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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.

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Important Current Affairs 10th August 2021

NATIONAL

Indian Railways Launched Rail Madad: one stop Solution for Customer

• Indian Railways has launched an integrated one-stop solution “Rail Madad” in which the national transporter has merged a number of existing helplines that were used for various purposes into one. The Railway ministry toll-free number 139 can be used for all kinds of enquiries and making complaints and the helpline facility is available round-the-clock in 12 languages.

• Rail Madad, the integrated and innovative one-stop solution for customer grievance, enquiry, suggestion and assistance, providing passengers with the choice to access RailMadad through multiple channels, namely, Web, App, SMS, Social Media and Helpline number (139) during the journey for expeditious resolution of their complaints.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju attends 8th SCO Meeting of Ministers of Justice

• The Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has virtually attended the eighth meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The Minister of State for Law & Justice, Professor SP Singh Baghel also attended the meeting. During the virtual event, Rijiju highlighted the initiatives taken by the Government of India for providing affordable and easy access to justice for all.

• The three days’ meeting was hosted by Tajikistan, and chaired by Tajikistan’s Justice Minister, MK Ashuriyon. The Ministers of (Law and) Justice and senior officials and experts from the Ministries of Law & Justice of ‘India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan’ participated in the meeting.

7th edition of the International Army Games, 2021, will be held from 22 August 2021

• The 7th edition of the International Army Games, 2021, will be held from 22 August to 04 September 2021 in Russia. The competition will be hosted in eleven countries in the 2021 Games. Over 280 teams from 42 countries will compete in the game to show their combat skills, professionalism and determination to win. The International Army Games also referred to as ‘War Olympics’, is an international military sports event, which aims to strengthen military-to-military cooperation between countries and trust between the participating nations.

• From India, 101 members of the Indian Army will participate in the International Army Games, which is organised each year by the Russian Ministry of Defence, since 2015. The Indian contingent will participate in Army Scout Masters Competition (ASMC), Elbrus Ring, Polar Star, Sniper Frontier and Safe Route games. In 2019, India had also co-hosted the games for the first time in Jaisalmer and had stood first in Army Scouts Master Competition.

SPORTS

England’s Fast bowler James Anderson become 3rd highest wicket-taker in Test cricket

• James Anderson overtook Anil Kumble’s tally of 619 Test wickets to become the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

• He achieved this huge feat after KL Rahul knocked one to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler. His current wickets tally stands at 621 from 163 Tests. Anderson is currently the highest wicket-taker among the fast bowlers and is the only pacer in the 600 club. He achieved the milestone on the 3rd day of the Nottingham Test against India.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

MS Dhoni becomes first brand ambassador of HomeLane the Home interiors brand

• Home interiors brand HomeLane has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with Mahendra Singh Dhoni as an equity partner and brand ambassador. As part of the partnership, Dhoni will own equity in HomeLane and will be the company’s first brand ambassador.

• With the upcoming cricket and festive season, HomeLane and MS Dhoni are jointly working on a brand new campaign that will be released during the new IPL season. The partnership will last for the next three years. Dhoni will not only become an equity partner but also a brand ambassador for the company.

Government of India Approved 3-year extension for Rekha Sharma as Chairperson of National Commission for Women

• The Government of India has given a three-year extension to Rekha Sharma as Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW). She will serve for another three years term with effect from August 07, 2021, or till the age of 65 years or until further orders whichever is the earliest. The 57-year-old Sharma first assumed the charge as Chairperson of NCW on August 7, 2018.

• Rekha Sharma has been associated with the Commission as a member since August 2015 and held the additional charge as the chairperson from September 29, 2017, before becoming its regular chief. She has been a vocal advocate of gender sensitisation of police personnel since they are the first point of contact for victims.

OBITUARY

Veteran actor Anupam Shyam (known for his role as Thakur Sajjan Singh) passed away

• Veteran actor Anupam Shyam has passed away. The actor was best known for his work on the TV show Mann Kee Awaaz: Pratigya and appearances in films like Slumdog Millionaire and Bandit Queen.

• In his nearly three-decade-long career, Shyam featured in films like Satya, Dil Se, Lagaan, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and received critical acclaim for his role as Thakur Sajjan Singh on Mann Kee Awaaz: Pratigya which aired in 2009 on Star Plus.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Biofuel Day 2021 :10th  August

• World Biofuel Day is observed on August 10 every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector. The development of biofuels is in sync with schemes such as Swach Bharat Abhiyan and Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. World Biofuel Day was first observed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Gas in August 2015.

• Biofuels are environmentally friendly fuels whose use would go a long way in reducing carbon emissions. They are created through renewable biomass resources and therefore make a strong case for sustainable development. As such biofuels will help meet the energy requirements of the 21st-century world without damaging the environment in the process.

World Lion Day 2021 : 10th  August

• World Lion Day is observed globally on August 10 every year. World Lion Day is marked to raise awareness about the king of beasts and the efforts undertaken for their conservation. Owing to their courage, intelligence, strength, and magnificence, lions often feature on national flags, and royal symbols and emblems to represent command, power or authority across cultures. World Lion Day was launched in 2013.

• The big cat is listed as an endangered species in the IUCN Red List. The majestic animal is the second-largest member of the Felidae (cat family), after the tiger. There is only one species of the lion in the world whose scientific name is Panthera leo. As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species (2016), the Panthera leo has two subspecies: Panthera Leo and Panthera leo persica, found in Africa and Asia.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Veteran actor Shabana Azmi launched Book “The Year That Wasn’t – The Diary of a 14-Year-Old”

• Veteran actor Shabana Azmi has launched the book titled “The Year That Wasn’t – The Diary of a 14-Year-Old”, which is penned by Kolkata girl Brisha Jain. The book was written by a 14-year-old girl, which chronicles the lockdown days seen through her eyes as the Covid-19 pandemic spreading last year.

• The book handholds readers through a journey – the hopeful beginning of a new decade, the confusion triggered by a pandemic, lockdown travails, coping with the whole new world of online schooling, a new digital divide, the vaccine race, the waning of the pandemic’s severity and it’s a resurgence.

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Important Current Affairs 9th August 2021

NATIONAL

Karnataka becomes first state to issue order implementing NEP-2020

• Karnataka has become the first state in the country to issue the order with regard to the implementation of National Education Policy-2020, State Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Narayan claimed.

• The state government has issued an order on Saturday on the implementation of NEP-2020 with effect from the current academic year 2021-2022.

India-UAE Navy conducted the bilateral naval exercise ‘Zayed Talwar 2021’

• The Indian Navy and UAE Navy conducted the bilateral naval exercise ‘Zayed Talwar 2021’ on August 07, 2021, off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The main objective of the ‘Zayed Talwar 2021’ naval exercise was to enhance interoperability and synergy between the two navies.

• Indian Navy participated with INS Kochi, with two integral Sea King MK 42B helicopters, deployed in the Persian Gulf. From UAE, UAES AL – Dhafra, a Baynunah class guided missile corvette and one AS – 565B Panther helicopter took part in the exercise.

SPORTS

BCCI announced cash reward for medal winners

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on August 07 announced Rs 1 crore cash reward for star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra after his historic gold medal-winning feat in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. The Vice-President of BCCI Rajeev Shukla congratulated India’s ace javelin thrower and said, “It’s a great day for Indian sports as Neeraj Chopra bagged the gold for India.

• He has put in his best efforts. If you look at the facilities we haven’t got the kind of facilities which the other countries have got. Still sports persons trying their level best. BCCI on this occasion has announced Rs 1 crore for Neeraj Chopra who has brought the gold medal for India and other athletes to.”

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Neeraj Chopra won Olympic gold medal in Javelin throw

• Neeraj Chopra has won a Gold medal for India in the javelin throw event at Tokyo Olympics. With a throw of 87.03 metres in his first attempt, Neeraj killed the competition. In his second he improved it to 87.58m and that turned out to be the golden throw. Except for Viteszalav Veslay of the Czech Republic who threw 86.67m none of his rivals including world champion Johannas Vetter fell by wayside.

• This is India’s 7th medal at Tokyo 2020, the best ever medal haul for India at a single edition of the Games. Neeraj Chopra’s Gold is also India’s second-ever individual Gold medal at the Olympics, after Abhinav Bindra in Shooting.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Bajrang Punia won Olympic wrestling bronze medal in wrestling

• Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has won the Olympic wrestling bronze medal match after 8-0 win over Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the men’s freestyle 65kg category.

• Punia became the sixth Indian wrestler to finish on the Olympic podium after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Kumar Dahiya. This became the second instance after the 2012 London Olympics when two Indian wrestlers won medals in the same Games.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Closing Ceremony Highlights

• The Tokyo Olympics 2020 came to an end on August 08, 2021. The international multi-sport event was held from July 23 to August 08, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. This was for the fourth time that Japan hosted the Olympic Games, after previously hosting the Tokyo 1964 (Summer), Sapporo 1972 (Winter), and Nagano 1998 (Winter) games. Apart from this, Tokyo is the first Asian city to hold the Summer Games twice.

• The United States has topped the overall medal table with 113 medals, which includes 39 Gold, 41 Silver and 33 Bronze Medal.

• Indian Contingent managed to win 7 medals comprising 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze Medals. The country stood at the 48th position in the medal table out of 86 countries.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Uttarakhand Chief Minister named Vandana as brand ambassador

• Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has appointed Team India's hockey player Vandana Katariya as the brand ambassador of the state's Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development.

• The announcement was made at a programme organized to felicitate the recipients of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award on Sunday. This programme was held at the IRDT Auditorium at Survey Chowk.

• CM Dhami further stated that the prize money for the aforementioned accolades will be doubled from Rs 31,000 to Rs 51,000 beginning next year.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2021: 9 August

• United Nations observes the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 09th August every year. The day is being observed to protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population and recognize the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. The theme for 2021 is “Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract.”

• The day was recognised by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994. The date to marks the day of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at the United Nations in 1982.

Nagasaki Day 2021: 9th August

• Japan commemorates the 9th of August every year as Nagasaki day. On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. It was code-named “Fat Man” due to the design of the bomb as it had a wide, round shape. This happened 3 days after dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

• An area of about 5 square miles was completely obliterated and around 65,000 people were killed in the bombing. Nagasaki and Hiroshima continue to feel the impact of the destructive bombing even today.

Nation observes 79th anniversary of Quit India movement on 8 August 2021

• The 79th anniversary of the August Kranti Din or Quit India Movement, which is considered as one of the important milestones in the history of the freedom struggle of our country, is being observed on 8 August 2021. On 8 Aug 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call to end British rule and launched the Quit India Movement at the session of the All-India Congress Committee in Mumbai.

• After the failure of Cripps Mission, Gandhiji gave the call to “Do or Die” in his Quit India speech delivered at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai. The grateful country is paying homage to the freedom fighters and remembering the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs during the freedom struggle.

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Important Current Affairs 8th August 2021 (Hindi)

INTERNATIONAL

Bhutan’s Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project conferred Brunel Medal

• Bhutan’s India-assisted Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project was conferred with the Brunel Medal awarded by the London-based Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The award was given as a mark of excellence in civil engineering within the industry and was handed over by the Indian envoy to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj to the Chairman of Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma. One of the reasons the Mangdechhu project was awarded was because of its social and environmental credentials.

• The project will reduce 2.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

• Bhutan and India in the past have collectively resolved to increase the hydropower energy capacity of Bhutan to 12000 MW.

NATIONAL

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, Vikrant

• India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, Vikrant set sail to begin its first sea trial. INS Vikrant was designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).

• This advanced warship is the first attempt by the two entities to build an aircraft carrier from the ground up. INS Vikrant has 75 per cent indigenous content and will be commissioned into the Eastern Naval Command. It will be commissioned into the Indian Navy by August 2022.

Power Minister R K Singh launched e-certification programme

• Power Minister R K Singh has launched an e-certification programme, ‘reform and regulatory knowledge base for power sector’, to provide regulatory training. The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R K Singh launched ‘reform and regulatory knowledge base for power sector’, an e-certification programme to provide regulatory training to the practitioners from diverse backgrounds through virtual mode.

• R K Singh also launched a Regulatory Data Dashboard which is an e-compendium of data containing state-wise details of tariff and power discoms (distribution companies) performance, developed by IIT Kanpur. The Dashboard would assist in benchmarking the sector performance, over time and across the power sector utilities.

Second IEEE International Conference on Range Technology by DRDO held virtually

• The 2nd Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Range Technology (ICORT-2021) is being held virtually. The conference has been organised by Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur, a laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was inaugurated by Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy. The event will host speakers from across the globe, who will present their technological achievements in multiple subjects related to Tests and Evaluation of defence systems.

• The conference will be a very effective platform for all the Range Technology enthusiasts to interact with each other and stay updated with recent developments in relevant fields.

• More than 250 technical articles were submitted by experts on the relevant subjects, out of which 122 articles have been selected by a specialised technical committee.

India’s first Heart Failure Biobank starts in Kerala

• The first Heart Failure Biobank in the country has come up at the National Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence in HF (CARE-HF) at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Kerala. The Biobank is open to study genetic, metabolomics and proteomic markers of health outcomes in heart-failure patients.

• Biobanks are an important resource of collections of high-quality biological human samples that can be used to understand molecular pathways and to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of heart failure.

• The biospecimens include blood, serum and tissue samples obtained during open-heart surgery and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and genomic DNA collected from heart-failure patients.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Eurosport India appointed John Abraham as the MotoGP Brand Ambassador

• Eurosport India has appointed Bollywood superstar and MotoGP enthusiast, John Abraham, as the India Ambassador for their flagship Motorsport property, MotoGP™.  John will be seen promoting MotoGP to a wider audience base in India as its face through Eurosport’s campaign – “MotoGP, Race Lagate Hai”.

• Eurosport India currently boasts of an unparalleled depth in global motorsports programming for the Indian motorsports fans with prestigious properties like FIA Formula 2 Championship, W Series, Nascar, Indycar Series and Bennetts British Superbike racing. Prior to the association, the actor has shared the stage with MotoGP legend “The Doctor”-Valentino Rossi and has frequented many MotoGP races.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Handloom Day 2021 : 7th August

• India has marked the 7th National Handloom Day to showcase the legacy of the Indian handloom industry. The day is to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement and to celebrate our country’s rich fabrics and colourful weaves. The whole nation will mark the day to showcase the legacy of the Indian handloom industry and to honour the weavers across the country. It was first observed in 2015 by the Govt of India.

• National Handloom Day seeks to focus on the contribution of handloom to the socio-economic development of the country and also increase the income of weavers.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

SSFB launched ‘Health and Wellness Savings account

• Suryoday Small Finance Bank (SSFB) has launched a ‘Suryoday Health and Wellness Savings Account’ to help customers grow their wealth and also take care of their family’s health amid the C-19 pandemic. The account offers an attractive interest rate and comes with three major benefits for a family of four — top-up health insurance of ₹25 lakh, annual healthcare package and on-call emergency ambulance medical care services.

• Top-up health insurance and healthcare package are free of charge for one year after opening the account. Free ambulance service up to a distance of 20 km will be available at 102 locations across the country till March-end 2022. For opening the savings account, customers will need to maintain an average monthly balance of ₹3 lakh and have to be eligible as per the key health declaration form.

SBI General Insurance partners with SahiPay

• SBI General Insurance, one of India’s leading General Insurance companies, announced a tie-up with Manipal Business Solutions to increase insurance penetration in the rural markets. SahiPay, the fastest growing tech-enabled financial inclusion platform of Manipal Business Solutions, provides digital and financial services to customers in semi-urban and rural India.

• This association marks a significant milestone for SBI General in realizing its vision of becoming the most trusted general insurer for India as well as Bharat.

• Through this partnership, SBI General will provide a bouquet of non-life insurance solutions to SahiPay customers.

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Important Current Affairs 7th August 2021

NATIONAL

The government of Ladakh launched ‘Pani Maah’ to raise awareness about clean water

• ‘Pani Maah’ or water month has launched in Ladakh to inform villagers about the importance of clean water. The Ladakh government has also announced a reward of Rs 2.5 million for the first block in every district that achieves the status of ‘Har Ghar Jal’. ‘Pani Maah’ campaign will be adopt a three-pronged approach — focussing on water quality testing, planning and strategizing water supply, and seamless functioning of Pani Sabha in villages.

• Only 11.75 per cent of rural households in Ladakh have access to tap water connections. The Pani Maah campaign is expected to expedite the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in the union territory.

• During this campaign, village communities will be encouraged to send water samples to water quality laboratories for quality checks and monitoring.

The first Heart Failure Biobank starts at SCTIMST in Kerala

• The first Heart Failure Biobank of the country has come up at the National Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence in HF (CARE-HF) at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Kerala. The Biobank is open to study genetic, metabolomics and proteomic markers of health outcomes in heart-failure patients.

• Biobanks is an important resource of collections of high-quality biological human samples that can be used to understand molecular pathways and to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of heart failure.

• The biospecimens include blood, serum and tissue samples obtained during open-heart surgery and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and genomic DNA collected from heart-failure patients.

Indian Wrestler Labhanshu Sharma wins Bharat Kesari Wrestling Dangal for Uttarakhand

• Indian Wrestler Labhanshu Sharma won the Bharat Kesari Wrestling Dangal 2021 organised in Tamil Nadu. 20 years since the formation of Uttarakhand, Labhanshu has broken the drought and won the title of Bharat Kesari for the state.

• With 15 gold medals at the state level and 10 medals at the national level and 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal in the International Wrestling competitions; Labhanshu is already set to bring glory to the nation.

SPORTS

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

• PM Narendra Modi has announced that Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will be renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. The Prime Minister said the move was based on the numerous requests he received from across the nation. Dhyan Chand, whose birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day, won three Olympic golds for the country in Hockey.

• The award was inaugurated in 1991-92, the award comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹ 25 lakh. The first recipient of the Khel Ratna was chess legend, Viswanathan Anand. Some of the winners in recent years include cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal, among others.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Dr Dhriti Banerjee appointed as the director of the Zoological Survey of India

• The Indian government approved the appointment of Dr Dhriti Banerjee as the director of the Zoological Survey of India. She is a prolific scientist, conducting research in zoogeography, taxonomy, morphology and molecular systematics. On the occasion of its centenary celebrations in 2016, Banerjee had co-authored the “The Glorious 100 Women’s Scientific Contribution in ZSI”, which chronicled the contributions of women scientists in the domain of animal-related groups.

• Founded in July 1916, the ZSI has its headquarters in Kolkata. It has 16 regional centres under the ministry of environment and forest and climate change. ZSI started hiring women scientists as late as 1949, nearly three decades since its inception.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

India and Bangladesh sign an MoU for disaster management

• India has emphasized the implementation of the recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh over disaster management, resilience and mitigation on a priority basis. Bangladesh has decided to accept the invitation to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). CDRI is a coalition of national governments, UN agencies, multilateral development banks and the private sector which aims to promote resilience of new and existing infrastructure to climate and disaster risks.

• In a letter written to Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar urged Bangladesh to implement the recently concluded MoU in the field of disaster management, resilience and mitigation on a priority basis. He expressed the hope that these mechanisms will help the two countries to remain better prepared to face such challenges in the future.

OBITUARY

Two-times Olympian footballer S.S. ‘Babu’ Nayaran passed away

• Two-times Olympian Shankar Subramaniam, alias “Babu” Nayaran passed away. He was India’s goalkeeper during the 1956 and 1960 Olympics. Besides representing Maharashtra in football and basketball, Narayan emerged as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in India. His decade-long career for the national team also included the stellar effort of India finishing fourth in the 1956 Olympics and representing India in the 1964 Asian Games.

• Subramaniam was born in Palakkad district in Kerala, Narayan was a star in Mumbai’s local circuit during his appearances for Matunga Students, Matunga Gymkhana, Caltex and Tata Sports Club. He was part of Maharashtra’s Santosh Trophy-winning campaign in 1964.

IMPORTANT DAYS

TRIFED celebrates its 34th Foundation Day in 2021

• Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) has celebrated its 34th foundation day on 6th August. TRIFED was founded to drive tribal development through marketing support for tribal products, both, handicrafts and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP). TRIFED will celebrate this day in a special manner, with due publicity, to raise awareness among one and all regarding the issues related to trade in tribal areas, and the need to ensure a fair deal for the tribes in the commerce of their products. The proposed event shall also recognize the achievements and contributions that the tribes and people working for them have made in this regard.

• TRIFED was established on the 6th of August 1987 as a National level Cooperative body with the major objective of socio-economic development of tribals. TRIFED will be celebrating its 34th Foundation Day on August 6, an event to recognise TRIFEDs achievements and the contribution of Tribes as well as people working with it.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Suryoday Small Finance Bank has launched ‘Health and Wellness Savings account for help the customers

• Suryoday Small Finance Bank (SSFB) has launched a ‘Suryoday Health and Wellness Savings Account’ to help customers grow their wealth and also take care of their family’s health amid the covid-19 pandemic. The account offers an attractive interest rate and comes with three major benefits for a family of four — top-up health insurance of ₹25 lakh, annual healthcare package and on-call emergency ambulance medical care services.

• Top-up health insurance and healthcare package are free of charge for one year after opening the account. Free ambulance service up to a distance of 20 km will be available at 102 locations across the country till March-end 2022. For opening the savings account, customers will need to maintain an average monthly balance of ₹3 lakh and have to be eligible as per the key health declaration form.

Axis Bank crossed one million customers on WhatsApp banking

• Axis Bank has crossed the milestone of over one million customers on its WhatsApp banking channel with a total request count of 6 million till now. Axis Bank had launched banking services on WhatsApp in January 2021 and has since witnessed robust organic growth in its customer base for WhatsApp banking.

• After signing up for the service, customers can inquire and get details of products across savings account, credit and debit cards, deposits and personal loans. Non-financial service requests can also be initiated, such as locating ATMs or getting updates on third-party deals available on credit and debit cards.

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Important Current Affairs 6th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Ebrahim Raisi is the new President of Iran

• Ebrahim Raisi was officially sworn in as the new president of Iran. He won the 2021 Iranian presidential election in June, with 62 per cent of the vote. The 60-year-old Raisi succeeds Hassan Rouhani to begin his four-year term. He is also been the Chief Justice of Iran since March 2019.

• Raisi’s inauguration comes at a pivotal time, with Iran currently in indirect negotiations with the United States over how to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement. Raisi will also face the task of reviving his country’s economy, which has been battered in recent years by the previous US administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions. Tensions in the region are also high following a string of maritime provocations blamed by the West on Tehran.

NATIONAL

Central Board for Indirect Taxes & Customs launched Compliance Information Portal

• The Central Board for Indirect Taxes & Customs launched the Indian Customs Compliance Information Portal at www.cip.icegate.gov.in/CIP. This portal providing free access to information on all Customs procedures and regulatory compliance for nearly 12,000 Customs Tariff Items. The portal will provide complete knowledge of all import and export related requirements for all items.

• CIP is yet another facilitation tool developed by CBIC to empower our business as well as any interested person with up-to-date information on the legal and procedural requirements of Customs and Partner Government Agencies (FSSAI, AQIS, PQIS, Drug Controller etc.) for carrying out imports and exports. The portal would provide at the click of a button complete knowledge of all import and export related requirements for all items covered under the Customs Tariff thereby improving the ease of doing cross border trade.

India nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 22,480 MW by 2031

• India’s nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 22,480 Mega Watts by 2031 from the current 6,780 MegaWatts. There are presently 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6780 MW in operation and one reactor, KAPP-3 (700 MW) has been connected to the grid on January 10, 2021.

• Ten (10) nuclear power reactors with 8000 MW capacity (including 500 MW PFBR being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited {BHAVINI}) are under construction. Additionally, the Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction of ten (10) indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) of 700 MW each to be set up in fleet mode.

SPORTS

Tokyo Olympics 2020: R. K. Dahiya won silver medal

• Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya bagged the silver medal after losing in the final of men’s 57kg freestyle category to Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Zavur Uguev. This is India’s fifth medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the second silver of the campaign.

• Ravi Kumar is the fifth Indian wrestler after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Sakshi Malik to finish on the Olympic podium.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Germany became the 5th country to sign the International Solar Alliance Framework

• Germany became the 5th country to sign the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement after amendments to it entered into force on 8th January 2021, opening its Membership to all Member States of the United Nations. Ambassador of Germany to India Walter J. Lindner deposited signed copies of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement with the Ministry of External Affairs, the depositary of the Agreement.

• Membership to the ISA was earlier limited to 121 countries, which were partially or entirely located within the tropics. This didn’t allow major solar energy economies such as Germany to join the alliance that is being increasingly seen as a foreign policy tool. The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit and a meeting of member countries ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Hiroshima Day 2021: 6th August

• Annually 6th of August marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during World War II. The horrific incident took place on August 6, 1945, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb named “Little Boy”, on the town of Hiroshima in Japan. This bomb attack was done with the motive to end the Second World War in 1945. This day is remembered to promote peace and spread awareness about the danger of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

• During the 2nd World War which was active in 1939- 1945, the world’s first deployed atomic bomb with more than 9000 pounds uranium-235 was loaded and US B-29 bomber aircraft, the Enola Gay attacked the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945. The explosion was so huge that it immediately killed 70,000 people wiping 90% of the city and later on around 10,000 people died due to the effect of radiation exposure.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

“Balakot Air Strike: How India Avenged Pulwama”, written by Navy veteran Manan Bhatt

• A new book titled “Balakot Air Strike: How India Avenged Pulwama”, published by Garuda Prakashan, is written by Navy veteran Manan Bhatt. According to the publisher, the book, “a racy thriller” with “adrenalin-pushing action”, would make readers’ patriotism brim over, while filling them with a sense of gratitude and pride towards the armed forces.

• The book, in its detailed account of the “two epochal events”, claims to capture everything “from moments before the ill-fated CRPF bus was hit, to the cockpits from where precision bombs were triggered and what transpired in those 12 momentous, expectation-filled days.

• On February 26, 2019, Indian Air Force fighter jets crossed the Line of Control and destroyed terror launch pads in Balakot in Pakistan. The strikes were undertaken days after 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

WB received four SKOCH awards under the Ease of Doing Business initiative

• The government of West Bengal has received four SKOCH awards for its schemes under the Ease of Doing Business initiative. The State scheme ‘Silpasathi’-the online single window portal won the platinum award while the Auto-Renewal of Certificate of Enlistment through the online system for urban areas has received the gold award.

• Online issuance of trade licences in rural areas and the E-Nathikaran: the online system for registration, preparation and submission of deeds have won two silver awards. The state government will ensure that the ease of doing business in West Bengal continues to be one of the foremost in the country.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

RBI imposed Rs 6 lakh penalty on Hewlett-Packard Financial Services Pvt Ltd

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 6 lakh on Bengaluru-based Hewlett-Packard Financial Services (India) Private Ltd. RBI said the statutory inspection of the company, concerning its financial position as of March 31, 2019, revealed, inter alia, non-compliance with the statutory directions on (i) submission of credit information to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits and (ii) submission of credit data to Credit Information Companies.

• The penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in it under the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005, taking into account the failure of the company to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by RBI.

Reserve Bank of India announced its bi-monthly monetary policy

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced its bi-monthly monetary policy. This is the seventh time in a row that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has maintained the status quo. RBI had last revised its policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting the interest rate to a historic low.  The meeting was held between August 4 and 6. The remaining will take place in October (6 to 8); December (6 to 8) and February (7 to 9, 2022).

• RBI keeps the GDP growth forecast for FY22 unchanged at 9.5%.

• RBI to conduct two more auctions of ₹25,000 crores each on August 12 and August 26 under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (GSAP).

• Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in charge of Monetary Policy– Member, ex officio: Dr Michael Debabrata Patra.

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Important Current Affairs 5th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Pakistani climber Shehroze Kashif becomes world’s youngest mountaineer to scale K2, second-highest peak in the world

•  A 19-year old Pakistani climber Shehroze Kashif became the youngest person in the world to reach the summit of K2, the second-highest peak in the world. Shehroze Kashif from Lahore achieved the feat of scaling the 8,611-metre high peak with the aid of bottled oxygen. Before Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, the son of the legendary climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara, was the youngest person to have climbed K2 at the age of 20.

•  Kashif also scaled the world’s 12th-highest mountain, the 8,047-meter Broad Peak, at the age of 17. In May this year, he became the youngest Pakistani to scale Mount Everest. Pakistan, Nepal, and China are home to the 14 highest peaks in the world, also known as the 8,000ers. Five 8,000-metre peaks, including K2 and Nanga Parbat, are in Pakistan.

World’s largest star sapphire cluster found in Sri Lankan

•  World’s largest star sapphire cluster has been found in Ratnapura, Srilanka. The stone is pale blue in colour. It was found by labourers while digging a well in a gem trader’s home.

•  Ratnapura is known as the gem capital of the country. The sapphire cluster weighs around 510kgs or 2.5 million carats. It has an estimated value of up to $100 million in the international market.

NATIONAL

Indian Air Force inducted second squadron of Rafale aircraft

•  The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted the second squadron of Rafale jets at West Bengal’s Hasimara airbase in Eastern Air Command (EAC). The event included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale to Hasimara, followed by a traditional water cannon salute. Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron, which bestowed upon them the title of ‘Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor’, Bhadauria urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform.

•  Hasimara is the second IAF base to be equipped with Rafale aircraft. The first squadron of the Rafale jets is stationed at Ambala Air Force station. India has so far received 26 Rafale aircraft out of the 36 it has ordered from Dassault Aviation. The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on 29 July 2020, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of ₹59,000 crores. The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia. The Rafale jet is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister launched India’s first earthquake mobile app

•  Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami has launched the first-of-its-kind earthquake early warning mobile application, named ‘Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert’. The app has been developed by IIT Roorkee, in association with Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA). Initially, this app was launched as a pilot project only by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, for the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, the project proposal was further extended by the Uttarakhand Government.

•  The Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert is India’s first earthquake early warning’ app for notifying people about earthquake alerts. Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) mobile app can detect the onset of the earthquake and issue warnings regarding an earthquake occurrence in the neighbourhood and the expected time of arrival and intensity at the location to prevent any loss of life.

SPORTS

Lovlina Borgohain Claims Bronze Medal in Tokyo Olympics 2020

•  Indian Boxer, Lovlina Borgohain has failed to reach the gold medal final match. She settles for a bronze medal. This is India’s third medal of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. She lost to Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey by unanimous decision in the women’s welterweight (69 kg) semifinal at Tokyo 2020.

•  Lovlina had already assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympic Games when she upstaged former world champion, Nien-Chin Chen of Taiwan, to enter the semis.

Indian men’s hockey team, win bronze in Tokyo Olympics 2020

•  Indian men’s hockey team defeated Germany to win their first-ever Olympic medal in 41 years. India wins the bronze medal in men’s hockey after beating Germany 5-4 at Tokyo Olympics. Before this podium finish for bronze, India last climbed up the Olympic podium in 1980, when it won its 8th gold at the Games.

•  Simranjeet Singh scored two goals for India at the Oi Hockey Stadium, along with Hardik Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh also adding their names on the scoresheet.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

V M Kanade appointed as the new Lokayukta in Mumbai

•  Maharashtra Governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari has approved the appointment of retired Bombay high court judge Justice V M Kanade as the new Lokayukta of Maharashtra, on the advice of the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Maharashtra was without a full-time Lokayukta for almost a year. The previous Lokayukta, (retd) Justice M L Tahaliyani had completed his tenure in August 2020.

•  The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman. Citizens can make complaints of corruption against any government official or elected representative directly to the Lokayukta, who is tasked with speedy redressal.

K. M. Birla stepped down as Non-Executive Chairman of Vodafone Idea or VI

•  Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has stepped down as the Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the Vodafone Idea (now Vi) Board. The Vi Board of Directors have unanimously elected Himanshu Kapania, currently a Non-Executive Director, as the Non-Executive Chairman with effect.

•  Kapania, a nominee of the Aditya Birla Group, is a telecom industry veteran with 25 years of experience. He has also served on the Global GSMA Board for two years and was also the Chairman of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for two years. He is presently the Chairman of the FICCI Council on Telecom, Electronics and Digital Economy.

Mini Ipe appointed as the Managing Director of LIC 

•  Mini Ipe took charge as managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India. Ipe is a post-graduate in commerce and joined LIC in 1986 as a direct recruit officer. She has a diverse experience in LIC having worked in various capacities. LIC is India’s 2nd-largest financial services institution with a Rs 31 lakh crore balance sheet, next to the country’s largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI), with assets of Rs 39.51 lakh crore.

•  Before taking charge as managing director, she was executive director, legal department, LIC of India. Mini Ipe was the first woman zonal manager (in-charge) of LIC and headed SCZO, Hyderabad. She has also worked as executive director (international operations), director and CEO of LICHFL Financial Services Ltd. She has also worked as regional manager (P&IR) and regional manager (estate) of the western zone. Ipe joins the team of other MDs at LIC, including Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Raj Kumar and Siddhartha Mohanty.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

India & World Bank sign $250 million project to safe dams and resilient across various states of India

•  The World Bank has approved a USD 250 million projects in India for a long-term dam safety program and improving the safety and performance of existing dams across various states of India. The Second Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP-2) agreement was inked on between the World Bank, the Government of India, the Central Water Commission, and government representatives from 10 participating states. The project will be implemented at the national level through the Central Water Commission (CWC).

•  At the state level, approximately 120 dams will be undertaken across the states of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. Other states or agencies may be added to the project during project implementation.

OBITUARY

Padma Shri awardee, author Padma Sachdev passed away

•  Padma Shri awardee and noted author Padma Sachdev, the first modern woman poet of Dogri language, passed away. She received the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2001 and was awarded the Kabir Samman for poetry for 2007-08 by the Madhya Pradesh government.

•  She authored many books in Dogri and Hindi, and her poetry collections, including ‘Meri Kavita Mere Geet’, won her the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1971.

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Important Current Affairs 4th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

IMF approved $650 bln allocation of SDR

• The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have approved a record general allocation of $650 billion in IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR), to help boost global liquidity. The $650 billion SDR allocation aims to support member countries, especially emerging and developing nations, battling the C-19 pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused.

• This allocation is the largest-ever distribution in the IMF’s 77-year history, in terms of monetary reserves assets. The allocation will become effective from August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to member countries in proportion to their existing quotas shareholding in the Fund.

NATIONAL

Ordnance Factory launched new sound weapon ‘TriCa’

• The Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT) in Tamil Nadu launched a new high-tech and low sound weapon called TriCa (Trichy Carbine), a mini version of the Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR). It was unveiled by General Manager of OFT Sanjay Dwivedi, IOFS (Indian Ordnance Factories Service) during a function.

• The lighter and compact weapon, carbine TriCa is designed for the infantry combat vehicle, helicopter crew and security personnel for operations that call for a compact and relatively powerful individual automatic weapon. The weapon is also for paratroopers, police and security personnel guarding highly secure facilities such as airports, and for use by the Special Operation Forces.

European Space Agency launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’

• European Space Agency (ESA) launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’, the world’s 1st commercial reprogrammable satellite into space aboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. It is a fully flexible software-defined satellite. The satellite has been developed under a European Space Agency partnership project with satellite operator Eutelsat, Airbus & Surrey Satellite Technology.

• A reprogrammable satellite allows the user to repurpose it even after being launched into orbit. It can be reprogrammed in real-time to suit the changing purposes of the user. The Quantum satellite is capable of responding to changing demands for data transmission and secure communication during its lifespan of 15 years and will cover the areas from West Africa to Asia. The satellite will remain in geostationary orbit for its 15-year lifespan, after which it will be safely placed in a graveyard orbit away from Earth to avoid becoming a risk to other satellites.

Fortune Global 500 list 2021 : 7 Indian Companies Featured is the list

• Seven Indian companies have found a place in 2021 Fortune’s Global 500 list. The Fortune Global 500 is an annual ranking of the top 500 enterprises globally, as measured by business revenues. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd is the highest-ranked Indian company on the list in terms of revenue, with revenues of nearly $63 billion. It is placed at 155th spot globally.

• Globally, Walmart has topped the list in terms of revenue for the eighth consecutive year and the 16th time since 1995. China has dominated this years list for the highest number of companies featuring in the list at 143, including those from Taiwan. This is followed by the U.S. with 122, and Japan with a total of 53, respectively.

Operation Blue Freedom

• The government of India has accorded sanctions to Team CLAW to lead a team of people with disabilities to scale Siachen Glacier. It will be a new world record for the largest team of people with disabilities. This expedition is being undertaken as part of ‘Operation Blue Freedom’. It aims to shatter the common perception of pity, charity, and inability associated with people with disabilities and recreate it to one of dignity, freedom, and ability.

• Operation Blue Freedom was launched in 2019 by CLAW Global, a team of former Special Forces Operatives of the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. The Operation is a social impact venture aimed at rehabilitating people with disabilities through adaptive adventure sports. Moreover, their focus is also to ‘design and implement sustainable large-scale employment solutions’ for people with disabilities, especially in the ‘Environment conservation and Sustainability’ space.

Government of India cuts Mudra loans target to Rs 3 trillion in Financial Year 2022

• The government has set the loans disbursement target under the PM Mudra Yojana (PMMY) at Rs 3 trillion for 2021-22 (FY22). This target is lower than the previous year. For FY21, the target was set at Rs 3.21 trillion. Experts attribute the lower target to increased allocation under the credit guarantee scheme for small businesses.

• Under PMMY, credit up to Rs 10 lakh is provided by banks and non-banking financial companies for entrepreneurial activities to small business units, including for new enterprises in sectors such as manufacturing, trading, services and activities allied to agriculture. The central government allocates annual targets for sanctioning of loans under the scheme. In FY22, loans worth Rs 3,804 crore have been sanctioned by 13 public sector banks (PSBs) as of June 25.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’ by Wildlife Biologist Sanjay Gubbi

• Wildlife Biologist, Sanjay Gubbi authored a book about Leopard titled ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’, in which he says about the food habits, ecological context, and conservation of Leopard along with the suggestions to overcome leopard–human conflict. The book also details Sanjay Gubbi’s practical engagement as a conflict manager, adviser to the State government, and leopard PR (Public Relations) person. The book was published by Westland.

• Leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae. As per the government’s report, Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopards, about 26 per cent of the total number estimated in the country.

Book “My Own Mazagon” authored by Captain Ramesh Babu

• A new book titled “My Own Mazagon” has authored by Captain Ramesh Babu. The book published by Indus Source Books features the history and story of Mazagon, the island which was merged into a single entity as Bombay. The Book will be jointly released by Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, (Retd.), CMD Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.

• The Book rediscovers the forgotten history of Mazagon and resurrects the identity of Maza Gaon, or ‘My own Village’. Captain Ramesh Babu retired from Mumbai after serving the Indian Navy at Mazagon Dock. Other books authored by Capt. Babu: “After You Sir: A Collection of School Stories” and “Calicut Heritage Trails”.

RANKING

QS Best Student Cities Ranking : Mumbai, Bengaluru lose top-100 spots

• Mumbai and Bengaluru are out of the global top-100 list and are currently ranking at 106 and 110, respectively in the latest edition of the QS Best Student Cities Ranking. While Mumbai lost 29 places, Bengaluru fell by 21 places in the ninth edition of the rankings brought out by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

• Globally, the results, which enable students to compare 115 premier educational destinations, see London retain its status as the world’s best student city for the third consecutive edition. It is followed by Munich, which rises from 4th to 2nd. Seoul, which jumps from 10th to joint-3rd, shares the bronze-medal position with Olympic hosts Tokyo.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Reserve Bank of India Authorises IndusInd Bank to act as an ‘Agency Bank’

• The IndusInd Bank has been empanelled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to act as an ‘Agency Bank’. As an Agency Bank, IndusInd becomes eligible to carry out transactions related to all kinds of government-led businesses. This decision is based on the RBI guideline that authorises scheduled private sector banks as agency banks of the regulator for the conduct of government business.

• IndusInd Bank now joins few other private banks of the country listed as Agency Bank of RBI, to carry out general banking business on behalf of the central and state government, apart from offering its customers the convenience of undertaking routine financial transactions through its banking platform.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd August 2021

International

Nikol Pashinyan Re-appointed as Prime Minister of Armenia

•Nikol Pashinyan has been re-appointed as the prime minister of Armenia by President Armen Sarkissian on August 02, 2021.

•Pashinyan, the leader of the Civil Contract Party, won the majority of seats in parliamentary elections in June 2021. The 46-year-old Pashinyan was first appointed as the prime minister in 2018. 

Min Aung Hlaing is appointed as interim Prime Minister of  Myanmar

•The Chief of the Myanmar military, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has taken over as the interim prime minister of the country. He is also the Chairman of the State Administration Council (SAC) which has been performing the duties of the government in Myanmar, after the February 01, 2021 coup, which overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party.

•This SAC has been reformed as the caretaker government of Myanmar in order to perform the country’s duties fast, easily and effectively. Min Aung Hlaing is also been the commander-in-chief of Defence Services of Myanmar since March 2011. Hlaing has pledged to hold elections by 2023.

National

C-19 Vaccination: Bhubaneswar becomes first Indian city to vaccinate 100%

•Bhubaneswar has become the first Indian city to achieve 100 per cent C-19 vaccination. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had launched a massive vaccination drive against C-19. This milestone is credited to the BMC running 55 centres at all times for vaccines.

•BMC has a record of around nine lakh people who are above 18 years of age in the city. Which includes around 31 thousand healthcare workers, 33 thousand front-line workers. 5 lakh 17 thousand people are in the age group of 18 to 44 years. Three lakh twenty-five thousand people are above 45 years of age.

Science & Technology

ISRO-NASA joint mission NISAR Satellite will be launched in 2023

•The ISRO-NASA joint mission NISER (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, aimed at making global measurement of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging, is proposed to be launched in early 2023. It is a dual-band (L-band and S-band) radar imaging mission with the capability of full polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation to observe minor changes in land, vegetation and cryosphere.

•NASA is developing L-band SAR and associated systems while ISRO is developing S-band SAR, spacecraft bus, the launch vehicle and associated launch services. The major scientific objectives of the mission are to improve understanding of the impact of climate change on Earth’s changing ecosystems, land and coastal processes, land deformations and cryosphere. NISER is one of the crucial collaborations of the ISRO and NASA. India and the U.S. had agreed upon this mission during then-President Barack Obama’s visit to India in 2015.

Books & Author

Kunal Basu’s ‘In An Ideal World’ will be released in 2022

•Renowned novelist Kunal Basu’s new work of fiction, In An Ideal World, will be released next year, Penguin Random House India (PRHI) announced. The book, scheduled to be released under the publishing house’s ‘Viking’ imprint, is touted to be a “powerful, gritty and fast-paced literary novel” exploring a variety of themes relevant to the current times — college, politics, family, crime investigation and fanaticism.

•According to the publishers, the story of his upcoming book revolves around the disappearance of a member of the Liberal Party of a college in Manhar. The prime suspect of this abduction is the leader of the Nationalist group of the same college.

Banking & Economy

HDFC Bank launched ‘Dukandar Overdraft Scheme’

•HDFC Bank announced the launch of an overdraft facility for small retailers in partnership with CSC SPV. Known as ‘Dukandar Overdraft Scheme’. The scheme by HDFC Bank is aimed at helping shopkeepers and merchants ease their cash crunch. According to the bank, retailers operating for a minimum of three years are eligible for the scheme by providing six months bank statement from any bank.

•HDFC Bank will approve an overdraft limit from a minimum of Rs 50,000 to a maximum of Rs 10 lakhs based on the statements. Importantly, HDFC Bank won’t seek collateral security, business financials, and income tax returns from retailers who apply for the scheme.

State  Bank of India launched ‘SIM Binding’ feature for YONO and YONO Lite apps

•India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a new and enhanced security feature for its YONO and YONO Lite apps, called ‘SIM Binding’, to protect customers from various digital frauds. Under the new SIM Binding feature, the YONO and YONO Lite apps will work only on those devices which have SIM of mobile numbers registered with the Bank. The main aim of the new version of the platform is to provide enhanced security to customers and help them with a convenient and safe online banking experience.

•SBI customers will have to update their mobile app, to get access to the new version of YONO and YONO Lite with enhanced security features.

LIC Cards Services Limited (LIC-CSL) has partnered with IDBI Bank

•LIC Cards Services Limited (LIC-CSL) has partnered with IDBI Bank to launch ‘Lumine’ Platinum Credit Card and ‘Eclat’ Select Credit Card on the RuPay platform. The cards will initially be available to LIC policyholders, agents, as well as employees of the corporation and its subsidiaries. The cards will offer a wide range of benefits to users.

•Lumine and Eclat cardholders will have a credit limit that suits their lifestyles. The cardholders will earn 3 ‘delight’ points on every spend of Rs 100 via the Lumine card and 4 points on the Eclat card.

•The cards also offer a special benefits of 2x reward points while paying the renewal insurance premiums of LIC. The cards also have a ‘Welcome Aboard’ offer for initial customers.

PM Modi will launch e-RUPI digital payment solution by video conferencing

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch e-RUPI, an e-voucher-based digital payment solution, via video conferencing. The e-RUPI initiative will be one of the programmes launched over the years to limit touchpoints between the government and the beneficiary and “ensure that the benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner”.

•e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payments. It acts as an e-voucher based on a QR code or SMS string, which is delivered to the mobile phones of the beneficiaries.

•e-RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface. It also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd August 2021

NATIONAL

Haryana govt lowers power tariff by 37 paise per unit for consumers

•Haryana government has announced reduction in power tariff by 37 paise per unit for consumers in the state. The announcement in this effect was made by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar yesterday. With this, electricity consumers will get relief of about 100 crore rupees per month.

•An official spokesman said that the power distribution companies have achieved a substantial reduction in the average power purchase cost of about 46 paise per unit during 2020-21 over the previous year due to better planning and scheduling. This has also been reflected in FSA (fuel surcharge adjustment) calculations done by the state power regulator. Hence to pass this benefit in reduction of cost to the consumers particularly during the Covid time, the state government has decided to waive the 37 paise FSA being charged from the consumers henceforth.

Uttarakhand inaugurates North India’s first Orchid Conservation center

•North India’s first orchid conservation center was inaugurated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, in a milestone step towards the conservation of Orchids, an exquisite, yet threatened plant species, on 30th July (Friday).

•Orchids are a flowering plant species, found in abundance in tropical regions, all over the world.

•Its traces can be found in the Himalayan foothills, in the Indian state of Uttrakhand, and in parts of the northeast.

•The resplendent Orchid flower derives its name from the Greek word (orchis) because of the characteristic features of the root tubers found in some species of the genus Orchis.

Defence Expo to be held in Gandhinagar in March

•Gujarat will host its first Defence Expo, the flagship event of the Ministry of Defence for the domestic and global industry interested in the Indian arms market. The event will be held in Gandhinagar next March, with the theme of ‘India as a defence manufacturing hub’.

•Past editions of the show have been held at New Delhi, Goa, Chennai and Lucknow. The decision to choose Gujarat was taken after interacting with all interested states that gave presentations to the defence ministry. Goa and Telangana had also been shortlisted for the show that brings thousands of representatives from global arms companies, Indian private sector players and officials from the armed forces.

SPORTS

Sri Lanka's cricketer Isuru Udana announces retirement

•Sri Lanka fast bowler Isuru Udana has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect on Saturday.

•Udana, who played 21 ODIs and 35 T20Is for Sri Lanka in his 12-year international career, in an official statement said that the time has come for him to make way for next generation of players.

•‘’It is with immense pride and passion, and unfathomable commitment that I have represented and served my country.

Vandana becomes first Indian woman to score Olympic hat-trick in hockey

•Vandana scored in the first, second and fourth quarters of India's last match in Pool A of the Tokyo Olympics to etch her names on the history books and become the first Indian woman to score an Olympic hat-trick.

•Vandana Katariya became the first Indian woman hockey player to score an Olympic hat-trick as India beat South Africa by 4-3 at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive. Vandana scored in the first, second and fourth quarters of India's last match in Pool A of the Tokyo Olympics to etch her names in the history books.

Rajasthan Royals owners acquire Barbados franchise

•The owners of Rajasthan Royals have acquired a majority stake in CPL team Barbados Tridents, becoming the third IPL franchise to be associated with the Caribbean league after Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings.

•Royals Sports Group (EM Sporting Holdings Ltd), the owners of the Rajasthan Royals, made the announcement on Friday.

•The two-time CPL champions will be rebranded as the Barbados Royals.

•Royals Sports Group Chairperson, and the Lead Owner of Rajasthan Royals, Manoj Badale, said: “We are delighted to have signed this deal with Manish Patel, to acquire a majority stake in the Barbados CPL franchise.”

OBITUARY

Centenarian sprinter Man Kaur dies of heart attack

•Centenarian sprinter Man Kaur has died of a heart attack, her son Gurdev Singh said on Saturday.

•Man was 105 and is survived by two sons and a daughter.

•Born on March 1, 1916, Kaur was known as the "Miracle Mom from Chandigarh".

•She shot to fame after winning the 100 metre sprint at the World Masters Games in Auckland in 2017.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Muslim Women Rights Day 2021:

•Muslim Women Rights Day is observed on August 1. It was on this very day in 2019, the passage of the triple talaq bill in Parliament.This year marks the second anniversary of that historical bill which is officially known as the Muslim Women Act (Protection of Rights on Marriage) passed in the Rajya Sabha.

•The law made the ‘triple talaq’ a criminal offence. It was seen as a crucial step as it ensured Muslim women protection against gender inequality, and empowerment by lawfully bidding adieu to the practice of instantaneous ‘talaq’. Hence the day is aptly held as Muslim Women Rights Day. The law is meant to promote women’s self-reliance, self-respect, and boost self-esteem as it strengthens the fundamental and democratic rights of Muslim women.

World Breastfeeding Week 2021: 01 – 07 August

•The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is marked every year in the first week of August, between 1 to 7 August, to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants. The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2021 is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”. The annual week is organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF since 1991.

•Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Cyrus Poonawalla wins Lokmanya Tilak National Award

•Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman of the Pune-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), has been selected for the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021. He has been named for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, by manufacturing the Covishield vaccine. He will receive the award on August 13. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a memento.

•The Lokmanya Tilak national award is given annually since 1983 on August 1, the death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak, by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust. However this year the date has been changed due to the coronavirus situation.

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