Current Affairs in Short: 15 March 2021
Government approves Rs 5 lakh financial assistance for kin of journalists who died due to COVID
•The central government on March 15, 2021, said that it has approved financial assistance worth Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the journalists who died due to COVID-19.
•The Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that his ministry has carried out a special drive for financial assistance under the Journalist Welfare Scheme.
•The Ministry had issued an advisory on April 22, 2020, advising all media persons to take due health-related precaution and requesting media houses to take necessary care of their field staff as well as office staff.
•The I&B Minister asserted that the Ministry of labour and employment had advised all the employers of public and private establishments to extend their coordination by not terminating their employees, especially casual or contractual workers from job or reducing their wages.
LIC is not being privatized: Centre
•The central government on March 15, 2021, informed the Lok Sabha that the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has not been privatized.
•The statement was issued by the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur in response to a supplementary question during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha. The Minister stated that the government is bringing in the IPO to usher in transparency and valuation.
•He said that the IPO will increase the investment in LIC and the decision on percentage for shareholders will be taken later. He assured that LIC IPO will benefit the country and shareholders as well.
No proposal to bring petroleum products under GST
•The centre said on March 15, 2021, that there is no proposal right now to bring crude petroleum, petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel, natural gas under the Goods and Service Tax.
•Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. She stated that the GST council has not made any recommendation for the inclusion of these goods under GST.
•However, she added that the GST council may consider the issue of inclusion of these petroleum products at an appropriate time keeping in view the relevant factors including revenue implication.
Virat Kohli becomes the first-ever batsman to score 3,000 runs in T-20I
•Indian skipper Virat Kohli became the first-ever batsman to score 3,000 runs in T-20 International during India’s second T20I against England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on March 14, 2021.
•Virat Kohli achieved the milestone and with his unbeaten knock of 73 runs, which also helped India register an emphatic seven-wicket win. He now has 3,001 runs from 87 T20I matches.
•New Zealand’s Martin Guptill is second on the list of leading run-getters in T20I cricket with 2,839 runs from 99 matches. India’s Rohit Sharma is placed third with 2,773 runs in 108 matches.
Netherlands suspends use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine
•The Netherlands has suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine over concerns over possible side effects. The Netherlands government said that the move is precautionary and a temporary ban will be in force till March 29th.
•Ireland also made a similar decision earlier over reports of blood clotting in adults in Norway after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
•Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland and Thailand have already suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
•The European Medicines Agency is currently reviewing the incidents of blood clots. AstraZeneca also defended its vaccine saying that there is no evidence of an increased risk of clotting due to the vaccine.