Current Affairs

GK and Current Affairs Updates

Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 20th August 2021

NATIONAL

Odisha: India’s first state to Provide Smart Health Cards

• Odisha is all set to launch India’s first ‘Smart Health Cards scheme’ covering its 3.5 crore people of 96 lakh families under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. The information for the same was provided by Odisha Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik while addressing the 75th Independence Day celebrations in Bhubaneswar. The objective behind Smart Health Cards is to provide hassle-free quality treatment at the best available health care facilities. These cards will work like debit cards for a certain amount.

• Through this scheme, Central Government health benefits can also be accessed.

• The beneficiaries of National and State Food Security Schemes, Annapurna and Antyodaya schemes will get this card and henceforth each family can avail treatment cost up to Rs 5 lakh per annum.

India launched “UNITE Aware” Platform in collaboration with UN

• India has launched a tech platform named “UNITE Aware”, in collaboration with the UN, for improving the safety and security of the UN peacekeepers. The platform was launched in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the UN headquarters. The launch of the UNITE AWARE platform came as India assumed the Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council for the month of August.

• India has contributed USD 1.64 million for UNITE Aware. UNITE Aware platform will provide terrain-related information to the United Nations military personnel (Blue Helmets) in the line of duty. India has developed the technology platform in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Operational Support.

All-women team of three armed forces summits Mount Manirang in Himachal Pradesh

• An ‘All Women Tri-Services Mountaineering Team’ successfully scaled Mt Manirang (21,625 ft) in Himachal Pradesh on August 15, 2021, and unfurled the national flag as a part of commemorative activities for ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, to celebrate the 75 years of Independence.

• The 15-member expedition team was flagged off on August 01, 2021, from Air Force Station, New Delhi, by the Indian Air Force. The team was led by Wing Commander Bhavana Mehra of the Indian Air Force.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Olympian PR Sreejesh is the become the brand ambassador of Kerala adventure tourism

• Olympian Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (PR Sreejesh), goalkeeper and former captain of the Indian National Hockey team is set to be named as the brand ambassador of adventure tourism in Kerala.

• Sreejesh was a part of the Indian Hockey team that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. PR Sreejesh hails from Ernakulam, Kerala.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Mosquito Day 2021 : 20th  August

• World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August annually to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented. This day is observed to highlight the efforts of healthcare officials, NGOs, and others in fighting diseases caused by malaria. On World Mosquito Day every year, awareness is created around diseases caused by mosquitoes.

• This year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the theme of World Mosquito Day 2021 is “Reaching the zero-malaria target”.

• There are several different mosquitoes that act as vectors for different diseases. Aedes mosquitoes cause chikungunya, dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis, rift valley fever, yellow fever, and zika. Anopheles cause malaria, lymphatic filariasis (in Africa).

Sadbhavana Diwas 2021: 20th August

• Every year India observes Sadbhavana Diwas on August 20 to commemorate the birth anniversary of late erstwhile Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. This year on 20th August 2021, we are going to celebrate the 77th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Indian National Congress instituted Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award in 1992, a year after his death.

• Every year this day is celebrated in the memory of the late Rajiv Gandhi who was the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40 years. In lieu of paying tribute to his vision for India, on this occasion contributions to society betterments are made.

• Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister at an age of 40 years after the assassination of his mother Indra Gandhi and served from 1984-89.

Akshay Urja Diwas 2021: 20th August

• Akshay Urja Diwas (Renewable Energy Day) is observed every year on 20 August to raise awareness about the developments and adoption of renewable energy in India. The Akshay Urja Day was initiated by the Indian Ministry for New & Renewable Energy Sources in 2004. Energy such as Biogas, Solar Energy, Wind energy, hydroelectrical power is a few examples of Akshay Urja. The main motive of Akshya urja Diwas is to make people aware that they have to think about renewable energy (Akshya Urja) apart from traditional energy.

• Indian Akshay Urja Day was established in 2004 to support renewable energy development programs and promote its use instead of traditional sources of energy. The very first event relating to Akshay Urja Diwas was organized in New Delhi. In 2004, Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh has released a commemorative stamp, and 12,000 schoolchildren formed a human chain to promote renewable energy. The 20th of August wasn’t chosen at random to be the date of the observance. This day marks the birthday anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Reserve Bank of India is putting in place a Platform for Regulated Entities for (PRISM)

• The Reserve Bank of India is putting in place a Platform for Regulated Entities for Integrated Supervision and Monitoring (PRISM), a web-based end-to-end workflow automation system, to strengthen compliance by supervised entities (SEs). This is aimed at helping supervised entities to strengthen their internal defences and resilience and bringing focus on root cause analysis (RCA).

• PRISM will have various functionalities (inspection; compliance; incident functionality for cybersecurity; complaints; and returns functionalities), with built-in remediation workflows, time tracking, notifications and alerts, management information system (MIS) reports and dashboards.

Reserve Bank of India to introduce ‘Regulatory GAAR’ for round tripping

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come up with a draft rule with modifications in the existing regulation related to foreign investment to discourage round-tripping. The central bank is looking to tweak the existing regulations and has come up with draft rules around round-tripping. Some of the largest Indian companies, startups and multinationals with an India presence have put their outbound investment, fundraising and restructuring plans on hold as the RBI looks to introduce fresh regulations around “round-tripping.”

• According to the draft rule, any investment made outside India is an entity, in turn, invests in India will be treated as round-tripping if the purpose is to escape tax. This is as the same definition and rationale used by the tax department under General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) which companies have been complaining is quite broad in its scope.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 19th August 2021

NATIONAL

Odisha government will sponsor Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years

• The Odisha government will sponsor the Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced. The state government started sponsoring the national hockey teams in 2018. The teams have scripted history with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics,” the chief minister said, handing over a cash award of Rs 10 lakh to each player.

• However, the exact amount of sponsorship deals are yet to be revealed. In 2018, Odisha had signed a Rs 100 crore deal with Hockey India for sponsoring the men’s and women’s teams for 5 years after Sahara India withdrew after getting entangled in legal issues.

Jammu and Kashmir: Army organised a 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA”

• In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army organised a 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA” Relay Marathon. The event was flagged off by Major General Rajeev Puri, General Officer Commanding, Ace of Spades Division, who led the relay, closely followed by other military personnel.

• More than 300 troops took part, carrying the Indian Tricolour all along the Line of Control (LoC). The run inculcated the spirit of brotherhood, as each soldier carried the symbolic National Flag of comradeship across the Area of Responsibility (AOR), handing it over to other units which stand shoulder to shoulder in war.

Uttar Pradesh government will set up ATS training centre

• The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up a training centre for Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) commandos in Saharanpur’s Deoband. According to sources, the government has already allotted over 2,000 square meters of land for establishing the ATS training centre in Deoband.

• Deoband is on the Uttaranchal and Haryana border and it is an important place to help us increase our depth, presence and operation efficiency in western parts of the state.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Priyanka Chopra named chairperson of MAMI film festival

• Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas was announced as the chairperson of Jio MAMI Film Festival, almost four months after Deepika Padukone stepped down from the position. The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) unveiled its plans for the coming year, edition and the change in leadership.

• Priyanka was unanimously nominated by MAMI’s Board of Trustees which comprises Nita M Ambani (Co-Chairperson), Anupama Chopra (Festival Director), Ajay Bijli, Anand G. Mahindra, Farhan Akhtar, Isha Ambani, Kabir Khan, Kaustubh Dhavse, Kiran Rao, Rana Daggubati, Riteish Deshmukh, Rohan Sippy, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vishal Bhardwaj and Zoya Akhtar.

Mirabai Chanu appointed as the brand ambassador of Amway India

• Direct selling FMCG firm Amway India has announced that it has appointed Olympian Saikhom Mirabai Chanu as the brand ambassador for Amway and its Nutrilite range of products. Chanu will spearhead the company’s campaigns focused on product ranges such as Nutrilite Daily, Omega and All Plant Protein among others.

• Chanu, a weightlifter, won the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 49kg category.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Piyush Goyal chaired the fifth meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers

• Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has chaired the fifth meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers and called for expanding the horizon of the New Development Bank (NDB). India holds the Chairship of BRICS for 2021. This year, India chose the theme of ‘Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’ for its chairship.

• The BRICS ministers called for the need to adopt emerging new technologies, recognising it as an important tool for modernisation and transformation of industry, and promotion of economic growth.

OBITUARY

Tamil actor & popular TV host Anandha Kannan passed away

• Tamil star and popular TV host Anandha Kannan passed away. He started his career with Vasantham TV in Singapore before moving to Chennai where he worked with Sun Music as a video jockey.

• He made a guest appearance in Venkat Prabhu’s Saroja (2008). Anandha Kannan later did a full-fledged role in the science fiction Tamil film Adisaya Ulagam (2012).

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Photography Day 2021: 19th August

• World Photography Day is celebrated on 19 August every year to promote photography as a hobby and also inspire photographers around the globe to share a single photo with the rest of the world. The first official World Photo Day was observed on August 19, 2010.

• The origin of World Photo Day comes from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837. It was on August 19, 1939 that the French government purchased the patent of Daguerreotype process and announced the invention as a gift “free to the world”.

World Humanitarian Day 2021: 19th August

• World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on 19 August to pay tribute to humanitarian personnel and those workers who lost or risked their lives while doing humanitarian service. In 2021 we are celebrating the 12th WHD.

• The theme for 2021 WHD is #TheHumanRace: a global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most.

• 19 August marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad. World Humanitarian Day was commemorated for the first time on 19 August 2009, after it was formally recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

SBI Life Insurance launched new-age term insurance policy “SBI Life eShield Next”

• SBI Life Insurance announced the launch of a unique new age protection solution called ‘SBI Life eShield Next’, which ‘levels up’ the protection coverage as the insured achieves life’s major milestones. This means that the policy is neither linked to the stock market nor shares any profit or dividends with the policyholders.

• It is an individual, non-linked, non-participating, life insurance pure risk premium product and works by ‘levelling up’ the required insurance protection, through an increase in sum assured linked to the significant ‘level-up milestones in one’s life, like getting married, becoming a parent or buying a new house.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 18th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Zambia Presidential Election : Hakainde Hichilema won

• In Zambia, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, of the United Party for National Development, has won the 2021 general Presidential election of the country.

• The 59-year-old Hichilema won with a landslide victory, winning 59.38% of the total vote. He will replace incumbent President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front. Last year, Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper miner, produced a record output of the metal.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet resigns due to losing a confidence vote in parliament

• The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet resigned after losing a confidence vote in parliament. The 74-year-old Muhyiddin came to power in March 2020. He will however stay on as a caretaker prime minister until a successor is named.

• The resignations plunged Malaysia even deeper into political turmoil while it contends with one of the world’s worst surges of the virus. The nation of about 32 million people has averaged more than 20,000 cases per day in the last 14 days, and just 33 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. The total death toll from the pandemic in the country is at least 12,510.

NATIONAL

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu Kashmir, Manoj Sinha launched PROOF App

• In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has unveiled a mobile application named PROOF, to bring more transparency and accountability in the governance system. PROOF stands for ‘Photographic Record of On-site Facility’. The main objective of this app is to monitor the work progress of all the projects allocated to different departments of the UT and ensure timely completion of these projects.

• The app will give a complete pictorial view of the work along with its geographical coordinates i.e. latitude and longitude and user comments on work progress

INS Tabar arrived at Portsmouth in England, Participates in Exercise Konkan 2021

• The Indian Naval Ship Tabar arrived at Portsmouth in England, to undertake the annual bilateral drill ‘Exercise Konkan 2021’ between the Indian Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy.

• The bilateral naval exercise Konkan is being held every year since 2004, to enhance the interoperability, synergy and cooperation between both navies. HMS Westminster of the Royal Navy took part from Britain’s side.

SPORTS

Renowned footwall player Lionel Messi signs for Paris St Germain after leaving Barcelona

• Lionel Messi joined star-packed Paris St Germain after leaving Barcelona, the club where he had begun, after 21 years. Messi, a six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or for Europe’s best soccer player, signed a two-year contract with an option for a third year. Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain or PSG.

• Messi leaves Barcelona with 672 goals in 778 appearances, a record tally for one club. His trophy haul includes four Champions Leagues and 10 La Liga titles.

Raunak Sadhwani won the Spilimbergo Open Chess Tournament 2021

• A 15-year-old young Indian Grandmaster Raunak Sadhwani has won the 19th Spilimbergo Open chess tournament in Italy. The fourth-seeded Sadhwani, who hails from Nagpur, remained undefeated in the tournament, with seven points from nine rounds, in which claimed five wins and four draws.

• In the ninth and final round, Sadhwani and Italian GM Pier Luigi Basso finished level on seven points, but the Indian was declared the winner on the basis of a better tie-break score.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Hockey star Vandana Katariya become ambassador

• Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has announced that Indian women’s hockey team player Vandana Katariya will be the brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development. The announcement came at a program organized to felicitate the recipients of awardees of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award.

• Earlier, Dhami had announced a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh to Indian women’s hockey team player Vandana Katariya for her brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

OBITUARY

Creator of the Maki Kaji, Sudoku puzzle passed away

• Maki Kaji, the creator of puzzle Sudoku passed away at the age of 69 years due to bile duct cancer. He was known as the father of Sodoku and was from Japan. He was the president of Nikoli Co., Ltd., a Japanese puzzle manufacturer.

• Kaji established Japan’s first puzzle magazine, Puzzle Tsushin Nikoli, with pals in 1980. His most legendary creation, Sudoku, followed in 1983.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Puducherry celebrated: De Jure Transfer day

• Puducherry on 16th August celebrated its De Jure Transfer day. Speaker of the Puducherry Assembly, R. Selvam, paid floral tributes at the memorial in Kizhur, a remote hamlet in Puducherry, where the transfer of power took place on the same day in 1962. De Jure Transfer Day is the day it really got independence. The then Pondicherry was under French control well after 1947.

• The treaty of cession signed between the French and Indian governments was ratified by the French Parliament only on August 16, 1962. So on that day the “De-Jure”(The Legal Merger of the UT with the Indian Union) was effected. 178 representatives participated in the referendum in which 170 voted in favour of a merger with India and 8 against it.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Reserve Bank of India launched the Financial Inclusion Index

• The Reserve Bank of India has introduced the Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index), which is a measure of the extent of financial inclusion in India. FI-Index incorporates the inclusion details of banking, investments, insurance, postal and pension sector in India. This was among the announcements made in the first bimonthly monetary policy in April this year.

• The value of FI-Index will range between 0 to 100. Where 0 denotes complete financial exclusion while 100 denotes full financial inclusion.

• Parameters of FI-Index: The FI-Index comprises of three parameters, namely- Access (35%), Usage (45%), and Quality (20%) with each of these consisting of various dimensions, which are computed based on a number of indicators. In total there are 97 indicators.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 17th August 2021

NATIONAL

75th Independence Day: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar flagged off ‘Operation Blue Freedom’

• The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar has flagged off a pioneering world record expedition named ‘Operation Blue Freedom’ from Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi on the occasion of 75th Independence Day. The Operation Blue Freedom expedition comprise of a team of people with disabilities from across the country to reach Siachen Glacier, to create a new World Record, for the largest team of people with disabilities reaching the world’s highest battlefield.

• The team of people with disabilities were trained by ‘Team CLAW’, a team of Armed Forces veterans. The expedition was undertaken till Kumar Post (Siachen Glacier). The event was organised by Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, a premier autonomous research body mandated to research and provide policy feed to empower marginalised communities and to bring in Socio Economic transformation in the society.

Prime Minister of India set target to become ‘energy independent’ by 2047

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the target of becoming an ‘energy independent country by the year 2047, the year when India will celebrate the 100th year of Independence. For this, PM has announced a ‘Mission Circular Economy’ that will replace petroleum with other forms of energy to make India achieve self-reliance in energy production by 2047.

• Mission Circular Economy would include a mix of electric mobility, gas-based economy, doping ethanol in petrol and making the country a hub for hydrogen production.

• Modi government has decided to set up the National Hydrogen Mission to make India a new global hub and the exporter of green hydrogen.

75th Independence Day: Government announced ‘Prime Minister Gatishakti Scheme’

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Rs 100 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti scheme while addressing the nation on the 75th Independence Day from Red Fort. The Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti scheme aims to adopt a holistic and integrated approach in infrastructure growth and create employment opportunities for the youth of the country. The government will soon announce the Master Plan for the scheme, to help boost the productivity of industries, and boost the economic growth of the country, besides creating job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of youths.

• Gati Shakti will be a national infrastructure master plan for our country that will lay the foundation of holistic infrastructure and will lead to an integrated and holistic pathway to our economy.

• The PM Gati Shakti scheme is aimed at breaking the silos between road, rail, air and waterways to reduce travel time, improving industrial productivity, making manufacturing globally competitive, facilitating future economic zones and creating employment.

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel announced 4 new districts & 18 new tehsils in the state

• Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has announced the creation of four new districts and 18 new tehsils in the state. The four new districts are: Mohla Manpur, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh, Shakti, Manendragarh. With the creation of four new districts, the total number of administrative districts in the state have reached 32.

• Apart from this, a garden will be developed exclusively for women in every district headquarter and the municipal corporation of the state, which will be known as the “Minimata Udyan”. The park has been named after ‘Minimata’, the first woman MP from Chhattisgarh elected in 1952, who devoted her life toward the empowerment of women and the betterment of society.

75th Independence Day: 75 new “Vande Bharat” trains will connect all parts of India

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of 75th Independence Day and announced that 75 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains would connect different parts of the country in 75 weeks of the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The 75 Vande Bharat trains will connect every corner of the country, in 75 weeks of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, which is being celebrated from March 12, 2021, upto August 15, 2023.

• Presently two Vande Bharat Express trains are operating in the country by the Indian Railways. The first Vande Bharat Express operates between Varanasi and New Delhi and the other Vande Bharat Express operates between Katra and New Delhi.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Adi Godrej to step down from Godrej India board, will be replaced by Nadir Godrej

• Adi Godrej will step down as the chairman of Godrej Industries on October 01, 2021. He will be replaced by Nadir Godrej, his younger brother.

• Godrej Industries (GIL) is the holding company of the Godrej group. Presently Nadir Godrej is the Managing Director of Godrej Industries. However, Adi Godrej will continue to serve as the Chairman of Godrej Group.

OBITUARY

Former international defender Chinmoy Chatterjee passed away

• Eminent India-international footballer Chinmoy Chatterjee, who played for the three Maidan heavyweights in his prime in the 1970-80s, has passed away. He was a member of the Indian team at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games where they finished fourth in the quarterfinal league.

• Chatterjee played for Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting, during his domestic career. He also represented Bengal in the Santosh Trophy four times, and became champions in three of them.

West Germany forward Legend Gerd Müller passed away

• Former West Germany forward and the Bayern Munich football legend, Gerd Muller has passed away. At the international level, he represented West Germany, scoring 68 goals in 62 appearances, and at the club level, he played for Bayern Munich, with which he scored a record 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games.

• He was nicknamed “Bomber der Nation” (“the nation’s Bomber”) or simply “Der Bomber”, for his scoring prowess.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

HCL Foundation launched ‘My e-Haat’ portal to empower artisans

• HCL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of HCL Technologies has launched an online portal, ‘My e-Haat’, to empower artisans and strengthen the value chain of the handicraft sector in the country. The platform will enable artisans and primary producers to conduct their business, by listing and showcasing their products directly to customers, thereby minimising the informal intermediaries and the long supply chains. Currently, more than 30 partners from eight states with over 600 products are listed on the portal.

• The My E-Haat initiative will be a one-of-a-kind model (A2C) where artisans will directly connect with the customer for years to come. This portal would help in bringing the talent of skilled craftsmen from across the country to the world. It will also increase their recognition, appreciation and remuneration.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 16th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

WHO forms Advisory Group named “SAGO”

• World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new advisory group named, The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO. The function of SAGO will be to systematically study the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential, and advise the development in this regard to WHO.

• WHO has made an open call for nominations to SAGO from the member countries, thus providing a transparent foundation for the new scientific advisory group. The group will also work towards finding the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

NATIONAL

Delhi AIIMS Becomes First Hospital To Have Fire Station Inside Hospital Premises

• The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi, has become the first hospital in India to house a fire station inside the hospital premises, its Director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Sunday. Making the announcement at a function to mark the 75th Independence Day, he said that the AIIMS has joined hands with the Delhi Fire Service for the purpose.

• The fire station, meant for quick response in case of fire emergency, will have its infrastructure developed by the AIIMS, while the fire tender, equipment, and manpower will be managed by the DFS. 

Bihar CM announces 11pc DA hike for govt employees, pensione

• Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday, August 15, 2021, announced the Dearness Allowance (DA) hike for state government employees and pensioners on Independence Day.

• While addressing the gathering at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan after the flag hoisting ceremony, CM Kumar said the Bihar government will hike DA by 11% to 28% for state government employees and pensioners from July 1, 2021, on the lines of the Centre’s announcement.

• The 7th Pay Commission announced earlier that all Central government employees would be receiving a 28 per cent hike in their DA beginning from July 2021.

Kolkata’s tram turns into a museum on freedom struggle

• Commemorating the 75th Independence Day, West Bengal’s Transport Department on Sunday launched a mobile museum on freedom struggle and partition of Bengal by turning two trams into galleries.

• This museum on wheels has been curated by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust in collaboration with the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC).

• It will be on display at Esplanade in the heart of the city till December. It will move to other parts of the city from January 1.

Kaziranga becomes India’s first national park with satellite phones

• Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam has become the first national park in India to be equipped with satellite phones. Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua handed over 10 satellite phones to the forest personnel of the Kaziranga National Park. The satellite phones will boost the anti-poaching measures in the park. BSNL will be the service provider of these phones.

• The park which has been spread over a massive 430 sq km area and divided into six ranges in upper Assam, has certain areas with poor to no connectivity.  The satellite phones, given to the officials of Kaziranga Parks, which draw signals from the satellites instead of mobile towers will ensure connectivity in most of the remote locations. The move will also boost anti-poaching measures undertaken by the park.

4 more sites in India added to Ramsar list

• Four more wetlands from India have been added to the list of Ramsar sites, giving it the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’. With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India have reached 46, covering a surface area of 1,083,322 hectares. The sites have been recognised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Two of these sites are in Haryana, while the other two are in Gujarat.

Four sites are:

• Thol, Gujarat

• Wadhwana, Gujarat

• Sultanpur, Haryana

• Bhindawas, Haryana

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar begins 4-day visit to New York on Monday

• Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will begin a four-day visit to the United States from Monday to attend a number of UN Security Council events, including a terrorism briefing to be held under the Indian presidency of the powerful body.

• Announcing the visit on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said Jaishankar would also chair an open debate on peacekeeping at the UNSC.

• His visit to New York comes against the backdrop of the Taliban’s rapid attack on Afghanistan and the issue is expected to feature in his talks with UN officials.

SPORTS

Komalika Bari becomes new Under-21 Recurve world champion in Archery

• Archery, Komalika Bari became the new under-21 recurve world champion at the Youth World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland yesterday. India’s Junior recurve archers also bagged gold in the men’s and the mixed team event. In the U21 men’s recurve team final the Indian team of Dhiraj Bommadevara, Aditya Choudhary, and Parth Sushant Salunkhe clinched the gold medal in a very exciting fashion.

• Indian trio came from behind to clinch the 5-3 win against Spain. Parth Salunkhe later joined Komalika Bari in the mixed team event, to capture another gold for India. The duo produced a brilliant comeback against the Spanish duo to win 5-3 after being down 2-0 in the match. Earlier in the under-21 women’s team bronze medal match, the trio of Komalika Bari, Tanisha Verma, and Tisha Punia lost 1-5 against Ukraine in what was India’s first loss of the day.

RANKING

ARWU Rankings 2021: Calcutta University secures second position

• "on the momentous occasion of the 75th anniversary of country's independence, we, the University of Calcutta fraternity, have yet another cause of celebration. Shanghai Ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), 2021 has adjudged the University of Calcutta as the best among all universities across India. Among all the Universities and Institutes in the country, the University of Calcutta is second only to the prestigious Indian Institute of Science. This success and international recognition should be seen as a result of the sustained efforts of brilliant members of faculty.

• As per the ARWU Ranking 2021, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) stood on the number one rank while the University of Calcutta was on the second spot among all premier higher educational institutions in the country.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 15th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani steps down, as the government surrendered to the Taliban forces

• Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will shortly tender his resignation, as the government has surrendered to the Taliban forces, which entered Kabul and sought the unconditional surrender of the central government. Following this, a new interim government has been announced, which is likely to be headed by Ali Ahamd Jalali, a US-based academic.

• President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Islamist terrorists entered the city, he wanted to avoid bloodshed, while hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flooded Kabul airport.

• In Washington, opponents of President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war, launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.  American diplomats were flown by helicopter to the airport from their embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district as Afghan forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.

NATIONAL

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched an online portal “TAPAS”

• Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched an online portal named TAPAS (Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services) to provide filmed lectures/courses and e-study material in the field of social defence. TAPAS is the initiative of the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The course can be taken up by anyone and is free of cost.

Presently there are 5 courses under TAPAS:

• Drug (Substance) Abuse Prevention,

• Geriatric/Elderly Care,

• Care and Management of Dementia,

• Transgender Issues and

• A comprehensive course on Social Defence Issues.

MoHUA launched brand and logo for urban Self-Help Group products ‘SonChiraiya’

• Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has launched ‘SonChiraiya’, a brand and logo for marketing of the urban Self-Help Group (SHG) products. To make urban SHG products popular, the ministry has signed MoUs with e-Commerce Portals like Amazon and Flipkart, with an underlying narrative of women empowerment. Due to this partnership, more than 2,000 products of nearly 5,000 SHG members have been onboarded on the e-commerce portals.

• This initiative is a significant step of increasing visibility and global access for the products made by urban SHG women. Under the initiative, a variety of professionally packaged and hand-crafted ethnic products will reach the doorsteps of customers worldwide.

India’s first Drone Forensic Lab and Research Center now in Kerala

• India’s first Drone Forensic Lab and Research Center has come up in Kerala. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan was inaugurating the State police department’s ‘Drone Forensic Laboratory’ at the Kerala State Police CyberDome. Cyberdome is a technological research and development centre of the Kerala Police Department.

• The centre will help in keeping a watch over unauthorized drones and also for the production of drones for the use of the police force. This lab-cum-research centre will look into both utility and threat aspects of a drone.

• The police have forayed strongly into the relatively new field of drone forensics. It had recently analysed a drone brought down by the Border Security Force (BSF) near the international border in Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir and helped the local enforcement zero in on its illegal operator.

Dr Jitendra Singh (Minister of Earth Sciences) has released India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip “IndiGau” released

• Dr Jitendra Singh has released India’s first cattle genomic chip ‘IndiGau’ for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.

• The chip has been developed by scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology. The chip will help in achieving the goal of conservation of our own breeds with better characters and help towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India’s Chandrayaan-2 orbiter detected water molecules on lunar surface in 2019

• India’s Chandrayaan-2 moon mission may have made a hard landing on the lunar surface in 2019, but the orbiter accompanying it has been providing useful information to scientists back on Earth. A research paper revealed that the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter confirmed the presence of water molecules (H2o) and hydroxyl (OH) on the surface of the moon. The findings were published in the journal Current Science.

• “The initial data analysis from IIRS clearly demonstrates the presence of widespread lunar hydration and unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures between 29 degrees north and 62 degrees north latitude. The discovery was made by the orbiter’s imaging infrared spectrometer (IIRS).

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Indian Bank signs MoU with Paralympic Committee of India (PCI)

• Public sector Indian Bank has signed an MoU with the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) as one of the banking partners of the Paralympic Games scheduled to commence from August 24 in Tokyo, Japan. The bank, through its year-long association with PCI, will provide financial assistance to paralympic athletes. The President of the Paralympic Committee of India is Deepa Malik.

• In a year-long association, the bank will provide financial assistance to Paralympic athletes to prepare for the coveted sporting events in the domestic arena as well as global platforms. Timely financial aid provided to these sportspersons will encourage them to focus their efforts on the game and win laurels for the country.

IMPORTANT DAYS

75th Indian Independence Day 2021

• India is celebrating the 75th Independence Day on 15th August 2021 to mark the country’s freedom from nearly two centuries of British colonial rule. India is marking its 75th Independence Day as “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the celebrations from Red Fort in New Delhi and is addressing the nation from Red Fort in New Delhi. This is his eighth address as the prime minister.

• For the first time, just as the flag is unfurled by the PM, flower petals showered at the venue by two Mi-17 1V helicopters of the Indian Air Force in Amrut formation. The Centre has invited 32 athletes — who have won medals at the Olympics and two officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) at the Red Fort.

• The Indian Independence movement began during World War I and was led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. On August 15, 1947, India got its freedom, ending an almost 200-year British rule. India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 1947. It is a tradition that has since been followed by the incumbent Prime Minister, followed by an address to the country.

PM Modi declared August 14 as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that, August 14 will be observed as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ or ‘Vibhajan Vibhishika Smriti Diwas’, in memory of people’s struggles and sacrifices during the partition of the country in 1947.

• The day aims to inspire us to eliminate the poison of discrimination, animosity and ill-will, as well as strengthen unity, social harmony and human sensibilities. Pakistan celebrates August 14 as its Independence Day.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 14th August 2021

NATIONAL

India’s first ‘Water Plus’ certified city is MP’s Indore

• India’s cleanest city, Indore in Madhya Pradesh, has achieved another feat of being declared as the country’s first ‘water plus’ certified city, under the Swachh Survekshan 2021. Swachh Survekshan is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in cities and towns across India launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

• Indore carried out a survey and halted 7,000 outfalls of greywater that went in rivers, drains.

• Moreover, 30 per cent of the city’s sewage water was recycled and reused. This recycled water was used by people in their gardens and some construction sites.

India organises the IBSA Tourism Ministers’ Meet on virtual platform

• India organized the IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) Tourism Ministers’ meeting through the virtual platform. The Union Minister of Tourism of India, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, chaired the meeting. The Minister of Tourism of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Gilson Machado Neto and the Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa, Fish Amos Mahlalela, attended videoconferencing under India’s IBSA Chairship.

• The meeting provided a platform to promote tourism cooperation among the member states and recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation in tourism to overcome the impact of the C-19 pandemic on the tourism sector.

• The meeting ended with the adoption of the IBSA Tourism Ministers Joint Statement- a document on cooperation and promotion for the speedy recovery of travel and tourism.

NS Tomar addressed 6th SCO Meet of Agriculture Ministers of the member countries

• The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has addressed the 6th meeting of Agriculture Ministers of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), through videoconferencing. The meeting was organized under the chairmanship of Tajikistan in Dushanbe.

• During the meeting, Narendra Singh Tomar highlighted the taking several steps being taken by the Government of India to develop innovative technologies and their dissemination from Lab to Land to empower rural youth, farmers and farm women.

• Apart from Tomar, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje also attended the meet.

SPORTS

Unmukt Chand World Cup winning U19 Indian captain announced retirement in India

• World Cup-winning U19 India captain, Unmukt Chand has announced his retirement from cricket in India. He had made an unbeaten 111, leading a tense victory over Australia in the 2012 U-19 World Cup final in Townsville, Australia. The 28-year-old, who also led India A as well as Delhi and Uttarakhand in domestic cricket, had represented Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

• Since his debut in 2010, Chand played in 67 First-Class matches, scoring 3379 runs with an average of 31.57. In 120 List A matches, Chand amassed 4505 runs at an average of 41.33. In 77 T20s, he made 1565 runs at an average of 22.35.

Shakib Al Hasan, Stafanie Taylor voted ICC players of the month for the month of July

• Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor were named the ICC Player of the Month for July in men’s and women’s categories respectively. Shakib, who was nominated alongside West Indies’ Hayden Walsh Jr and Australia’s Mitchell Marsh.

Shakib Al Hasan:

• Shakib’s contributions in all three formats of the game helped Bangladesh win their series against Zimbabwe last month. He had scored an unbeaten 96 in Bangladesh’s three-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second ODI at the Harare Sports Club.

Stafanie Taylor

• Taylor was the standout performer for West Indies in the limited-overs series against Pakistan.

Durand Cup, Asia’s oldest and world’s third oldest football tournament re-entry with 130th edition to be held at Kolkata

• Durand Cup, Asia’s oldest and world’s third oldest football tournament, is all set to make a comeback, after a year’s gap. The 130th edition of the Durand Cup is scheduled to be held in and around Kolkata between September 05 to October 03, 2021. Due to the C-19 pandemic, the competition was cancelled last season.

• The prestigious tournament was first held in 1888, at Dagshai (Himachal Pradesh) and is named after Mortimer Durand, who was then the Foreign Secretary in charge of India.

• The tournament was a conscious way to initially maintain health and fitness amongst the British troops but was later opened to civilians and currently is one of the leading sports events in the world.

• Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the most successful teams in the history of the Durand Cup winning it sixteen times each.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Organ Donation Day 2021: 13th August

• World Organ Donation Day is celebrated every year on August 13. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and motivate people to donate organs after death. The day provides an opportunity to all to come ahead and pledge to donate their precious organs because one organ donor can save up to eight lives.

• Organ donation is retrieving a donor’s organ like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas after the donor is deceased and then transplanting into another person who is in need of an organ.

International Lefthanders Day 2021: 13th August

• The International Left-Handers Day is observed on August 13 every year to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of the left-handers and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world. Left-handers are likely to have better verbal skills than their right-handed counterparts, according to a 2019 study by Oxford University.

• The day was first observed in 1976 by Dean R Campbell, the founder of Lefthanders International Inc. Further, in 1990, the Lefthanders International Club was founded with an aim to promote left-handedness, and make their views known to manufacturers towards the development of items for left-handed individuals. In 1992, the Club launched the International Lefthanders Day to create awareness regarding the “advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed.”

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Retail inflation easesd to 5.59% in July 2021

• Retail inflation eased to 5.59% in July mainly due to softening of food prices. The Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation was 6.26% in June and 6.73% in July 2020. Inflation in the food basket slowed down to 3.96% in July from 5.15% in the previous month.

• Earlier this month, the RBI pegged the CPI inflation at 5.7% during 2021-22 — 5.9% in the second quarter, 5.3% in third, and 5.8% in the fourth quarter of the fiscal, with risks broadly balanced.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 13th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India & Saudi Arabia set to conduct exercise named “AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021”

• India and Saudi Arabia are all set to conduct their first-ever naval exercise Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021. To participate in the exercise, India’s guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi reached Saudi Arabia. The joint naval exercise will showcase the reflection of growing defence and military cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.

• The exercise is taking place amid rising tension in the Gulf region after a drone attack on a merchant tanker off Oman killed a British national and a Romanian citizen.

• The UK and the US pointed fingers at Iran for the attack on MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm.

NATIONAL

Chhattisgarh become first state to recognise Forest Resource Rights in Urban area

• Chhattisgarh became the first state to recognise Community Forest Resource Rights in an urban area, with the state government recognising the rights of residents of Dhamtari district over 4,127 hectares of forests. Community resource rights over 5,544 hectares of forest within the core area of the tiger reserve area were also recognised.

• Under Forest Rights Act, 2006, Community Forest Resource Right gives gram sabhas the right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any forest resources used by the entire community, or village.

• Baghel also unveiled an “atlas” of tribal communities living in Chhattisgarh, and a special five-part teaching module on the all-around development of tribal areas to be used to train public representatives and members of the Panchayati Raj system. Tribals account for more than 31 per cent of Chhattisgarh’s population.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated “Bungus Awaam Mela” in J&K

• Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has inaugurated the Bungus Awaam Mela with grand arrangements for village games, exhilarating local performances, and other activities to celebrate the 75th year of Independence at Bungus valley in Kupwara district. While inaugurating the fair, the Lt Governor paid tributes to the great revolutionary, freedom fighter Khudiram Bose, on his death anniversary. He also remembered countless others who made sacrifices and invaluable contributions towards achieving the Independence of the country.

• To make the Bungus valley environmentally sustainable, the LG directed the Forests and Tourism Department to chart out a viable “Eco-Tourism” plan for the region and all other prominent beautiful grasslands and meadows in the UT. He also suggested for undertaking a feasibility study for starting a cable car in this trekker’s paradise.

UP government renamed Kakori Train Conspiracy now renamed as Kakori Train Action

• The Uttar Pradesh government has renamed a landmark freedom movement event as Kakori Train Action while paying tributes to the revolutionaries who were hanged for robbing a train at Kakori to buy weapons in 1925. The new name was used in official communications to refer to the event, usually described as the ‘Kakori train robbery’ or the ‘Kakori train conspiracy’.

• UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel attended a programme held on the anniversary of the event at Kakori-based Kakori Shaheed Smarak on the outskirts of Lucknow. Family members of the freedom fighters were honoured on this occasion, and an art exhibition was also held. A government official stated it was derogatory to describe the robbery that was a part of the freedom movement as “conspiracy”.

SPORTS

ICC confirm to push for cricket’s inclusion in Olympics 2028 at Los Angeles

• The International Cricket Council has confirmed it will campaign for the inclusion of the sport at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The ICC’s bid to end what will by then have been an absence from Olympic schedules will include multiple demonstrations of cricket’s suitability for multisport events. Cricket, till now, has made just one appearance in the Olympics, way back in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event Great Britain and hosts France meaning the sport’s inclusion in 2028 would mark the end of a 128-year absence.

• The sport will feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which shapes as a perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics, as well as being a momentous occasion on its own.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Air Force build one of the world’s highest mobile ATC towers at the Advanced Landing Ground in Ladakh

• The Indian Air Force (IAF) has built one of the world’s highest mobile air traffic control (ATC) towers at the Advanced Landing Ground in Ladakh. The ATC controls operations of the fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters operating in the eastern Ladakh region. Meanwhile, India has been considering multiple options of developing airfields in eastern Ladakh including Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), Fukche and Nyoma which are at a distance of few minutes from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

• The Air Force also has deployed the Igla man-portable air defence missiles to tackle any aerial incursion by any adversary aircraft. The Indian Air Force has been regularly deploying fighter aircraft including the Rafale and MiG-29s to carry out operations in eastern Ladakh where there has been disengagement of troops at two locations including Pangong Tso and Gogra heights but both sides have not de-escalated.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Rajkummar Rao appointed as first brand ambassador of Cashify

• Cashify, a re-commerce marketplace announced that it has appointed Rajkummar Rao as its first brand ambassador. The actor has signed a multi-year contract with the company and he will promote the products across digital media platforms through campaigns and promotional activities exclusively for the smartphone buyback category.

• The partnership is expected to give a strong face to the brand’s philosophy as Rao personifies the brand ethos, which is reliability, responsiveness, approachability, and dynamic personality.

• The association with the actor comes at a time when the company is on a business expansion spree from online to offline, after having recently raised $15 million from Olympus Capital and has acquired UniShop to diversify its Omni category services to users.

IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, KK Pant appointed as new NPPA chairman

• Kamlesh Kumar Pant, a 1993-batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, has been appointed as the new chairman of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) by the Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet. The pharmaceutical pricing agency was currently headed by IAS officer Shubhra Singh, who was appointed to the post in 2018. Singh has been repatriated to her cadre state Rajasthan, according to an order of the personnel ministry.

• Pant, formerly the Principal Secretary (Revenue) in the government of Himachal Pradesh and also the Financial Commissioner (Appeals) at Himachal Pradesh and the head of the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, has taken charge of NPPA with immediate effect.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (NSF I-Corps) Teams Award

• SoftWorthy has been conferred the prestigious National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (NSF I-Corps) Teams Award in the United States.

•  SoftWorthy’s award-winning project focuses on developing state-of-the-art computational methods for ‘stochastic modelling, design simulation and sensitivity analysis of electronic devices like printed-circuit-boards (PCBs), which are critical for the growth of novel technological applications like driverless vehicles and energy-efficient smart buildings.

RANKING

Four Indian airports finds place in the Skytrax’s top 100 airport list

• The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi has found place among world’s top 50 best airports in the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Delhi airport has improved its overall ranking by five places. In 2020, it was placed at 50th spot. With this, it has also become the first Indian airport to be placed among top 50 list. The Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, has been named the “Best Airport in the World”.

• The Skytrax World Airport Awards list is complied by UK-based Skytrax, a consultancy firm that runs an airline and airport review and ranking site, featuring 100 airports. The Skytrax World Airport Awards are voted for by customers in a global airport customer satisfaction survey.

Top Five Airports in the World:

• Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar

• Haneda Airport in Tokyo

• Changi Airport in Singapore

• Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea

• Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

As per FY21 data, Number Of Billionaires In India Dropped From 141 to 136

• In the pandemic-hit financial year of 2020-21, the number of billionaires in India dropped from 141 in FY20 to 136 in FY21, as per a statement issued by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha. The count is based on the gross total income declared in the income tax returns. In FY 2018-19, the number of individuals with a gross total annual income of more than Rs 100 cr is 77.

• As per the information available with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), there is no legislative or administrative definition of the term billionaire under direct taxes. Wealth tax has been abolished with effect from 01.04.2016 and, therefore, CBDT does not any more capture information about the complete wealth of an individual taxpayer.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 12th August 2021

NATIONAL

Dr. K Sivan formally inaugurated Health Quest study

• ISRO chief, Dr K Sivan has formally inaugurated the Health QUEST study (Health Quality Upgradation Enabled by Space Technology of ISRO) which will be undertaken by 20 private hospitals across India. The event was co-organised by the Association of Health Care Providers India (AHPI) and the Society for Emergency Medicine in India (SEMI).

• The objective of the study is to strive towards reducing human errors and achieve zero defect and quality service in the emergency and intensive care units of the hospital. The study aims to upgrade healthcare standards in line with ISRO quality standards and best practices. The quality assurance mechanism in vogue in ISRO will be shared with the study team to establish the parameters for healthcare quality standards.

Quad country navies, India, US, Japan and Australia, will be conducting the annual Malabar naval exercises, from August 21

• The Quad country navies including, India, the US, Japan and Australia, will be conducting the annual Malabar naval exercises, from August 21, off the coast of Guam, in the Indo-Pacific. The harbour phase of the Malabar naval exercises will take place from August 21 to 24, 2021. The sea phase of the exercise will be held on August 25 to 29, 2021.

• Indian Navy will be represented by two surface combatants led by Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay and Frigate INS Shivalik along with maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I, ASW helicopters and Special Forces (Marine Commandos-MARCOS). The objective of the Malabar series of Exercises is to increase the interoperability of naval powers of the four QUAD countries.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO Successfully Test-Fires Nirbhay Missile from the ITR off Odisha coast

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired medium-range subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, off Odisha coast. Nirbhay is India’s first Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM).

• ITCM Nirbhay was successfully test-launched with a Made-in-India Manik turbofan engine.

• This was the first successful test-firing of the missile with the indigenous booster engine. It can use both conventional and nuclear weapons of 200 to 300 kilograms.

• The missile can be launched from multiple platforms. ITCM Nirbhay can travel at a speed of 0.7 to 0.9 Mach, or 4 to 7 times faster than the speed of sound.

OBITUARY

Malayalam actor Saranya Sasi passed away due to C-19

• Popular Malayalam film and television actor, Saranya Sasi passed away due to C-19 complications. She had also battled cancer for nearly a decade, earning praise for showing remarkable grit and determination in battling the disease. She had been diagnosed with a form of  brain tumour in 2012.

• The actress’ body of work includes films like Chhota Mumbai, Thalappavu, Bombay March 12 and TV soaps like Kootukari, Avakashikal, Harichandanam, Malakhamar and Rahasyam.

Renowned spiritual Balaji Tambe passed away

• A well-known spiritual leader who was also an Ayurveda doctor and proponent of Yoga, Dr Balaji Tambe, passed away.

• The founder of ‘Atmasantulana Village’, a holistic healing centre near Lonavala, Dr Tambe had written several books on spirituality, Yoga and Ayurveda. He dedicated his entire life to promote and popularize Ayurveda and Yoga.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Youth Day2021: 12th August

• The International Youth Day is observed on August 12 annually to draw the attention of governments and others towards youth issues worldwide. This day is celebrated to recognize the efforts put in by the youth for the betterment of society. The Day aims to promote the ways to engage the youth and make them more actively involved in their communities through positive contributions.

• The theme of International Youth Day 2021, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”. The theme highlights the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

World Elephant Day 2021: 12th August

• World Elephant Day is observed every year on August 12 worldwide for the preservation and protection of the global elephants. The main objective of World Elephant Day is to create awareness on elephant conservation and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better protection and management of wild and captive elephants.

• The World Elephant Day was initiated on August 12, 2012, when Thailand-based Elephant Reintroduction Foundation teamed up with Canadian filmmaker Patricia Sims. This is not just a day but a movement in itself. Since 2012, Ms Sims has been leading World Elephant Day.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Maharashtra government announced a new award Rajiv Gandhi award for IT sector

• Maharashtra government has announced a new award named after the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi for outstanding performance in the Information and Technology (IT) sector. The Rajiv Gandhi Award in Maharashtra will be given to institutes doing remarkable work in the field of information technology.

• The decision to start an award in the state after former PM Rajiv Gandhi was taken in a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Minister of State for Information Technology and Home Satej Patil. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award will be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

RBL Bank selected Amazon Web Services as preferred cloud provider

• RBL Bank has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, as its preferred cloud provider. AWS helps RBL bank to strengthen its AI-powered banking solutions and drive digital transformation at the Bank, adding significant value to the Bank’s innovative offerings, saving costs, and tightening risk controls.

• The Bank is building on its analytics practice and investing in AI capabilities to implement various use cases across multiple segments, including Risk, Customer Service, Human Resources, and Operations.

• The Banks AI Center of Excellence worked with AWS to create a templatized framework to roll out use cases using Amazon SageMaker to quickly and easily build, train, and deploy machine learning (ML) models as part of the Banks larger AI roadmap.

SIDBI unveiled “Digital Prayaas” lending platform to facilitate loans

• Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has unveiled ‘Digital Prayaas’ an app-based digital-lending platform to facilitate loans to entrepreneurs from low-income groups. The objective is to sanction a loan by the end of the day. The platform has engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

• To cater to those from the urban area, SIDBI has tied up with BigBasket to provide loans to its delivery partners for the purchase of e-bikes and e-vans. the SIDBI-BigBasket initiative would create digital footprints that would further facilitate loans to the borrower’s family members for their own micro-enterprises. SIDBI should enter into similar arrangements with more partner institutions to increase its outreach.

Read More
Read Less
View All Comments

Important Current Affairs 11th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Mohammad Mokhber first Vice President of Iran

• Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi named the chairman of a powerful state-owned foundation sanctioned by the United States as his first vice-president. Mohammad Mokhber has for years headed the foundation known as Setad or the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s order.

• Mokhber was appointed to the position by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2007. The Setad was originally founded in the late 1980s to manage confiscated properties following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

NATIONAL

UNICEF India, Facebook launched a one-year joint initiative on ending violence against children

• UNICEF India and Facebook have launched a one-year joint initiative on ending violence against children with a special focus on online safety. The partnership seeks to create a safe environment for children online and offline. It aims to improve children’s resilience and capacity to access the digital world safely, increase awareness on violence against children and its impact on children, families, and communities, and increase the skills of communities and frontline workers to better prevent and respond to violence.

• The partnership includes a nationwide social media campaign and capacity building for 100,000 school children on online safety, digital literacy, and psychosocial support. Well-known actor and UNICEF India’s celebrity advocate on ending violence against children, Ayushmann Khurrana, gave his keynote message during the virtual event.

IT Ministry will host the first Internet Governance Forum in the country

• India will host the first Internet Governance Forum in the country, starting from October 20, this year. The theme of this year’s meeting is Inclusive Internet for Digital India. With this announcement, the Indian chapter of the United Nations-based forum namely the Internet Governance Forum has begun. It’s an Internet Governance policy discussion platform to bring representatives together from various groups, considering all at par to discuss public policy issues related to the Internet.

• National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology(MeitY) and the Chairman of the Coordination Committee, India Internet Governance Forum 2021 (IGF), announced the launch of India Internet Governance Forum (IIGF) -2021.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Reserve Bank of India appointed Olympic Gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra for banking fraud awareness campaign

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has started a public awareness campaign to warn people against digital banking frauds. For the new campaign, RBI has roped in Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra. The central bank has asked people to be a little cautious as doing so can protect them from a lot of troubles. A little caution takes care of a lot of trouble.

• The campaign sees Chopra urging users to not divulge details like OTP, CVV number and ATM PIN in front of anyone. The users should keep changing their online banking passwords and PIN numbers frequently and immediately block ATM card, credit card, debit card and/or prepaid card if one loses it. Block your card if stolen, lost or compromised.

OBITUARY

Commodore Kasargod Patnashetti Gopal Rao passed away

• Commodore Kasargod Patnashetti Gopal Rao, a 1971 war hero and recipient of the Mahavir Chakra, passed away. Rao was a recipient of the Veer Seva Medal also. He played a key role in the war with Pakistan to liberate East Pakistan that is now Bangladesh.

• Rao led a small task group of the Western Fleet and launched an offensive off the coast of Karachi as part of Operation Cactus Lily. Notwithstanding the threat of air, surface and submarine attack, he led the group into enemy waters on the night of December 4, 1971.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “The Earthspinner” authored by award-winning novelist Anuradha Roy

• A book titled “The Earthspinner” authored by award-winning novelist Anuradha Roy. In the book, Roy delves into the “life and mind of Elango the potter, who must navigate complicated and impossible love, the dedication of a beloved pet, his own passion for creativity and a world turned upside down by the petty violence that characterises the present day”.

• This novel is about two people struggling to free themselves of such shackles to create a happier world. Roy’s earlier works include “An Atlas of Impossible Longing” and “The Folded Earth”.

Book “How the Earth Got Its Beauty” authored by Sudha Murty

• A book titled “How the Earth Got Its Beauty” authored by Sudha Murty. The book was published by Penguin Random House imprint Puffin, has illustrations by Priyanka Pachpande. Sudha Murty is a prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written novels, technical books, travelogues, collections of short stories and non-fictional pieces, and four books for children. Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages.

• Sudha Murty was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006, and the Attimabbe Award from the government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature in 2011.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Reserve Bank of India hikes collateral-free loans to Self Help Groups

• The Reserve Bank of India has raised the limit for collateral-free loans to Self-Help Groups (SHG) under the DAY-NRLM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission) from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 20 Lakhs. The DAY-NRLM is the flagship program of Govt. of India for promoting poverty reduction through building strong institutions for the poor, particularly women, and enabling these institutions to access a range of financial services and livelihoods.

• For loans to SHGs up to Rs 10 lakh,  no collateral and no margin will be charged. No lien should be marked against the savings bank account of SHGs and no deposits should be insisted upon while sanctioning loans.

• For loans to SHGs above Rs 10 lakh and up to Rs 20 lakh, no collateral should be charged and no lien should be marked against the savings bank account of SHGs. However, the entire loan (irrespective of the loan outstanding, even if it subsequently goes below Rs 10 lakh) would be eligible for coverage under Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units (CGFMU).”

Reserve Bank of India will penalise banks if ATMs run out of cash from October 1

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of the ‘Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs’, as per which it will impose monetary penalties on ATMs/WLAs that run out of cash. Concerned over the inconvenience caused to the public due to the non-availability of cash in ATMs, the Reserve Bank has decided to penalise banks for failure to timely replenish currency notes in such machines. The Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs has been formulated to ensure that sufficient cash is available to the public through ATMs.

• The Scheme shall be effective from October 01, 2021. Therefore, banks/ WLAOs should put in place a robust system for monitoring the availability of cash in ATMs and ensure timely replenishment to avoid cash-outs.

• Cash-out at any ATM of more than ten hours in a month will attract a flat penalty of ₹ 10,000/- per ATM. In the case of White Label ATMs (WLAs), the penalty would be charged to the bank which is meeting the cash requirement of that particular WLA. The bank, may, at its discretion, recover the penalty from the WLA operator.

Asian Development Bank approved USD 300 million additional loan for Maharashtra Rural Connectivity

• The Manila-based Asian Development Bank has approved a USD 300 million loans as additional financing for the ongoing Maharashtra Rural Connectivity Improvement Project for upgrading rural roads and connecting remote areas with markets. The additional financing will be used for improving an additional 1,100 rural roads and 230 bridges for a total length of 2,900 km in 34 districts of the state.

• The project was approved in August 2019, for improving and maintaining the condition and safety of 2,100 kilometres (km) of rural roads across Maharashtra.

Read More
Read Less
View All Comments