomes first Indian women to score a Test hundred on Australian.

  • In a historic moment in women’s cricket, Smriti Mandhana became the first Indian woman to score a Test hundred on Australian soil.
  • She completed her century to shape up India’s first innings on the second day of the first pink ball day and night. The match was played at the Carrara Oval in Queensland, Australia today. She scored 127 runs with 22 fours and a six.

3. ISSF Junior Championships: Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar wins gold.

  • Young Indian shooter, Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar smashed the world record in the final to win gold in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event at the ISSF Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru.
  • The youngster then bettered the junior world record in the final with a score of 463.4, finishing nearly seven points ahead of second-placed Frenchman Lucas Kryzs, who won the silver with a score of 456.5. Gavin Barnick of the USA won bronze with a score of 446.6.

4. Wrestler Anshu Malik becomes 1st Indian woman to win World Championships Silver.

  • At the 2021 World Wrestling Championships, Indian wrestler Anshu Malik created history as she became the first Indian women finalist at the World Championship, and also the first female player from India to claim a silver medal.
  • The 19-year old Anshu settled for a silver medal after losing to 2016 Olympic champion Helen Lousie Maroulis of the United States in a 57kg freestyle bout.

1. Centre declares Chacha Chaudhary as official Mascot of ‘Namami Gange’ Mission.

  • The iconic Indian comic book cartoon character, Chacha Chaudhary, whose brain works faster than a computer, has been declared as the official mascot for the centrally-sponsored NamamiGangeProgramme.
  • An outlay of Rs. 2.26 crore has been dedicated to the project. The comics will initially be launched in Hindi, English and Bengali languages.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has tied up with Diamond Toons, the publisher of the Chacha Chaudhary comics, to conceptualize, develop and distribute the new comics, e-comics and animated videos featuring the cartoon character.
  • Chacha Chaudhary has been chosen to especially connect children with the campaign of river cleanliness.

2. GI tagged sweet dish Mihidana has been exported to Baharain.

  • The first consignment of Geographical Indication (GI) tagged sweet dish Mihidana, from Bardhaman, West Bengal has been exported to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • This initiative is part of the effort to promote indigenous & Geographical Identification (GI) tagged products of India globally. The product was exported by APEDA registered M/S DM Enterprises, Kolkata.
  • West Bengal’s Bardhaman got the GI tag for the Mihidana sweetmeats in 2017. A GI tag is a sign denoting a specific geographical origin and possesses qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

3. Palghar’s famed Wada Kolam rice gets GI tag

  • A variety of rice widely grown in Wada in the Palghar district has been given a ‘Geographical Indication’ tag, which will give it a unique identity as well as wider markets.
  • Wada Kolam, also known as Zini or Jhini rice, is a traditional variety grown in the Wada tehsil of Palghar, with the grain being off white in colour.
  • Wada Kolam rice commands a price of Rs 60-70 per kg in domestic markets and has a sizeable demand overseas as well. Wada Kolam has been grown in Palghar for years. It is known for its small grain, aroma, taste and for being light for digestion. It is gluten-free. However, it is a low yielding crop.

1. Vinod Aggarwal appointed ASDC president.

  • The Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) has appointed automobile industry veteran Vinod Aggarwal as its president. Aggarwal, who is currently the managing director and CEO of VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd (VECV), replaces Nikunj Sanghi, who will leave ASDC after serving it for four years.

ASDC was set up a decade ago and is promoted by the top industry associations — SIAM, ACMA and FADA — along with the central government and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). It is a sector skills council for the auto industry, which aims to make the country self-sufficient to sustain the growth and competitiveness of the automotive industry.

2. Sunil Kataria elected as the chairman of the ISA.

  • The newly elected Executive Council of the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has elected Sunil Kataria, Chief Executive Officer, India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited as the Chairman of the ISA.
  • Sunil has led the Society over the past five years to greater heights garnering support from the fellow Executive Council members, the ISA members and other industry bodies. ISA is the apex national body as a strong voice to advertisers over the last 69 years.

ISA, which is a founder member of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and one of the founders of ASCI, continues to partner with other industry bodies that connect to the advertisers. The ISA played a significant role in the formation of BARC and is closely partnering with it towards advertisers getting robust and credible data.

3. NSDL appointed Padmaja Chunduru as MD & CEO.

  • Padmaja Chunduru has been appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of National Securities Depositories (NSDL). She has replaced GV Nageswara Rao as the MD & CEO of NSDL.

In India, there are two depositories namely National Securities Depositories Ltd (NSDL) and Central Securities Depositories Ltd (CDSL). Both the depositories hold our financial securities. Padmaja Chunduru is a Post Graduate in Commerce from Andhra University. She has around 37 years of experience in the banking domain.

4. Alok Sahay appointed as Secretary-General of Indian Steel Association.

  • The Indian Steel Association (ISA) has announced that Alok Sahay has assumed office as its new secretary-general and executive head, taking over from Bhaskar Chatterjee. Sahay who is the former executive director of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has experience of almost four decades in the steel industry.

Sahay has worked closely with the steel industry and the Government as one of the core industry representatives to advocate on trade-related matters at national and international forums. His experience also includes training at British Steel and tenure as visiting fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University.

5. PL Haranadh takes charge as Chairman of Paradip Port Trust.

  • P L Haranadh, an Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer of the 1994 batch, has been appointed as the new Chairman of Paradip Port Trust (PPT).

Haranadh has worked in various capacities, during his 27 years of service, which includes 22 years in the Indian Railways and 5 years in the Ministry of Shipping. Paradip Port Trust (PPT) is the lone major port in Odisha.

6. E. R. Sheikh becomes first Director-General of the Ordnance Directorate.

  • E.R. Sheikh has assumed charge as first Director-General of the Ordnance Directorate (Co-ordination and Services). It is the successor organization of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
  • He has contributed to the establishment of the modern production line system for the manufacture of small arms ammunition at the Ordnance Factory Varangaon. He led the successful development of the Bi-Modular Charge System for artillery ammunition.

1. IFSCA Constitutes an Expert panel on Sustainable Finance.

  • International Financial Services Centers Authority (IFSCA) has constituted an Expert Committee to recommend an approach towards the development of the Sustainable Finance Hub at IFSC. The expert committee will be chaired by C.K. Mishra, Former Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.

The committee consists of a total of 10 members including the chairperson and the member secretary. The committee shall study the current regulatory practices in Sustainable Finance across major International financial jurisdictions and recommend a robust framework to develop a world-class sustainable finance hub at IFSC, along with a road map for the same.

2. IFSCA launches Global FinTech Hackathon Series ‘I-Sprint’21’

  • The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has launched the global FinTech Hackathon Series ‘I-Sprint’21’.
  • The first Sprint of the series is “Sprint01: BankTech”, which focuses on FinTechs for the Banking sector. Sprint01: BankTech is organised jointly by IFSCA and GIFT city in collaboration with NITI Aayog.
  • IFSCA was established by the Ministry of Finance on April 27 2020, as a unified regulator of all financial products, financial services, and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India. It has its headquarter at GIFT city in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

1. Tata Group wins bid for Air India

  • Tata Group, the progenitor of the Air India airline, reclaimed it, nearly 60 years after it was nationalised. Tata Sons bid ₹180 billion for the government’s 100% stake in Air India.
  • The government is seeking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.
  • JRD Tata founded the airline in October 1932 and it was at that time called Tata Airlines. This marks the return of Air India to Tata fold after 68 years. The government nationalised the airline in 1953. With this, the airline will go back to the Tatas who have a long history with the national carrier.

1. Indian contingent departs for Sri Lanka joint exercise Mitra Shakti 21.

  • The 8th edition of the India – Sri Lanka bilateral joint Exercise “Mitra Shakti-21” is scheduled to take place at Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka from October 4 to 15, 2021.
  • The aim of the exercise is to enhance interoperability and sharing best practices in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations between Armies of both countries and further strengthen the relationship between both the South Asian Nations.

The exercise will involve tactical level operations at the sub-unit level in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment and will go a long way in further strengthening the relationship between both the South Asian Nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at the grass-root level between both Armies.

2. ‘AUSINDEX’: India, Australia participate in 4th edition.

  • India and Australia have participated in the fourth edition of the biennial maritime series ‘AUSINDEX’. The exercise will allow the Australian Navy and Indian Navy to strengthen “inter-operability, gain from best practices”.
  • The maritime exercise is conducted in Australia and India, with the recent one being held in the Northern Australia Exercise Area.
  • HMAS Rankin, Royal Australian Air Force P-8A and F-18 aircraft, helicopters of Australian and Indian Navy participated in this maritime exercise.

The exercise has provided an opportunity for both navies to enhance inter-operability and develop a common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations.

3. 5th India-Japan Bilateral Maritime Exercise JIMEX-21 begins.

  • The fifth edition of India – Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise JIMEX was held in the Arabian Sea from 06 to 08 October 2021.
  • The Indian Navy is represented by indigenously built Guided Missile Stealth Destroyer Kochi and Guided Missile Frigate Teg, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, integral helicopters and MiG 29K fighter aircraft.
  • JIMEX series of exercises between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are being held since 2012.

JIMEX-21 aims to develop a common understanding of operational procedures and enhance inter-operability through the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the entire spectrum of maritime operations. It will further enhance the cooperation and mutual confidence between the two navies.

4. India-UK Joint Company Level Military Exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’ begins.

  • The 6th Edition of India–UK Joint Company Level Military Training EXERCISE AJEYA WARRIOR has commenced at Chaubatia, Uttarakhand. The exercise is part of an initiative to develop interoperability and sharing expertise with friendly foreign nations.
  • Armies would familiarise themselves with each other’s weapons, equipment, tactics, techniques, etc. The troops of the two countries will also share the experiences that they have learnt during the conduct of several military operations in their respective countries and overseas engagements.
  • The exercise will conclude with a gruelling 48 hours exercise to validate the performance of both armies in conducting joint military operations in a semi-urban environment.

1. GST collection for September crosses ₹1.17 lakh crore.

  • The gross GST revenue collected in the month of September was 1,17,010 crore rupees, which included a CGST component of 20,578 crores, SGST is 26,767 crore and IGST component of 60,911 crore rupees.

The revenue for September was 23% higher than the GST revenues in the same month last year. During the month, revenue from import of goods was 30% higher.

2. Moody’s upgrades India’s rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’.

  • Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded India’s sovereign rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’, on October 05, 2021, following an improvement in the financial sector and faster-than-expected economic recovery across sectors.
  • Moody’s expects real GDP growth to average around 6 per cent over the medium term, reflecting a rebound in activity to levels at potential as conditions normalize.
  • While it retained India’s rating at Baa3, reflecting the lowest investment grade rating, Moody’s said it expects real GDP to surpass pre-pandemic levels of 2019-20 this year itself, as the ongoing economic recovery is picking up steam with activity upticks broadening across sectors.

It expects 2021-22 to record 9.3% growth in GDP, followed by 7.9% next year.

3. RBI Monetary Policy: Status Quo on rates.

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept the repo rate unchanged in the fourth bi-monthly policy meet for the financial year 2021-22 headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has maintained the status quo. The meeting was held between October (6 to 8). The remaining will take place in December (6 to 8) and February (7 to 9, 2022).

The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and bank rates remain unchanged:

  • Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%
  • Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%
  • Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 4.25%
  • Bank Rate: 4.25%
  • CRR: 4%
  • SLR: 18.00%
  • RBI Monetary Policy Highlights & Key Decisions:
  • FY22 GDP growth forecast maintained at 9.5%.
  • CPI inflation is projected at 5.3% for the current fiscal year.
  • Bond purchases under G-SAP stopped.
  • Open market operations to continue as needed.
  • Internal ombudsman plan for non-bank lenders.
  • On-tap special LTRO of 3 years worth Rs 10,000 crore for small businesses extended till Dec 31.
  • Framework planned for retail digital payments in offline mode.
  • Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) limited upped from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh

No compulsion for banks to park money in variable reverse repo rate (VRRR).

4. World Bank Projects Indian GDP to grow at 8.3% in FY22.

  • The World Bank has estimated India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the current fiscal year 2021-22 to grow by 8.3% in its latest economic update for South Asia.
  • India’s economy, South Asia’s largest, is expected to grow by 8.3 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22, aided by an increase in public investment and incentives to boost manufacturing,”.

The World Bank said in its update on South Asia, titled ‘Shifting Gears: Digitization and Services-led Development.

5. Fitch cuts India’s FY22 GDP growth forecast to 8.7%.

  • Fitch Ratings has cut India’s economic growth forecast to 8.7% for the current fiscal but raised GDP growth projection for FY23 to 10%, saying the second COVID-19 wave delayed rather than derail the economic recovery.
  • Fitch Ratings said India’s ‘BBB-/Negative’ sovereign rating “balances a still-strong medium-term growth outlook and external resilience from solid foreign- reserve buffers, against high public debt, a weak financial sector and some lagging structural factors”.

1. Health Minister released “The State of the World’s Children 2021” report.

  • Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has released UNICEF’s global flagship publication “The State of the World’s Children 2021; On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health in New Delhi.
  • The report details the significant impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health.
  • This is very vital to address mental health as an important aspect for creating a healthy society. Mansukh noted that teachers are very important stakeholders for addressing mental health issues along with parents and family.
  • UNICEF India Representative Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque presented some key findings of the report.
  • As per the report, around 14 per cent of 15 to 24-year-old’s in India, or 1 in 7 of them, reported often feeling depressed or having little interest in doing things.

2. India slips 6 ranks on Henley Passport Index 2021.

  • India’s rank has slipped by six places from last year to 90 on the Henley Passport Index 2021, which lists the world’s most travel-friendly passports Japan and Singapore hold the first rank on the passport index.
  • The index covers 227 destinations and 199 passports. The index comes at a time when countries are easing travel restrictions for international visitors after almost two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The rankings are based on the survey of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) data.
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